Forest Avenue, Portland
Forest Avenue was and continues to be a critical transportation corridor connecting the peninsula to Deering’s historic neighborhoods and to suburban communities beyond Portland. Transportation nodes along Forest Avenue are significant economic and community centers for the historic neighborhoods on either side of the corridor. Influenced by the number of cars that travel the corridor, mid to late 20th century land uses led to a physical appearance which is out of character with its historic origins as a street car suburb and with the city’s vision for the its future as a urban mixed-use neighborhood.
In anticipation of redevelopment along the corridor, city staff have identified several buildings to be individually designated under the city’s historic preservation ordinance. These include 19th century landmarks like the iconic Odd Fellows Hall, several early 20th century auto showrooms, and a couple of mid-20th century modern buildings like the former Valle’s restaurant, now occupied by Woodford F&B.
Landmarks is working in collaboration with local community organizations to improve public awareness of Forest Avenue's history and significance in the development of Portland. As part of the City's long term development plans to enhance the urban fabric along the Forest Avenue corridor and improve its economic vitality, the City of Portland has created design guidelines that encourage new development that reflects the historic development patterns along the corridor. As part of the that planning, Landmarks continues to advocate for the following:
Context sensitive solutions to new development and infrastructure improvements which contribute to the avenue’s historic character are important to achieving a multimodal transportation network that effectively serves the City of Portland and the surrounding communities.
Designation of potential landmarks properties. The Maine Historic Preservation Commission has identified several buildings at Woodfords Corner and near I-295 that reflect the economic and community importance of the area as individually eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). The city’s proposal would designate some of these resources in advance of development pressures. Properties individually eligible for the NRHP include:
Letter to the editor: Proposed CVS construction on Forest Avenue in Portland troubling Portland Press Herald
It's time to plan creatively for Portland's Forest Avenue transformation Bangor Daily News
About a 100 turn out to hear about Woodfords Corner project Portland Press Herald
What You Can Do
Write the Historic Preservation Board and support the designation of individual buildings along Forest Avenue and at Woodfords Corner.
Sign up for our mailing list to stay informed about advocacy efforts, including meetings at city hall regarding Forest Avenue.
Support the advocacy efforts of Greater Portland Landmarks.