Michael Klahr Center


Michael Klahr Center Gathering a Beneficent Light . . .

We’ve come a long way… The Michael Klahr Center, a beautiful
home for an idea born twenty-three years ago, is testimony.

– Gerda Haas, HHRC Founder

Adorned in copper sheets inspired by the petals of a flower, the Michael Klahr Center represents an extraordinary advance in Maine architecture. The winning design by Harold Hon and Son Wooten of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson & Abbott won recognition as a 2007 Building of America Project. The Center opened to the public May 27, 2008.

Ground Breaking at the Michael Klahr Center

Ground Breaking at the Michael Klahr Center

Reverend Scott Dow, Treasurer, HHRC; Ragnhild Baade, President, HHRC; Sharon Nichols, Executive Director, HHRC; Phyllis Jalbert, Naming Donor; Governor John Baldacci; Richard Randall, President, UMA; Elsa Nunez, Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, UMA

Naming donor Phyllis Jalbert . . .


My husband, Michael Klahr, energized and enlightened everyone he met. His energy filled a room. Although Michael came into this world at a time of unprecedented evil and suffering, he was a shining star when he left us.

It is therefore fitting that we have selected the enlightened design of Harold Hon and Son Wooten, architects at Shepley Bullfinch Richardson & Abbott, to embody the mission of the HHRC in its permanent home at the Michael Klahr Center.

This shining Center will be a place of outreach and inclusion, of innovation and remembrance, a place where our children can learn to keep the spirit of tolerance alive and thriving in our beautiful state of Maine.

From the architects’ proposal . . .


Today we still look to the torch of liberty to light the way for equality and justice. Where freedom and peace are marred, the oppressed call upon us to keep the spirit of illumination in our hearts and in our educational pursuits.


This Holocaust and Human Rights resource center literally and figuratively gathers that beneficent light. It holds and directs the light, dispelling darkness that troubles the human spirit. The Center’s glossy petals shine forth, creating a light-filled meditative and educational space. – Harold Hon & Son Wooten

Architects Harold Hon & Son Wooten at HHRC Design Reception, 2004

Evolution of a Design

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial outside the Michael Klahr Center