Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

pvenne

Decades of development in Portland

Recommended Posts

1910: Fidelity Trust Co. builds the city's first skyscraper, at Monument Square. At 10 stories, it is the tallest building in New England.;

1916: The Portland Bridge, spanning Fore River between Portland and South Portland, is built to replace a 19th century wooden bridge. Residents impressed by the price tag call it the Million Dollar Bridge. The bridge remains a vital link between the two cities until it is replaced by the $ 130 million Casco Bay Bridge in 1997.;

1920s: The dominant mode of transportation begins to change, from trolleys to cars. The rise in personal rather than public transportation moves business from the center of the city to its fringes. It eventually kills the city's trolley and steamship services.;

1922: The Maine State Pier opens as a cargo pier to help Portland stay competitive as a worldwide port for wood pulp, grain and other commodities. The city nevertheless loses business to Canadian ports and the pier's tall grain conveyors are demolished in the 1940s and 1950s.;

1924: Deering High School, Central Fire Station and the Clapp and Chapman buildings rise as the city goes through a building boom. The Chapman Building, at Congress and Preble streets, is the tallest in the state at 12 stories.;

1947: The Maine Turnpike is completed from Kittery to Portland at a cost of about $ 20 million. Although not intended to do so, the turnpike lets tourists bypass Portland, which slumps economically after World War II.;

1953: Portland's first television station, WPMT, Channel 53, airs but goes dead 15 months later. WCSH, Channel 6, becomes the second television station in 1953. It survives and thrives, and in 1954 it's joined by WGAN, Channel 13,and WMTW, Channel 8.;

1961: Historic structures fall and urban renewal begins. Union Station, St. Stephen' s Church, the Falmouth Hotel, the Grand Trunk Railroad and the old marble Post Office are torn down within a few years of each other. By the early 1970s, Interstate 295 and Franklin Street Arterial cut through the city, and the Casco Bank high-rise looms over Monument Square.;

1970s: "Hippy" entrepeneurs take advantage of cheap rents to revitalize the Old Port. The run-down area evolves into the city's primary place for shopping, restaurants, entertainment and tourists.;

1977: The Cumberland County Civic Center opens on Spring Street. The arena completes years of redevelopment in the area, during which the downtown Holiday Inn and the Spring Street Arterial are built.;

1985: One City Center opens. It is the major piece in a series of downtown building projects that includes 100 Middle Street Plaza, One Portland Square and Two Portland Square. Office building construction comes to a halt by 1991 as a recession slows the economy.;

1990s: As Portland emerges from the recession, Elizabeth Noyce becomes its largest benefactor. Noyce and her non-profit Libra Foundation help bring retail back to the heart of the city by buying 542 Congress St. and luring L.L. Bean, then building the Portland Public Market on Cumberland Avenue between Preble and Elm streets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


Does anyone know if the first part of this is true (that the first "skyscraper in portland, which was bukit in 1910 and is 10 stories tall) was the tallest in new england...or did it mean to say the tallest in NNE? I have done a short search on emporis.com and I only found a handful of boston buildings from this same time period or before. They are all under 13 stories so I am wondering if this portland building might have actually been taller in feet than all of them...seems unlikely, but from the pics on emporis, anything is possible....wouldn't that be funny...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1916: The Portland Bridge, spanning Fore River between Portland and South Portland, is built to replace a 19th century wooden bridge. Residents impressed by the price tag call it the Million Dollar Bridge. The bridge remains a vital link between the two cities until it is replaced by the $ 130 million Casco Bay Bridge in 1997. :lol:

I found this picture of the old post office online once but can't seem to locate it now. It was a beaut.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.