Preservation Easement Program

23 Danforth Street, Portland

23 Danforth Street, Portland

The Gothic House, 387 Spring Street, Portland

The Gothic House, 387 Spring Street, Portland

H.H. Hay Building, Congress Square, Portland

H.H. Hay Building, Congress Square, Portland

127 Pleasant Street, Portland

127 Pleasant Street, Portland

Many owners of historic homes spend an extensive amount of time and resources to preserve their home's significant architectural character. But what happens to a conscientious owner's home after they sell their property? Will new owners understand the significance of the dwelling's architectural features? Will they unknowingly make changes that erode the property's historic character? Once altered or removed, the building elements that make a house significant can never be returned to their original state.

For owners concerned about the future of their beloved home, an option for long-term preservation is the donation of a preservation easement to a qualified non-profit like Greater Portland Landmarks. A preservation easement is a legal agreement used to protect significant building and landscape features of a historic property and is recorded with local land records. In most instances, the easements held by Greater Portland Landmarks are on the exterior of a property only.

Greater Portland Landmarks acquired many easements in the 1970s as part of the organization's Revolving Fund. The Revolving Fund was used to purchase historic properties, restore them, and then sell them with protective covenants. With the establishment of the Revolving Fund in 1971, Landmarks, then a fledgling organization, demonstrated that we were willing to go beyond education and persuasion efforts with hands-on preservation work. Buildings restored under the Revolving Fund include the H.H. Hay Building in Congress Square, the Guptill Building at 10 Moulton Street, and the How Houses at 23 Danforth Street and 40 Pleasant Street.

As private interest in preservation grew and real estate prices increased, Landmarks established in 1985 a Preservation Easement Program that would allow us to protect the historic and architectural integrity of structures without first owning the property. Landmarks most recent easement is on 61 Myrtle Street, a property threatened by demolition at 10 Mechanic Street. The building was moved and restored by the Bayside Neighborhood Association.

For more information on Greater Portland Landmarks' Preservation Easement Program contact: Hilary Bassett, Executive Director (207) 774-5561 or hbassett@portlandlandmarks.org