Portland, ME - The Existing Environment

markhb

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Since the "New Development" thread tends to get sidetracked from time to time, I'm creating this one where we can discuss anything that already exists in the city. From the Deacon Bailey House to the Bay House and beyond, if the cranes are gone and the owners have the keys, this is the place to talk about it! Hopefully we can have some good discussions and it won't just be a place for me to vent about how much I hate 2 Monument Square ;) .
 

Allagash

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I would be very curious if anyone knows what the deal is with the vacant store front space in the maine med garage on congress st?
it still has a dirt floor and there hasn't been zero progress in there since the garage opened quite awhile back now, seems the rent is a bit high for the area, free parking though..sorta. You would think they would finish it and atleast make it suitable for an office or something other then just sitting on it.
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=...8vUmeX02jWM9z3XH6tyONBQ&bvm=bv.65058239,d.cWc
 

Corey

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I am also surprised that Maine Med hasn't just put some offices in there in the meantime. It's probably a tough spot to market due to the location, but for the hospital it would obviously be a convenient location.

The first floor space of the Ocean Gateway Parking Garage has also been vacant since finished and still has a dirt floor.
 

markhb

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When I saw remembrances of the former Post Office building in the Portland Development thread, it reminded me both of this thread which I created, and of this building which was lost in the past few months (and since this one meant a great deal to my family, it falls into the category of "don't get me started"....)





 
P

Patrick

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Thanks for sharing those pics, we have a lot of fond memories of St. Pat's too.
 

Hubman

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Portland has a pretty decent skyline for a small city.

Tallest Buildings:

1
Franklin Towers Portland 16 175 ft 1969
2
One Monument Square Portland 10 144 ft 1970
3
84 Marginal Way Portland 10 135 ft 2008
4
People's United Bank Building Portland 11 135 ft 1909
5
Portland City Hall Portland 4 130 ft 1912
6
Promenade East Condominiums Portland 13 110 ft 1975
7
Portland Data Center Portland 8 108 ft 1908
8
Harbor Terrace Portland 8 101 ft 1971
9
Ocean Gateway Garage Portland 6 101 ft 2008
10
Deering Pavilion Portland 11 101 ft -
 

Portlander

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You are missing four of Portland's tallest: Time & Temperature Building @ 14/162 ft (1924), Back Bay Tower @ 15/165 ft (1987), One City Center @ 13/152 ft (1985), and Westin Harborview Hotel @ 14/165 ft (1927). One Portland Square, Two Monument Square, 511 Congress Street and One Canal Plaza are all 10 story structures located downtown and are also missing from the list.
 

SHAZBAT73

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I'm assuming Hubman got a lot of that data from Emporis.com, a website I contribute to. A lot of those figures are from data I've submitted over the last couple of years. If there are links OR hard data such as newspaper articles out there with the missing height information, please let me know. Just in this last week Emporis approved my submissions of the Twitchell-Champlin Building, 161 York Street and 20 Thames street. Feed me the info guys!!!

Edit: I'm not sure where, but I saw a historical source that mentioned the People's United Bank Building being 144 feet tall. It's worth further review.
 

DZH22

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Hubman

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You are missing four of Portland's tallest: Time & Temperature Building @ 14/162 ft (1924), Back Bay Tower @ 15/165 ft (1987), One City Center @ 13/152 ft (1985), and Westin Harborview Hotel @ 14/165 ft (1927). One Portland Square, Two Monument Square, 511 Congress Street and One Canal Plaza are all 10 story structures located downtown and are also missing from the list.
My apologies. Thank you for bringing that to my attention.
 

Hubman

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I'm assuming Hubman got a lot of that data from Emporis.com, a website I contribute to. A lot of those figures are from data I've submitted over the last couple of years. If there are links OR hard data such as newspaper articles out there with the missing height information, please let me know. Just in this last week Emporis approved my submissions of the Twitchell-Champlin Building, 161 York Street and 20 Thames street. Feed me the info guys!!!

Edit: I'm not sure where, but I saw a historical source that mentioned the People's United Bank Building being 144 feet tall. It's worth further review.
Yep, I got 'em from Emporis. There were some other sources, but I usually trust Emporis more because data really is their business.
 

Hubman

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I found a few good "skyline" shots on flickr that I posted to skyscrapercity. This is one of my 3 favorite New England cities outside Boston/Cambridge, along with Providence and New Haven. (Albany obviously just misses the "New England" cut but is another semi-local gem)

Skyline from Munjoy Hill, July 2016 by Corey Templeton, on Flickr

Portland, Maine by TrekkinD-47, on Flickr

On the Water, September 2015 by Corey Templeton, on Flickr
I love watching the Time+Temp building flash it's CALL JOE sign. Apparently, it used to say THE BANK day in and day out.
 

Portlander

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Sadly, the Time & Temperature Building (originally the Chapman Building) is in dire need of some refurbishing/renovations. Previous owners have neglected the classic structure for decades and it's occupancy rate has suffered greatly. I envision a major makeover in the next few years and would not be surprised to see retail on the lower level and condos or market rate apartments on the upper floors.

"THE BANK" was advertising for the former The Portland Savings Bank which eventually became the People's Heritage Bank/TD Bank currently located in One Portland Square. The tower was also the headquarters for Casco Bank and Trust for many years until they moved in to their new building at One Monument Square in 1970.
 

Hubman

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Sadly, the Time & Temperature Building (originally the Chapman Building) is in dire need of some refurbishing/renovations. Previous owners have neglected the classic structure for decades and it's occupancy rate has suffered greatly. I envision a major makeover in the next few years and would not be surprised to see retail on the lower level and condos or market rate apartments on the upper floors.

"THE BANK" was advertising for the former The Portland Savings Bank which eventually became the People's Heritage Bank/TD Bank currently located in One Portland Square. The tower was also the headquarters for Casco Bank and Trust for many years until they moved in to their new building at One Monument Square in 1970.
Oh. I don't know why anyone would like to advertise on there if you only get two words to say.
 

markhb

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This is the best place I know of to ask this: can anyone identify the island(s) where most of the photos in this article were taken? The ones "on a boat off of the Head Light" are obvious, but I'm not sure of the ones on land.
 

cneal

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The building and pier in the 4th photo give it away – it's a boathouse on Little Diamond Island. Google maps:
 

TC_zoid

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Yes, that top 10 Portland tall building list from Emporis is highly (pun) inaccurate. It's best to reference the source in that type of posting, so that other searches can be done for cross referencing. And, though sorry to say, if Portland's central peninsula core was not a hill--62 feet higher--the downtown buildings would barely pop up above its plethora of six story structures. We probably wouldn't even be here, discussing the tall building subject in this blog. Another stat or idea that irks me is that Portland is such a tiny city, or town, with only 66,000 people. I was in El Paso, Texas for a few weeks for work, and loved it's culture and vibe. It reminded me of Portland in so many ways, including size in look and feel. But then I did a population search and it was around the same population as Boston, and nearly 200,000 more than Miami's. What? I spend a lot of time in Boston and Miami, and both of these cities feel--and are--SIGNIFICANTLY bigger than El Paso in so many measures. I always like to point out that a true measure of a city's size is the metro area stat, of which Portland lands at around half-a-million, thus greater than Manchester, NH and Halifax, NS. I would also add--for the summer--another stat for Portland. It would be actual number of people staying the night in the "town." If you count the many hotels and airbnb stays it's probably taking it to nearly 80,000.
 
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Portlander

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^ Another example where the actual city population doesn't match the urban landscape and infrastructure is Raleigh, NC. I grew up outside of the city in the early 70's and it was a bustling small city similar to Portland (actually smaller than Portland in the 50's) that also had the advantage of being the state capital. It's downtown was then sprinkled with a nice mix of 10-15 story buildings also similar to Portland with Fayetteville Street showing signs of wear and tear like main drags in most cities across the country back then. In the last 40 years it has experienced amazing growth and is now the 41st largest city in the United States with a population of 470,000 and a skyline that now has three 30 story towers with more on the way. It is now larger than Minneapolis, Tulsa, New Orleans, Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh but in reality it does not FEEL as big as Providence, Albany or even Harrisburg, PA which only has 55,000 people. Raleigh now is only 30K behind surpassing Atlanta in size. I would also put Austin, TX and Virginia Beach on the list of cities that do not measure up to it's population with Austin now the 11th largest city in the country and twice as large as Atlanta and Virginia Beach is now the 44th largest city and does not have a traditional downtown and it was originally a "suburb" of Norfolk.
 
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Cosakita18

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I've never thought of population as a good way to measure the relative importance of the city. It's pretty well established that Portland "punches above its weight" as a city and our built environment reflects that. a Even though Portland not technically the largest city in northern New England, I would call it the most important. sure Nashua New Hampshire has more people but it's mostly just a bedroom community. Even Manchester feels quite sleepy compared to Portland.

It's also worth noting that Portland's geographic area is pretty small. If you were to expand Portland's borders out into SoPo and Westbrook to be the same size as Manchester (by sq miles) the two cities would have almost identical populations.
 
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TC_zoid

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Basically, a city's importance, or weight, is from how many people "use" this city on a daily basis. Portland, during the summer, especially with Bostonian foodies coming up for a day or weekend, measures quite impressively. If you want to know more, talk to bartenders and wait staff at the restaurants. Portland also has celebrities that sneak in for a day or two (Julia Louis-Dreyfus, for one). They probably aren't stopping in Manchester or Nashua, I'm guessing.
 

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