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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.
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.
On the Blog
Written by Charles Hartfelder
Photos by Heath Paley
Today the midcentury modern look is all around us. As the architecture of the modernist movement has come of age, its historical significance is now eligible to receive all the benefits of historic designation. Its unique situation at the crux of modern homebuilding innovation in the 20th century will be remembered as the forbearer of the open-plan ideal of the 21st.
Did you know that May is National Preservation month? We are excited there is a whole month to celebrate what we do every day! In historic cities like ours it can be easy to take our charming historic downtown for granted. Why would anyone want to destroy it? But, before there were citizen groups like Greater Portland Landmarks, buildings were unappreciated, abandoned, and torn down. This was happening in Portland, throughout Maine, and allover the country. Now, not only does our organization exist, but there are city ordinances, historic districts, state and national historic tax credits, and national organizations. However, nothing is safe. As Portland grows new areas are threatened, and with every new federal tax plan, historic tax credits become vulnerable. A month devoted to Historic Preservation reminds us how far we've come, where we are going, and how much is left to be done.
Below are some links, resources, and tools to get you excited about Historic Preservation. Join us!
When Davis took over he immediately wanted to make the building more inviting and prominent to the community. With little money in the budget he did what he could. In 2007-8 he asked the DPW to rip out the giant over grown rhododendrons that blocked the sunlight from pouring in the front glass wall. This also let the light from the library pour out over the little hill that was built around it, making it so distinguishable from a distance. This simple collaboration of city resources highlighted the architecture of the building and made it easier to make the case for more restoration of the library. “Numbers increased drastically” Davis said, “the increased visibility of the building alone, brought more people into it. Period.” Soon after the city started chipping away at other projects. Next the building’s distinctive concrete was preserved.
Mechanics' Hall, built from 1857-9 at 519 Congress Street, Portland, is considered to be the finest work of Thomas J. Sparrow, Portland’s first native architect. Built from Biddeford granite and stone this Italianate style building is adorned with architectural features that highlight the community for which it was built, Maine Charitable Mechanic Association (MCMA). The keystones above each arched window on the front façade are carved with the heads of Vulcan and of Archimedes, and the arm of Labor. The storefronts on the first floor were intended for association members to lease for their own businesses. The core of the original design was to create a permanent home for their library that had been moved between different locations around Portland to accommodate its growing size and use.
Portland’s Black Community has been shaping the city’s history, landscapes, and architecture since the city’s founding. As a major port city, Portland was both a stop on the Underground Railroad and home to a thriving community of free black people who worked the waterfront or worked for the commercial railroads. A few of the buildings that tell their stories remain standing, primarily in the India Street Neighborhood which was founded by free blacks who prospered in Portland’s maritime economy. Those buildings are featured below.
Do You Love Saving Historic Places in Greater Portland?!
Say it Loud and Proud with a Special Valentine!
We are joining the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Heart Bombing Campaign by making Valentines for our favorite historic places around Greater Portland. Help us Spread the Love and bring attention to historic Place that need some extra Love this February in 4 Easy Steps.
Advocacy works. Here are updates on four buildings that Greater Portland Landmarks supported.
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...