With its magnificent architecture in the heart of a bustling seaport, The Custom House was recently restored to its 1872 glory. The building has been closed to the public since 2001 except through this special 30 minute guided tour. Come see the space a young United States of America created to impress merchants from abroad as they came into Portland, one of the country's biggest, busiest and vital harbors at the time.
Wednesdays June 28, 2017 - October 25, 2017
Elegant Federal mansions, Greek Revival residences, and high style Italianate houses grace this tour of the Spring Street Historic District, added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Let one of our guides take you through this variety of ornate architectural styles as they tell the story of how Portland and its most wealthy residents put their success on display one building at a time. Along the way you will also see magnificent cathedrals and more modest housing built to accommodate the burgeoning 19th century Portland.
July 18, 2017 - October 6, 2017
Tuesdays & Fridays at 10 AM
Meet at Greater Portland Landmarks
93 High Street, Portland ME 04101
$10 per person. Advanced tickets not required,but appreciated
For day of tickets, call 207-774-5561
Every home has a story if you know how to uncover it. With this program you will learn how to research the history of an historic home and share its story. During the classroom portion of the class you will learn to identify architectural styles and to understand the historical background of residential buildings in Portland.
The program will conclude with a walking tour of...
Lecture and Reception with Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
Learn about mid-century modern residential, religious, and civic architecture in this afternoon program and celebration. Maine State Historian Earle Shettleworth will present an illustrated talk about Maine's mid-century modern domestic architecture at Holy Cross Church (1958). Afterwards, cross the street for a public reception to mark the 50th birthday of the South Portland Public Library (1967). Registration and Admission fee required for 2:30 pm lecture at Holy Cross Church, 124 Cottage Road, South Portland. 4 pm public reception at South Portland Public Library, free and open to everyone. 482 Broadway, South Portland.
Portland has eleven local historic districts and if you own property or are thinking about owning property in one of those districts do you know exactly what that means? With this program you’ll learn the guidelines that govern exterior changes along with the criteria for construction and renovations. In addition, this program will describe the designation process for landmark buildings and historic districts.
The program will conclude with a walk in...
Join Landmarks to celebrate the creative rehabilitation of one of our first sites named a Place in Peril in 2012, the former Maine National Guard Armory in South Portland! View the elements that made this project so distinctive at our Annual Meeting during which we will announce 2017’s most endangered properties.
Learn the history of kit homes in America and Maine
and learn how to spot them on your own!
The American Dream of home ownership was fostered by reformers, developers, and building material companies in the early 20th century. This program will discuss the history of ...
In the late 19th century the woody ledges and farmland in Deering’s Highlands emerged as one of the city’s premier residential neighborhoods. A horse drawn trolley line, introduced in 1863, helped fuel the area’s early growth, as did the aftermath of the 1866 fire and overcrowding in Portland’s peninsula neighborhoods. The first developers in Deering were looking for land for large homes with gardens and orchards in a rustic landscape.
Landmarks is wrapping up the first of a two-year survey to document these residences. Join us on August 29th to discover the history and treasures of one of Portland's most beautiful suburban neighborhoods. The evening will feature a presentation on our recent work and light refreshments.
This public presentation is being supported in part by a grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
Explore of of Greater Portland Landmark's Places in Peril by boat!
Portland Paddle has designed a special tour of Fort Gorges for the Greater Portland Landmarks Community! Learn the latest about the preservation of this landmark while exploring the elegant granite halls, dark passageways and towering ramparts of Fort Gorges.
Join Greater Portland Landmarks for a fascinating look at the late 19th century bicycle phenomenon here in Portland with a lecture and bike tour through the historic Deering section of Portland with PHD candidate Sam Shupe. You are welcome to attend the free lecture without going on the bike tour.
Monday, July 17, 5:30 pm
A collaborative program with Maine Historical Society
On July 17, 1817, newly elected U.S. President James Monroe and a small entourage arrived in Portland Maine midway through a tour of the northern states.
In commemoration of this historic tour, join us at Maine Historical Society as historian Herb Adams interviews “ President Monroe” followed by a short walking tour of the neighborhood focusing on Monroe’s visit to Portland. The evening ends at the Portland Observatory for “cameras and conversation” – have your photo taken with the President and enjoy refreshments, as well as the views from the Observatory just like the president did in 1817.
$15 MHS and GPL Members; $20 general admission. Space is limited. Tickets available on MHS website. If you are a Landmarks Member, click on the MHS Member price.
Trefethen-Evergreen Improvement Association on Peaks Island hosts a lectures series on the island every summer. This year they asked Julie Larry, Director of Advocacy for Greater Portland Landmarks to speak. She will share stories about efforts to conserve the historic character of Portland as the city experiences a building boom. What’s happening with House Island? What’s in store for the former Portland Yacht Yard site? What’s happening along the India Street corridor? What buildings and views do we know will be preserved and what may change?" A wonderful reason to visit the island on a July evening. Click for the event page.
For more information on the Trefethen Evergreen Improvement Association and their historic building visit their webpage.
From the first flame to the smoldering embers, follow the path of the Great Fire of 1866 with historian Herb Adams and Greater Portland Landmarks. This one-evening only trolley/walking tour will be held on Thursday, July 6th recognizing the 151st anniversary of the Great Fire. Herb Adams will provide a colorful narration of the events leading up to the Fire and share the amazing stories of the people and places that survived its extensive path of destruction that left over 10,000 people homeless.
This tour will begin at Ghost Fence with John Sundling, discussing his work. Afterwards, Julie Larry will guide participants through the neighborhoods most affected by Portland's urban renewal.
Mid Mod: Be There or Be Square
Friday, June 9th, 2017
6:30 to 10:00 p.m.
Baxter Boulevard, Portland
A celebration of mid-century modern architecture and culture, inspired by the early 1960s. Period food, music, and dancing! with tours of a classic 1961 home, surprises through the evening, a rousing live auction of food, travel, and cultural experiences, and a playlist of favorites for those who want to dance "holes in their soles!"
This Place Matters!
Join us for a special Preservation Month tour of the India Street neighborhood. The walking tour will focus on the neighborhood’s early 19th century African-American history and will end with a special tour of the A Distant Holla art exhibition at the Abyssinian Meeting House, one of Landmarks’ Places In Peril. Landmarks’ Places in Peril program draws attention to Greater Portland’s vulnerable historic places and serves as a catalyst for adaptive reuse and community revitalization.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
12 pm - 1:30 pm
Tour will meet outside of 1 India Street, Portland, ME 04101
Price: $15/pp (nonmembers) $10/pp (members) Limit: 20 people.
Register online or call 774-5561.
Celebrate National Scavenger Hunt Day
with Greater Portland Landmarks!
Do you like a good riddle? Just love historic places? Play along by yourself or form a team and solve the clues to win serious bragging rights and one lucky person will win a gift certificate donated by Silly's Restaurant!
Woodfords Corner Celebration 2017:
IOOF: The Fellowship and the Building
Thursday, May 11th, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
2nd Floor, I.O.O.F. Block, 651 Forest Ave, Portland, ME 04103
Join us to learn more about the history of the Odd Fellows Block and the organization that built this neighborhood landmark. Light refreshments and tours of the building. Free and open to the public. Space is limited so reservation is required.
We are very proud and excited to be featured at Portland Greendrinks
Tuesday, May 9 from 5:30 pm -8 pm
at Ocean Gate Plaza, 511 Congress Street!
$5 BYOV (Bring your own vessel) or $10 Corn Cup • 21+ • BRING YOUR ID!
Raise a Glass to Historic Preservation with us during Preservation Month!
Historic Preservation is closely linked with energy efficiency. Learn more at the event.
Portland Greendrinks is part of the international Greendrinks network — an informal, volunteer-managed social networking group built around a common interest in the natural environment. It occurs on the second Tuesday of every month, starting at 5:30 pm. The goal of Greendrinks is pretty simple: good times shared among people working in, or interested in, environmental and sustainability issues. Portland Greendrinks is a project of the Maine-based non-profit, The Triceratops Group, founded by Elliott May in January 2010.
Thank you to Ocean Gate Plaza for hosting us! Why hold it at 511 Congress Street?
ONE MAINE SAVINGS BANK, 511 CONGRESS STREET, 1973-1974
More famous in the “other Portland,” Pietro Belluschi (1899-1994) was commissioned to design the Modern building at 511 Congress Street for Maine Savings Bank in 1972, the same year he received the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects, the highest official honor of the American architectural profession.
Born in Italy, Belluschi, trained as an engineer at the University of Rome and attended Cornell University. He then practiced in Portland, Oregon before heading the school of architecture and planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1951-1965.
Mr. Belluschi frequently designed buildings in association with larger firms that would provide backup and technical support, leaving him free to make major design decisions. On One Maine Savings Bank he collaborated with Jung/Brannen Associates of Boston, whom he knew from his time at MIT. The two also collaborated on One Financial Center, an office tower in Boston, completed in the early 1980's.
The key elements of One Maine Savings Bank building are the embracing wings of the low street-side building that form a sunny gathering space, the relationship of the building to the topography of the street with the raised entrance to the building following the natural slope of Congress Street, and the unified dark coppery-brown color of the low mass along the street and the tower behind.
Other Pietro Belluschi works include:
Portland Art Museum, Portland OR
Equitable Building, 1948, Portland OR
Pan Am Building, New York NY
Juilliard School, New York NY
Bank of America, San Francisco CA
RESCHEDULED for May 6!
Older homes don't come with
Luckily, We're Here to Help.
You have a chance to get your questions answered by experts at
Preservation in Action
A morning of workshops with local preservation experts
who can help you with updating your older home!
Open to everyone interested in learning best practices
in repairing, renewing older buildings and enhancing traditional designs.
Co-Sponsored byTEMPO Arts and USM Department of History and Political Science
The American Dream of home ownership was fostered in the early 20th century by Sears Roebuck, Montgomery Ward, and other national companies through sales of their pre-cut and ready to assemble homes. In Greater Portland a few local examples of these kit homes have been identified and researched by Greater Portland Landmarks, including a concentration of homes in the 1920s-era Oakwood Heights subdivision near USM. The lecture will explain the architectural styles popularized through kit homes, tell the story of the companies that sold houses through the mail, and pass along ways you can help to locate potential kit homes in your neighborhood.
Opportunities for Horticulture
Dennis Collins, Horticultural Curator, Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, Tuesday, April 18, 2017, 6-7pm.
ree and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested and appreciated.
Why Your World Looks the Way It Does and Why It Matters:
Cultural Landscape as Visual Culture
Kent Ryden, Professor Emeritus of American and New England Studies, University of Southern Maine
Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, Tuesday, March 21, 2017, 6-7pm.
ree and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested and appreciated.
We have added an addition date! This lecture will now be held on both February 26th and March 12. February 26th is almost full.
Join us for a presentation on the architectural and cultural history of three suburban street car neighborhoods along the Forest Avenue Corridor, the Oakdale, Fessenden Park and Oakwood Heights subdivisions. Landmarks has spent two years conducting research on these important off-peninsula neighborhoods. The event is presented by Greater Portland Landmarks with support from the University Neighborhood Organization and the HopeGateWay United Methodist Church.
Street Car Suburbs Along the Forest Avenue Corridor:
The Oakdale, Fessenden Park, and Oakdale Heights Neighborhoods
We are excited to be a part of of this Benchmark Real Estate Holiday Soiree. Hope to see you there!
The text below is from their facebook event page. Visit that page by clicking here.
**This is a FREE event in support of local charity. Our way of giving back this holiday season. Please attend!**
Please join Benchmark for our first annual "FOUR A CAUSE" holiday soiree. No, that's not a typo. We've selected four awesome charities, and everyone who attends will be handed cold, hard cash to donate to the cause of their choice. Plus, we'll be sharing eats from Aurora Provisions and rocking out to Model Airplane.
Benchmark's FOUR A CAUSE Holiday Soiree
Tuesday, December 6th
5 pm - 9 pm
Portland House of Music
FREE and open to the public
Portland Buy Local
Greater Portland Landmarks
We look forward to celebrating the season and supporting these great causes with all our clients and friends from over the years. Free and open to the public. Come as you are right after work for nosh and conversation, or come closer to 7 pm for the rockin' tunes.
With generous support from Faces Maine by Maine Magazine and Portland Phoenix.
Why You Can’t Buy
a Forest in a Can:
Managing and Restoring Diversity in our Woodlands and Gardens
William Cullina, Director of Horticulture/Plant Curator, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens
Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, Tuesday, November 15, 2016, 6-7pm. Free and open to the public. A $10 donation at the door is suggested and appreciated.
Photo by: Jim O'Reilly
The Portland Observatory is excited to welcome trick-or-treaters and their families on October 31 from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. Mrs. Emma Crosby Moody (the wife of Lemuel Moody, the founder of the tower) will be on hand to welcome visitors and hand out candy. Be prepared for some spooky surprises at the country’s only Maritime Signal Tower. First floor ONLY of the Observatory will be open and decorated. Take advantage of this off-season opportunity to enjoy the Portland Observatory!
Munjoy Hill is the place to be on Halloween. The Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization is making sure lots of house and businesses are ready for any vampires, ghosts, royalty, animals, or werewolves that might be out and about on October 31.
Here is the info from MHNO: "It's Halloween on Munjoy Hill & We Need YOU! ~ We're getting FRIGHTENINGLY close to All Hollows Eve and wanna give our little boys and ghouls plenty of choices while skipping, spooking and flying around the neighborhood in search of treats. Please sign-up to be a Halloween Hill House! All you'll need to do is turn a light on, pass out a little candy and allow us to add you to our trick-or-treat map. It's a great way to bring trick-or-treat back to the Hill while making things a little safer for our little ninjas, vampires and princesses. Please contact Laura.Greenstein@MunjoyHill.org to put your name on the list; then just grab your candy bowl and celebrate a fun (and SAFE!) Halloween!"
History in Your Own Backyard:
The cultural landscape seen every day and the evolving changes in garden design
Historic Landscape Specialist, Past Designs
Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, Tuesday, October 25, 2016. 6-7pm
Free and open to the public. A $10 donation is suggested and appreciated.
Please join us
to celebrate twelve outstanding
historic preservation leaders and projects.
4:00 PM: Explore two centuries of architecture with 30 minute walking tours of the neighborhood. Last tour leaves at 4:50.
5:30 PM: Preservation Awards and brief annual meeting. Annual meeting business will contain member approval of updated by-laws. To read the updated by-laws click here.
6:30 PM: Reception with celebratory refreshments. Suggested contribution of $20.
Online Registration is Closed
If you would like to register please call 207-774-5561
Banner Photograph by David Carkhuff
Boston University PhD student Sam Shupe will present an illustrated lecture that explores the bicycle's impact on the social, cultural, and physical landscape of Portland and South Portland followed by an optional roughly 10-mile guided bicycle tour of Portland and South Portland to spaces of historical bicycle significance.
We will board a trolley and proceed to the place where the fire is thought to have started. The trolley will wind its way up to City Hall where, weather permitting, we will disembark and walk down Exchange Street, through the heart of the fire’s destruction. We will then re-board the trolley and continue on the tour, viewing buildings that survived the fire and ending at the Portland Observatory where we’ll climb to the top to look at the city as those in1866 did after the fire.
From the first flame to the smoldering embers, follow the path of the Great Fire of 1866 with historian Herb Adams and Greater Portland Landmarks on a unique trolley/walking tour on Tuesday, June 28th at 6pm.Tour attendees will meet at Long Wharf (170 Commercial Street) to begin the tour. Cost is $40 per person. $35 for Greater Portland Landmarks members and includes admission to the Portland Observatory. Reservations are required and space is limited to 30 people. Get your tickets.
The 2016 Historic House Gala was a huge success! We are so grateful to our corporate sponsors, benefactors, hosts, and all of our attendees – thanks to you, we raised over $55,00 to support Landmarks’ education program for children and adults.
Click here for a photo gallery of the evening by Arthur Fink, and stay tuned for details about our 2017 event!