Forest Ave. Matters

Forest Ave. Matters

As part of our National Preservation Month (and beyond) we are using social media to highlighting the 15 buildings proposed by the City of Portland to be designated as locall significant buildings. The designation includes a number of auto-related commercial buildings as well as buildings significant to the development of the Woodfords Corner neighborhood like Odd Fellows Hall and the former Deering fire station, now occupied by Big Sky Bakery. Find us on Instagram and Facebook using the hashtag #Forestavehillmatters along with the national hashtag #thisplacematters. We hope that you will follow along! We will add each image from social media on this page as the month unfolds. Add your Forest Ave memories in the comments below!

Forest Avenue has always been a critical transportation

Munjoy Hill Matters

May is National Preservation Month which happens to coincide with the reveal of the city’s proposed historic district on Munjoy Hill. One way that we are celebrating this month is by sharing photos and histories of houses on Munjoy Hill on instagram and facebook using the hashtag #munjoyhillmatters along with the national hashtag #thisplacematters . We hope that you will follow along! We will add each image from social media on this page as the month unfolds.

Landmarks supports designation of a Munjoy Hill Local Historic District with boundaries focused on the Eastern Promenade and North Street. These resources tell the story of the Munjoy Hill neighborhood’s development over a broad period of time and retain significant levels of architectural integrity. Munjoy Hill's historic buildings are significant features of the neighborhood's streetscapes and help make the area a desirable and attractive place to live, work and play. It is necessary to preserve the character defining buildings that reflect the neighborhood's development over a broad period of time and the role the buildings' residents played in the social and cultural history of the neighborhood, before more of the Hill's historic identity is lost. Read more about Landmarks’ position here.

All contemporary photographs are from Greater Portland Landmarks or the City of Portland.

All 1924 images are from the City of Portland’s 1924 tax photos which can be found on The Maine Memory Network.

Landmarks' Next Executive Director

Landmarks' Next Executive Director

To mark the first day of national Preservation Month (May 1), Greater Portland Landmarks’ Board of Trustees announced the appointment of Sarah Hansen as the organization’s next Executive Director. Sarah will start her post on June 17th to allow her to overlap with the long time outgoing executive Director, Hilary Bassett, who retires on June 30th.  Sarah joins the organization at an exciting and critical time for strong historic preservation advocacy in greater Portland as it faces unprecedented development pressure.

 Jane Batzell, chair of the search committee said, “we are ecstatic that Sarah will be Landmark’s next leader. Throughout the interview process she shared an invigorating passion for preservation and community engagement that was infectious.”

The Trade Show Files: The Unique Offerings of Historic Homes with Town & Shore Associates

The Trade Show Files: The Unique Offerings of Historic Homes with Town & Shore Associates

The 2019 Old House Trade Show is just one week away, so we’re sitting down with a few REALTORS® participating in the show to get their perspectives on working with historic homes—and to learn what buyers and homeowners might expect in the process of buying or selling an older home. Below, read our conversation with Town & Shore Associates, LLC, a local real estate brokerage and sponsor of the Old House Trade Show.

The Trade Show Files: Considerations When Selling and Renovating Your Older Home with Tom Landry

The Trade Show Files: Considerations When Selling and Renovating Your Older Home with Tom Landry

With the 2019 Old House Trade Show rapidly approaching, we’re taking a moment to chat with a few REALTORS® participating in the show to get their perspectives on working with historic homes—and to learn about what buyers and homeowners might expect in the process of buying, selling, or renovating an older home. Read our conversation with Tom Landry below, of Benchmark Real Estate and CornerStone Building & Restoration. Both Benchmark and CornerStone are Preservation Sponsors at Landmarks, and the Benchmark team will be joining us as a Corner Sponsor for this year’s show.

The Founding Women of Portland's Preservation Movement

The Founding Women of Portland's Preservation Movement

By Daphne Howland

 Women have been a critical force not only in saving key buildings but also in changing the city’s approach to its historic fabric.

 The American historic preservation movement owes much to women’s volunteer efforts, and the Portland area is no different. The effort often recognized as the first major preservation movement was Ann Pamela Cunningham’s campaign to save George Washington’s Virginia farm, Mount Vernon.

 Today we accept the importance of keeping George Washington’s home as a national treasure, but that wasn’t true in the 19th century when the farm’s future was in doubt. Cunningham formed the Mount Vernon’s Ladies Association, which includes a regent and vice regent from each state and oversees the farm to this day, after receiving a note from her mother in 1853 that read, “If the men of America have seen fit to allow the home of its most respected hero to go to ruin, why can't the women of America band together to save it?”

 “Of course, what we need to remember about women in preservation is that women have been crucial to the movement since the beginning in this country,” says Earle Shettleworth. “In Portland, there’s a long tradition of women playing pivotal roles in the preservation of our past. Probably the first person we would cite would be Ann Longfellow Pierce.”

Edith Sills, right, Bowdoin College Archives image no. 4317

The Trade Show Files: A Realtor's Perspective with Erin of Gardner Real Estate Group

The Trade Show Files: A Realtor's Perspective with Erin of Gardner Real Estate Group

With the 2019 Old House Trade Show just weeks away, we sat down with REALTORS participating in the show to get their perspectives on working with historic homes—and to learn about what buyers and homeowners might expect in the process of buying or selling an older home. Read our conversation with Erin Oldham below, who represents Gardner Real Estate Group, a long time supporter of Landmarks and sponsor of this year’s Trade Show.

Landmarks: How is the sales process different when working with an older home?

Erin: From the listing side, there is a bit more preparation including researching the provenance and story of the home.  When I walk through a home for the first time, I am very focused on documenting the unique features of the home as well as the upgrades in the kitchen/bathroom and all of the systems.  Showings work a bit differently as well: I present the story of the home to the buyers and point out the special features.  It is worth having buyers understand that beyond just purchasing a home, they could become part of the story of the home.  I believe knowing the story enhances the value of the home and also introduces the buyer into the world where stewardship of a home matters and contributes to long-term value.

The Trade Show Files: Ask the Experts

So you have an old house - now what?

A while back Greater Portland Landmarks invited five old house experts (Marc Bagala, Les Fossel, Julie Larry, Arron Sturgis, and Peter Taggart - bios after the conversation) to comment on how to prioritize your plan for any major work on your older or historic home. We asked them how to incorporate plans for sustainability and energy efficiency, how to stay on budget, how to prepare, and more. Here’s how they answered.

Peter Taggart, Marc Bagala, Les Fossel, and Julie Larry, will all be at the 2019 Old House Trade Show, March 30-31, where you can ask these experts more questions about your house. Get Tickets.

What is the first thing to consider?

Julie Larry: The first thing is to determine what are the important features of the house that should be maintained as part of the project, so that a home doesn’t lose its special character.

Peter Taggart: Research, to understand the history of the structure, the materials used, and the condition they’re in.

Arron Sturgis: A complete assessment of the home is the best way to increase appreciation and understanding of it. It provides the basis for knowing the condition, the materials within it, how it was built, and what changes were made over time.

Les Fossel: Ask yourself: do you have the resources (time, money, skills, energy and commitment) to take the project to completion? Don’t trust yourself on this, ask for experienced advice.

Marc Bagala: I want to be sensitive to the owners, their love for their home, and what they’re looking for. I try to design my work around that and their budget. My interview process is to ask a lot of questions.

How do you balance historic preservation with sustainability and energy efficiency?

The Green Book and Portland

The Green Book and Portland

Did you know that Portland was included in this well-known guide book for African Americans travelling in the mid-twentieth century?

The guide book was originated and published by New York City mailman Victor Hugo Green from 1936 to 1966, during the era of Jim Crow laws, when open and often legally prescribed discrimination against non-whites was widespread. Although pervasive racial discrimination and poverty limited car ownership, the emerging African-American middle class bought automobiles as soon as they could afford to do so, but when travelling faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences along the road, from refusal of food and lodging to arbitrary arrest. In response, Green wrote his guide to services and places relatively friendly to African-Americans, eventually expanding its coverage from the New York area to much of the United States. He also founding a travel agency.

The Trade Show Files: Stephanie Brown of Bagala Window Works

The Trade Show Files: Stephanie Brown of Bagala Window Works

One of the best parts of the Old House Trade Show is having the opportunity to chat with exhibitors about their memorable experiences with older homes. It’s also a great opportunity to discuss options for your home projects and find inspiration in the creative solutions offered by all of our exhibitors.

To start the conversation, we caught up with Stephanie Brown, a window technician at Bagala Window Works. An exhibitor at the upcoming 2019 Old House Trade Show, Bagala Window Works (BWW) is a local company and long-time supporter of Greater Portland Landmarks working to preserve the unique heritage of homes through time-tested techniques in window restoration. Stephanie discusses her work with older homes, her favorite window projects, and her perspective as a woman in a skilled trade profession traditionally held by men.