In Greater Portland, as in many communities across the nation, historic neighborhood school buildings have been closed due to consolidation or lack of investment in their maintenance. As a consequence many students need to be transported to distant new schools and neighborhoods have lost a vital community asset. Happily, many historic school buildings in Greater Portland have been revitalized by developers for new uses, usually housing. State and Federal Historic Tax Credits have been an important component in many of these conversions.
We had so many wonderful entries to our first Instagram contest that our judges had a hard time choosing. Greater Portland's dynamic, and charming character was certainly revealed. We will be sharing some of our favorite runner-ups on Instagram this week. Thank you to everyone who entered.
Below are the winning pictures! We are already looking forward to
Back when your drafty old place was built, believe me they had energy efficiency in mind. Buildings were oriented so main living areas could take advantage of heat from solar gain, sturdy evergreen trees were planted to block the winter winds and deciduous trees to shade the summer heat, chimney were contructed strageically to take full advantage of the radiant heat from warm masonry and the fire, and they would never have gone to bed without taking the basic step of closing the curtains. Resources were precious.
10 Things You Can Do Over The Weekend to Make Your Old House More Efficient
(efficiency=warmer home +more money in your pocket
+ good for the environment)
1. Install (or begin won the north or draftiest areas) good...
With this in mind we ask our Instagram followers to show us the character of Greater Portland via its doorways in our first Instagram contest. Doorways that catch your eye from a distance, up-close door details and craftsmanship, decorated doors, barn doors, modest and grand doors- we want to see them all.
*Make sure to Like your favorite entries and tell your friends to like yours. There is a prize for most likes!*
Read the blog to learn all the rules and guidelines.
1)Poetry is a good fright.
From Friday, October 21 – Monday, October 31, the Longfellow House hosts a haunted house. They even have two levels of spooky. Based on Longfellow's poem, "Haunted Houses" the event evokes the various family members that died in the Wadsworth-Longfellow House over its long history. Two tours will be offered this year; one for families and one for adults. Treats and drinks will be served. For more information, tour times, and tickets go here.
2)Gardens have their own historic timeline. Where does yours fit in?
The First Lecture in the Greater Portland Landmarks Lecture series is History in Your Own Backyard: The cultural landscape seen every day and the evolving changes in garden design. The talk will be given by award winning Historic Landscape Specialist, Lucinda Brockway. October 25, 6-7 pm, Rines Auditorium, Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square. This lecture is free and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested and appreciated. For more information about the event click here. Looking forward to the lecture? Read the cover article from the last observer on our blog.
3)Don’t let the government scare you…
or on second thought, do just that!
A Garden for the Historic Home
Research and a little thought will go far when landscaping your historic property.
As long as people have built houses in North America, they have also planted gardens. Some plantings are decorative, some are designed to supply cooks with vegetables and herbs. And all were subject to the limits of climate and fashion.
This summer Greater Portland Landmarks was fortunate to have two interns, Liz King and Anastasia Azenaro-Moore. Surveying Portland’s Oakdale neighborhood was their major collaboration and not only did they record important information about this unique neighborhood, they also had an opportunity share knowledge and experience with each other. They both observed that the city is trying to understand the same questions they tackle in their academic studies: how and where do historic preservation, gentrification, housing, and public use all collide? Landmarks was lucky to spend a summer with these dynamic women and the future of historic preservation looks bright.
As communities grow and change, school buildings also need to evolve with the people they are built to serve. In greater Portland there are many examples of school buildings being re-purposed and their architecture and social significance celebrated once again. Now that school is back in session we want to highlight these schools.
In the 1960s Portland lost two great architectural landmarks, with the destruction of Union Station on St. John Street and the Grand Trunk Railroad Station on India Street. With the decline in passenger rail service in the 1960s, both stations were made obsolete. Union Station was replaced by a shopping center, while the Grand Trunk Railroad site is now occupied by a pumping station. The loss of these unique landmarks continues to energize many Portlanders to preserve the city’s historic buildings.