C.C. Little house gets design makeover with charitable proceeds benefitting JAX

The Jackson Laboratory’s founder, Clarence Cook Little, lived in several different houses in Bar Harbor, Maine, during his tenure as director between 1929 and 1956. One of these residences, known as Brightholme, on Wayman Lane, is undergoing a 21st century “extreme home makeover.”

The Designer Showhouse project, organized by Maine Home + Design magazine and The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty, is the first such project on Mount Desert Island. Each room of Brightholme is getting a new look by one of more than a dozen interior decorators and designers, and the property is also getting new landscaping.

Proceeds from the sale of tickets to a July 13 preview party and Showhouse tours starting July 14 will benefit The Jackson Laboratory.

“Brightholme is a community project,” says Kimberly Swan of The Swan Agency.  “The opportunity to showcase Maine design talent while bringing new life to an historic home is something that everyone can get excited about.”

Swan says her team selected The Jackson Laboratory as the project’s nonprofit beneficiary for a number of reasons. “The Jackson Laboratory is the largest employer on Mount Desert Island and is important to our community's vitality and economic wellbeing,” she says. “The Lab has a deep volunteer base and an exceptional staff who have been instrumental in supporting the development of the Showhouse.” 

Joanne Bean, Laboratory’s senior director for development, says, “We are honored to be selected as the nonprofit beneficiary of Mount Desert Island’s first Designer Showhouse. It’s an exciting opportunity to be featured alongside the talented local designers in this home that has a special place in our history. We thank Maine Home + Design magazine and The Swan Agency Sotheby’s International Realty for including us.”

Brightholme was built at the end of the 19th century as a summer cottage by J.S. Kennedy, then owner of the present-day Kenarden estate. It was used as a summer rental when Jackson Laboratory founder Clarence Cook Little purchased it from Kennedy’s widow in 1929.

The Designer Showhouse Preview Party at Brightholme on Friday, July 13, from 5 to 7 p.m. will feature remarks by Jackson Laboratory President and CEO Edison T. Liu, M.D., and a special announcement by actress Glenn Close and her husband, Jackson Chairman Emeritus David Shaw.

Tickets are $100 per person and are fully tax-deductible as a charitable contribution to The Jackson Laboratory. To register, visit supportourmission.jax.org/brightholme or call Penny Fox at 207-288-6088.

Showhouse tours will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, July 14, through Saturday, Aug. 3. For ticket and other information, please call 207-288-5818.

Follow the Brightholme project on Facebook.

The Jackson Laboratory, founded in 1929, is an independent, nonprofit biomedical research institution based in Bar Harbor, Maine, with a facility in Sacramento, Calif., and a new genomic medicine institute in Farmington, Conn. It employs a total staff of more than 1,450. Its mission is to discover precise genomic solutions for disease and empower the global biomedical community in the shared quest to improve human health.