11 Things to do in Fall 2018

To use a term from Mary Berry of the Great British Bake Off, this fall is cram-jam full with history, architecture, and community events. Organizations all over the region are in a celebratory mood, from our own Preservation Awards to an architecture-inspired costume party. This fall you can take a musical stroll, have a reason to say “Happy Tercentennial!”, trick-or-treat at a Portland icon, and so much more.

1) Musical Stroll - Thursday, September 13, at 5 pm

At the Kotzschmar Organ (Landmarks Preservation Award Winner) in Merrill Auditorium and then a stroll to other historic instruments.

We have taken some walking tours in our days – but never an organ-themed one with libations!  The Victoria Mansion and Friends of the Kotzschmar Organ have teamed up to offer this musical tour called, From Calliopes to Kotzschmar: A Musical Stroll with Victoria Mansion. “This event includes light fare and libations, demonstrations of a variety of Kotzschmar organs, and an exclusive tour of a privately owned 1909 Hope-Jones organ.”

2) Getting to Yarmouth before 295 - Tuesday, September 18, at 7 pm

Yarmouth History Center

If you have read our latest magazine, you know that Landmarks is thinking about transportation and what lessons we should learn from transportation decisions made long ago. While our article focused on Deering, George Barrett is picking up the conversation in his lecture, Transportation to and from Yarmouth, 1850-1950. This lecture will “detail the far-reaching changes in regional transportation in the dynamic century between 1850 and 1950, as train networks expanded, trolley lines appeared, and automobile use increased.

3) Kit Homes = American Dream Homes, Tuesday, September 18, 7 pm

The Buxton-Hollis Historical Society - this will put the Greater in Greater Portland

We know we are partial to Julie Larry’s lectures but we aren’t the only ones! Julie will be sharing her research on Kit Homes in Greater Portland at the Buxton-Hollis Historical Society. The American Dream of home ownership was fostered by reformers, developers, and building material companies in the early 20th century. You may even be living in a Sears Catalog House or have in your older home an architectural feature, such as a mantel, purchased by mail. We have seen this lecture and know its good.

4) Happy Tercentennial, Falmouth! Wednesday, September 19, 2 pm

 The Streets of West Falmouth

 A 300th anniversary only comes once. Continue Falmouth’s Tercentennial celebration with a bus tour of Falmouth Historic Sites. “Join Falmouth Parks & Community Programs for a guided tour of West Falmouth, showcasing Falmouth historic sites and narrated by the Falmouth Historical Society.  Learn about Falmouth's rich history and see the places where those stories played out on the landscape all from the comfort of the Community Programs shuttle.”


5) Happy Sestercentennial, PFD! Saturday, September 22, at 10 am

In the Arts District – Near Landmarks’ Safford House

Thank goodness for the Portland Fire Department! For better or worse, Portland has been shaped by a long and sordid affair with fire. Celebrate the fire department’s 250th anniversary with a good old-fashioned parade full of historic fire trucks and pipe and drum bands! It will go right by Landmarks Headquarters too.  For the parade route and more info visit the city’s website.

6) Preservation Awards + Celebration, Wednesday, September 27 at 4:30 pm

The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods – you gotta see this building!

The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods was once listed as a Place in Peril. Restored, and ready for its new purpose, the Motherhouse is getting a Preservation Award along with 7 other worthy people and projects.  Come get a tour of the Motherhouse, celebrate the Preservation Award winners, and for Landmarks members, get some annual meeting business out of the way…

Award-worthy preservation is happening all around us -from buildings like the Motherhouse to the creator of 52 short history videos for the people. Raise a glass to the best of the best with Landmarks at this fun event!

7) Earle Shettleworth Presents:Portland’s First Architect, Thomas J. Sparrow, Wednesday, October 10, at 7 pm

At Mechanics Hall designed by Sparrow specifically for Mechanics/Makers

When Earle Shettleworth gives a lecture, you’d better get a ticket. Shettleworth “will lecture on the untold story of the Mechanics’ Hall architect Thomas J. Sparrow. The title of Shettleworth's talk is Buildings for All Times and Seasons: The Work of Thomas J. Sparrow, Portland’s First Professional Architect.  This even is put on by the Maine Charitable Mechanics Association to benefit a new era of the organization. Today’s Maine Mechanics are members of the modern makers movement. They are innovators, inventors, and artisans building a community that is creative, ingenious, skilled, and entrepreneurial.” 

8) Neighborhood History Nights, Three Thursdays in October, 6 pm

When Julie Larry comes to your neighborhood, you go to her presentation (and probably learn about your own house!) Through historic maps, images, and recent research, Julie will share the history of three distinct neighborhoods. All events are free and open to the public. Pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  

 Thursday, October 11 – Peaks Island, at the 5th Maine Regiment, 45 Seashore Ave

Thursday, October 18 – East Deering, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 678 Washington St.

Thursday, October 25 – Nason’s Corner, at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church 515 Woodfords St.


9) Old Building Workshops, Three Wednesdays in October, 9 am

Landmarks Headquarters, The Safford House, 93 High Street, Portland

Landmarks is hosting three workshops for owners (or future owners or those that work with owners) of older buildings. Not to brag, but these workshops are led by Maine’s top experts in this subject matter. Don’t miss a chance to learn from the best in a small workshop. Seats fill up fast. Advanced registration required. Click on each event for more info. REALTORS: These qualify for 3 CEUs!

Wednesday, October 17, Help your Building Get to the Next Century: Energy Perfromance, Sustainability, and Durability with Peter Taggart

Wednesday, October 24, What Does it Mean to Own Property in a Local Historic District? – with Hilary Bassett, Executive Director

Wednesday, October 31, Residential Architecture: Uncovering the Story of Your Historic Building – with Julie Larry, Directory of Advocacy.


10) Beaux Arts Ball - Thursday, October 25, 6 pm

At The Armory at The Portland Masonic, a you-need-to-see-the-inside historic building.

Landmarks loves a costume party and the Portland Society for Architecture’s Beaux Arts Ball is no joke. What is a Beaux Arts Ball, you ask? “It began in the 17th century, when students at the National Academy of Architecture, Painting and Sculpture in Paris, staged epic masquerade balls at the end of their exams with elaborate costumes modeled after architectural themes that encouraged freedom of expression and social equity for the disguised.” Not only a costume party but an historic one created by building lovers?! Yes Please!


11) Halloween! Wednesday, October 31, 5 – 8 pm

The Portland Observatory – you know the big red tower on Munjoy Hill

“Trick-or-Treat!” – Lemuel Moody

OK, we don’t know if Lemuel ever said this cute/menacing Halloween greeting but we do know he loved for people to have any reason to celebrate at the Observatory. The mighty Tower is excited to welcome trick-or-treaters and their families on Halloween from 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm. Some ghosts of the Tower's past will be on hand to welcome visitors and hand out candy. Come for some spooky fun at the country's only Maritime Signal Tower.  First floor ONLY of the Observatory will be open.

OK, you’re right, that is technically 17 things under 11 bullets. Lucky you! Which events will we see you at?!