Skyline & Aerial photos | Portland

Portlander

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Felt it was long overdue so I decided to start a thread which showcases Portland's downtown skyline. With the addition of 201 Federal Street the views of Portland will change from numerous vantage points. Have added a few photos I took back in 2016 so we could establish a baseline as Portland continues to grow. Corey is the master when it comes to skyline shots and has the knack for finding the most interesting perspectives that most photographers wouldn't even consider. Though Portland does not have any true skyscrapers, it's downtown peninsula being surrounded by water on both sides along with a natural amphitheater effect up to the Congress Street spine gives the Portland an urban vibe that some larger cities cannot match. Aerial photos are also welcome.
 
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DanielPWM19

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Ah Portland ... the city of stout little buildings that are all too polite and shy to be taller than one another.

And the locals like it just so, amongst the smattering of empty parking lots and barren wastelands. "Build higher?" they gasp. "No, not here! We will not accept shadows, wind tunnels, or losing the view of the Wastewater Facility or South Portland oil tanks!". Even when their own newly built houses blocked the views of those behind them without second thought.

Instead, they bow to the grotesque abundance of parking garages and hatred for commuter rail lines and public transportation. "Beautiful Train Stations and Theaters? What do we need THOSE for?" they huff. Their delicate stomachs churning in their part-time Portland NIMBY residencies at the very thought of adding affordable housing or diversity in their back yards.
 
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TC_zoid

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Ah Portland ... the city of stout little buildings that are all too polite and shy to be taller than one another. And the locals like it just so, amongst the smattering of empty parking lots and barren wastelands. "Build higher?" they gasp. "No, not here! We will not accept shadows, wind tunnels, or losing the view of the South Portland oil tanks!".

Instead, they bow to the grotesque abundance of parking garages and hatred for commuter rail lines and public transportation. Beautiful Train Stations and Theaters? What do we need THOSE for?
'Tis well said. At a minimum Portland should have a skyline to look at from the water like Halifax, Nova Scotia, of which is a smaller city than Portland. Huh, you say? A true measure of a city's population is its metro area population count (Portland's is bigger than Halifax), otherwise El Paso, Texas is a bigger city than Boston, and MUCH bigger than Miami. Have you been to El Paso? I have--twice. A nice little and fun city, with a feel of size about like Portland's. (And when you factor in the population reach to Boston, and all the people from out of town who stay in the Portland area in the late spring, summer, and early fall, even bigger!)
 
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mainejeff

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Ah Portland ... the city of stout little buildings that are all too polite and shy to be taller than one another.

And the locals like it just so, amongst the smattering of empty parking lots and barren wastelands. "Build higher?" they gasp. "No, not here! We will not accept shadows, wind tunnels, or losing the view of the Wastewater Facility or South Portland oil tanks!". Even when their own newly built houses blocked the views of those behind them without second thought.

Instead, they bow to the grotesque abundance of parking garages and hatred for commuter rail lines and public transportation. "Beautiful Train Stations and Theaters? What do we need THOSE for?" they huff. Their delicate stomachs churning in their part-time Portland NIMBY residencies at the very thought of adding affordable housing or diversity in their back yards.
You're like the Dr. Seuss of Portland! Looking at the skyline....Portland definitely needs some glass and angular buildings. As you said...everything is so squat and boring. They need a signature or 2!
 

mainejeff

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'Tis well said. At a minimum Portland should have a skyline to look at from the water like Halifax, Nova Scotia, of which is a smaller city than Portland. Huh, you say? A true measure of a city's population is its metro area population count (Portland's is bigger than Halifax), otherwise El Paso, Texas is a bigger city than Boston, and MUCH bigger than Miami. Have you been to El Paso? I have--twice. A nice little and fun city, with a feel of size about like Portland's. (And when you factor in the population reach to Boston, and all the people from out of town who stay in the Portland area in the late spring, summer, and early fall, even bigger!)
Yes....like Halifax.....

halifax-skyline-02-02.jpg
 

TC_zoid

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Nice skyline and a city with less people than Portland (metro area). But with Portland, you can train it or car it and in less than two hours are in one of the most important cities in the world, Boston. Where do you go from Halifax in less than 3 hours? Moncton! Woo-hoo!
 

Cosakita18

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I've always said that Portland "punches above its weight" as a city. The actual land area of Portland proper is quite small, and that makes it seem less significant than it is to an observer just measuring population. If Portland's land area was the size of Boston's, it would have an urban population of about 120,000.

Even though-technically- smaller than Manchester. It's much more of a CITY, and I think it's reasonable to say Portland is the most prominent city in Northern New England. We've got an emerging tech scene, world renound restaurants, a great art museum, three colleges, a growing seaport, corridor rail service to Boston...
 

nomc

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You're like the Dr. Seuss of Portland! Looking at the skyline....Portland definitely needs some glass and angular buildings. As you said...everything is so squat and boring. They need a signature or 2!
I'm hoping that the MMC expansion will provide enough precedent that developers of future projects (Roux, for example) will have something to lean on should be they want to propose something modern. It isn't tall but it will be prominent - good views of it from 295 near Hadlock and the Exit 5 (Congress St) on ramp. I agree we need a signature or 2.

Is it possible for Portland to impose a height minimum (is there one already?) in certain areas - especially along the spine? I'm nervous that we're going to squander valuable space with 3-4 floor buildings when they really should be at least 7 or 8, if not much higher.
 

nomc

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Oh, I see the downtown height overlay has a minimum height of 35' within 50' of any street frontage.
 

GIL

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I actually think the real height should be in Bayside—Congress Street is remarkably in-tact with historic buildings, but Bayside could easily accommodate 250’ to 300’ towers with high visibility from the interstate and Baxter Boulevard and not overwhelm the context (there’s almost none down there, especially closer to the highway. The only trap with buildings that size are the parking minimums the City still mandates, making for dead street walls, like that InterMed failure of a building.
 

nomc

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I actually think the real height should be in Bayside—Congress Street is remarkably in-tact with historic buildings, but Bayside could easily accommodate 250’ to 300’ towers with high visibility from the interstate and Baxter Boulevard and not overwhelm the context (there’s almost none down there, especially closer to the highway. The only trap with buildings that size are the parking minimums the City still mandates, making for dead street walls, like that InterMed failure of a building.
I remember one HPB meeting during the 201 Federal process (or was it PB?) in which one of the members was pushing pretty hard about the height of 201 Federal diminishing City Hall on the skyline. I can only imagine what they'll say about more buildings interrupting the panorama (maybe got some of this during Federated Cos back when?) - but in my opinion everything should on the table. Sink or swim.
 

markhb

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I remember when they enacted the original downtown height overlay. The goal was to allow more height along the spine of the peninsula - Congress St. - with upper-floor setbacks to avoid sheer 20-story walls blocking any sun from the street. Unfortunately, most of the land that the max heights applied to was then made part of the historic district which made redevelopment largely impossible. Top of the Old Port is a special case - it's long been identified as a potential site for something truly signature - but the owners aren't overly interested in selling and I don't think there's any appetite at City Hall for a New London-style forced purchase.
 

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I'm guessing early 1950's. The Maine National Bank Building has not been built yet at Congress and Temple Street and it was completed in 1955. The Falmouth Hotel (Canal Plaza) is visible in the lower center portion of the photo.
 
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nomc

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Going to have to update the skyline shots again soon - I was driving down Congress this afternoon and I believe I saw them removing the big red antenna array off the NE Telephone building. I know @Redfern was talking about this in some other thread (probably the 201 Federal) but too bad it has to go - definitely one less unique element in the skyline.
 

TC_zoid

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Going to have to update the skyline shots again soon - I was driving down Congress this afternoon and I believe I saw them removing the big red antenna array off the NE Telephone building. I know @Redfern was talking about this in some other thread (probably the 201 Federal) but too bad it has to go - definitely one less unique element in the skyline.
Yes, but the art students living there will have a killer view from that rooftop. Maybe they will create and erect their own type of rooftop array (artistic).
 

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