Time & Temp Building / Brown St. Parking Garage Redevelopment | Portland

I had an office on the 6th floor of the Time & Temperature building (I rented it from Executive Office Centers) before the building got sold and the new owner evicted everyone. I left at the end of May 2020.

Some floors were renovated, others were time machines. One elevator had been updated (from what looked like) a few decades ago, the other looked like 1940-something, the third never worked. I tried to take the stairs back down to the street when I first moved in (fire safety), and I couldn't. Multiple hallways dead ended, with a window leading to a spring-loaded fire escape.

I loved that building (especially the first floor arcade and the mezzanine above) but it's hard to underestimate the amount of work that it needs. And, as others have noted: you could film a zombie movie in the attached garage.
 
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I haven't seen any interior renderings, but considering that the developers have said they want to create a "5 star" hotel with rooms going $500+/night in summer, I have to believe they're going to do it right. They've been working behind the scenes with Archetype Architects for two years on this.
 
🎶 🎶 I got a Nikon camera 🎶 🎶
🎶 🎶 I love to take a photograph 🎶 🎶


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Can anyone tell what the store is just uphill from Lamey-Wellehan? I was going to say Fannie Farmer candies but the F- logo over on the far right edge looks more like theirs.
 
Just to the right of Lamey Wellehan is RINES BROTHERS. To the left was PALMER KENNEDY’S
 
Thanks; I remember RInes Bros. although it was on its last legs by the time I was wandering downtown.
 
It was a nice store. Congress Street had many fine department stores; Porteous Mitchell & Braun being the largest and most prestigious. My family in Caribou loved to make the summer trip to shop there!
 
Beautiful. I remember being in here in the mid 1980s and the flooring was that ugly artificial green grass material, the kind you see surrounding outdoor pools in cheap motels in OOB. It would be more than amazing if they could restore this to its original splendor.
 
I will be very pleased when this project gets started and am looking forward to 14 floors of scaffolding! Any updates Max?
 
Historic Preservation signed off on the plans at their last hearing, and I believe they've gotten the go-ahead from the planning board. During the HPB meeting the developers said they were days away from submitting an application to the National Park Service, which oversees the issuance of historic preservation tax credits. I don't know how long that review process takes, but given the bureaucratic nature of government I'm guessing it will be a months-long process at least. So I'm thinking we might be lucky to see scaffolding go up by late summer or early fall.
 
Sounds like there are still considerable "ifs" for this project. One thing I would like to point out is that over the last several years, for work I've stayed at many (6-7?) renovated old buildings/hotels across the U.S. All of them had something in common--odors and a lack of modern accents. The simple guide for T&T to be successful is to follow what the Press Hotel did. I think at one point Jim Brady was involved with this project, but I doubt that's the case now. He usually takes the lead vision--visible throughout the process. Mainers--and tourists--are seeking more sophisticated stays and restaurants now (see PPH article from a few days ago). A beautiful renovation trying to be true to the original is great, but then that is somewhat of a museum, duplicating or celebrating the past in an accurate manner. It needs to be reinvented a bit, to be a success (a la Press Hotel). Have you been to Batson River in Portland? That's a reinvention of the brewery and distillery. Great job. They do design makeovers every few months to keep things interesting.
 
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Interestingly I don't think we've seen any interior renderings yet, I don't think that's required for HPB or PB review, or perhaps even for NPS, which is primarily concerned with the exterior.

That said, the developers have said that they want to make this Portland's premiere hotel, a "5-star" experience as they've said. I infer from that they're planning a true gut renovation to make sure the experience matches the price. Historic and planning regulations are mainly concerned with the exterior, I think they've got carte blanche to remake the interior.
 
Interestingly I don't think we've seen any interior renderings yet, I don't think that's required for HPB or PB review, or perhaps even for NPS, which is primarily concerned with the exterior.

That said, the developers have said that they want to make this Portland's premiere hotel, a "5-star" experience as they've said. I infer from that they're planning a true gut renovation to make sure the experience matches the price. Historic and planning regulations are mainly concerned with the exterior, I think they've got carte blanche to remake the interior.
NPS will have significant say over both the interiors and exteriors of the building - see the "Secretary's Standards for Rehabilitation" for an outline of the rehab requirements that they need to follow in order to receive the tax credit. Since some of these items are (purposefully?) vague they have most likely been working with a historic preservation consulting service in order to ensure the process with the NPS goes as smooth as possible. This means they probably have a full set of plans that cover every inch of the building. It's hard to say how extensive the gut job will be without know exactly what historic surfaces remain.
 
I don't have high hopes that the National Park Service will want or allow progressive ideas here, but if they do, I'd love to see something on par with this... (the greatest remodel and repurpose of an old building--1910--that I've seen, and I've seen a lot).

But then again, this is L.A., not Maine, but still, look at what Josh Miranda has done with his spaces.
https://theneverlands.com/edison/
 
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It's hard to say how extensive the gut job will be without know exactly what historic surfaces remain.
Yeah, the one-time Village Green arcade (which was really cool when I discovered it as a tween, even if there was little in there to interest me), which is probably the piece that has been seen by the most people, has had so many changes over the years that it would be hard to tell what to choose from to preserve or recreate.
 
View from the top of 511 Congress Street this morning.
Are you secretly Spider-Man? Also, I wish one of the tenants in 511 would put their logo on the big standards where Maine Savings had their "ONE".
 

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