This summer we have the privilege of being joined by four graduate level interns for 10 weeks to survey off-peninsula Portland neighborhoods. They have brought with them their fresh enthusiasm for historic preservation and their knowledge about what is happening in the preservation world from academia to other parts of the country. Our Director of Advocacy, Julie Larry, has been guiding them through the process and will present on their research this summer and fall. The second part of our Deering Highlands research will be presented on August 28. More details below.
I interrupted their research this morning to ask them how their summer is going. Here is what they had to say! - Chloe Martin
From a young age Madeline Berry has been enthusiastic about preservation and the stories buildings tell, as well as photography. She catalogued every historic streetlight in Newport, Rhode Island and helped write a policy to preserve and maintain them. Originally from Oklahoma, she is in a degree program at Columbia University. She has been documenting the interns at work as well as buildings this summer.
My summer in Portland has been a dream. What could be better than living in a historic, seaside city with a vibrant local culture and passionate residents? While the peninsula is undeniably beautiful, one of my favorite things about this summer has been getting to know the neighborhoods off-peninsula, especially since visitors likely don't venture over there. Each neighborhood we've surveyed (Boulevard Park, East Deering, Morrill's Corner, Nason's Corner, Deering Highlands, and Peaks Island) has it's own unique flair and has welcomed us in its own way. We've met numerous neighborhood cats like Pi on Belknap Street and even some chickens on Essex Street. We've chatted with residents, been invited into homes, and even been shown basements and foundations. Thank you, Portland, for showing us your enthusiasm for your communities and historic fabric.
Her photography has already been in the Press Herald and will grace the cover of our magazine this August, but I think we are all proudest of her "Cats in the Field" series from the interns neighborhood survey days.
Rosa Fry has been a volunteer at Preservation Austin in Texas conducting cultural resource surveys for three neighborhoods and preparing their annual preservation merit awards. She is excited by the potential for preservation as a tool for community engagement open to all, and breaking old stereotypes of preservation as a barrier, or only for a limited few. Originally from Rhode Island, she is in a degree program at the University of Texas.
It’s been so delightful to escape the Texas summer heat while interning in Portland this summer! Surveying the Deering neighborhood has been an education in Italianate and Queen Anne architecture from humble to high style. Our other work has taken us all over Portland, from Peaks Island to Morrill’s Corner, sometimes with a stop for snacks!
During their Deering Highlands research Big Sky Bakery in the historic garage was a frequent stop!
Lauren Patterson is involved with potential historic district designation in the Millard Square neighborhood in Athens, Georgia, which is facing development pressure and currently under a moratorium. Local preservationists are reassuring residents that designation is a proven tool to manage change. Sound familiar? She wants to specialize in community advocacy and sustainability. Originally from Florida, she is studying at the University of Georgia.
Coming to Portland for the summer has been an amazing opportunity to learn more about preservation surveying and advocacy; compare the architecture to what I see in Georgia; and sample all the whoopie pies I can find!
She has more research to do before she declares which whoopie pie is her favorite!
Sam Shupe has been researching the popularity of cycling at the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries in Maine from multiple perspectives, including how it changed the way men and women experienced the state’s landscape. He loves to teach and to research architectural and landscape history as a basis for designing tours and outreach programs to inspire in others a love of history. Originally from Deering himself, he is nearly finished with his doctorate from Boston University.
Despite being born and raised in the Deering neighborhood of Portland, I've discovered some remarkable historical gems I overlooked in my adolescence. Dotted between turn-of-the-century kit and catalogue homes--like the one I grew up in--are spectacular mid-19th century farmhouses and barns. Overlooked by my childhood eyes, the intricate fabric of the neighborhood's architectural quilt have leaped into focus while I've surveyed this summer.
He made sure his fellow treat enthused interns "from away" experienced local history landmarks such as Tony's Donuts.
Julie Larry will present their research on August 28, 2018
Through architectural field surveying and archival research, the interns have uncovered significant patterns of domestic, commercial, and transportation developments in the neighborhood of Deering.
Outdoors in the field, they have found a blend of mid-19th century farmhouses and carriage barns along side early 20th century Italianate and Queen Anne homes. Indoors in the archive, their work with deeds, tax maps, city directories, and trolley maps has resulted in a coherent story of suburban growth.
As public transit to and from Portland evolved in the form of horse-drawn and electric streetcars in the mid to late 19th century, landowners and developers divided tracts of farmland into individual housing plots. Occasionally creating entire streets at a time, these builders and investors facilitated the metamorphosis of the neighborhood into the suburban community as we know it today.
Join us on August 28th at the Woodfords Club to learn more about this history as well as the past and present residents who turned a development of houses into a community of homes. - Sam Shupe