View Full Version : Portland - The Mecca of Historical Development News from the Portlander's Collection
04-18-2010, 05:52 PM
ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE COLLECTION OF NEWS CLIPPINGS AND DEVELOPMENT RENDERINGS FROM YEARS AGO
Portlander has graciously loaned me a ten pound bag of news clippings, all of which relate to Portland development in one way or another. It is a treasure trove of information and renderings and I look forward to sharing it on this website. Portlander has more knowledge of downtown Portland than anyone I have ever met, by a factor of about 100. For instance, who knew the Eastland used to have an outdoor swimming pool on its roof? Who knew congress square park used to house an underground bowling alley? Thank you for this awesome amount of info!
Some highlights so far -
1. there was serious consideration in the late 1990s of connecting the the Maine Bank and Trust building, the Time and Temp building, and 511 Congress all by sky-walk bridges. This came after Elizabeth Noyce purchased the properties in one of the largest commercial real estate purchases in downtown history.
2. there was another pro basket ball team proposed for Portland - "The Mountain Cats"
3. Pierce Atwood has been considering leaving downtown since at least the late 1990s so there is hope that the firm will remain downtown instead of move to the suburbs, as has been recently discussed in the news. Much more...
04-18-2010, 08:26 PM
The Mountain Cats actually played, they weren't proposed. Don't you think I wasn't rocking a Mountain Cats shirt years ago.
04-18-2010, 08:28 PM
I'd really like to see clippings before the Maine Mall was built when it was proposed to sersiouly renovate downtown Portland. Talks of skywalks, maybe shutting down roads, all sorts of stuff. Just like today, it was turned down and hence the maine mall was built later on.
Skywalks would be great for a city like Portland, especially given the climate during winter months. Something that could increase pedestrian activity in the downtown area during winter months, without letting people freeze in the process.
Also, Why hasn't Portland managed to secure a professional sports team yet?
04-19-2010, 07:03 PM
Portland has the Red Claws, Celtics NBA development league affiliate, the Sea Dogs, Red Sox AA affiliate, and the Pirates, Buffalo Sabres AHL affiliate. If you are referring to the NBA, MLB, or the NHL it will never happen here.
Hartford is probably the only other New England city besides Boston that would have a remote chance at the big boys, they used to have the NHL Whalers and made an unsuccessful bid for the Patriots several years ago.
We feel very fortunate to have the professional teams we have, every New England city would love to have the Red Sox/Celtics minor league teams playing at their venues. We had the Bruins AHL team for a while, now they are in Providence.
I was referring to NBA, MLB, and NHL. DO you think it wouldn't fly because of community involvement or because of the size of the area? Just curious
04-19-2010, 08:10 PM
"I was referring to NBA, MLB, and NHL. DO you think it wouldn't fly because of community involvement or because of the size of the area? Just curious"
Are you just breaking our balls or do you not know how small greater Portland is?
04-19-2010, 08:29 PM
Todd, Size would be the reason along with seating capacities at the various venues. Green Bay is the only small (100,000+population) city that has a top tier sports franchise and that is still to this day an amazing feat. For a city to have a AAA minor league baseball team I think you now have to have a 12,000 seat stadium or larger. All NBA arenas have a seating capacity of at least 18,000 now, with Arco Arena in Sacramento being the smallest and just under that number. In Portland, Hadlock Field seats around 7,400 for baseball, and our outdated Cumberland County Civic Center can squeeze in 8,000 for basketball. No chance my brother!
Portland seems like such a bigger city than it actually is, atleast from an outsiders view. I guess we can always watch the red sox and patriots on tv lol
04-21-2010, 10:58 AM
The thing with Green Bay is that it's football and there are only 8 home game a year or so. People travel for that. Green Bay could never ever have one of the other major sports. Technically if they banned football in every other state but Maine in New England, we could have the Pats.
04-21-2010, 11:34 AM
The title of this thread drew me in, you better start posting all these amazing articles ASAP! I know that the Maine Historical Society is always looking for new stuff to archive so I would contact them about taking a peek at some of these materials if some of it is especially rare/hard to find.
Also, I have a scanner and would volunteer to help out of if needed. Maybe we can set up a Flickr account to archive some of the stuff?
04-21-2010, 11:43 AM
I got a scanner, hooked it up, worked fine. then got a new computer. installed the software via online from the website, and the printer works with the new computer but not the scanner. I haven't had time to tinker around with this stuff too much since I am in school, but if you wouldn't mind perhaps meeting up some time to jointly scan this stuff wouldn't be a bad idea. I still want to try another computer on which I believe the scanner may still work though. I'll let you know. I apologize I made the title of this thread prior to realizing the scanner was bunk.
04-28-2010, 09:10 PM
The first article shown above refers to one monument square, otherwise known to some as the Pierce-Atwood building, which is across from the Portland Public Library's main branch and which is current being reclad with a new, more energy efficient (and leak proof) facade. The article is from 1966.
04-29-2010, 03:04 PM
I should add, for those who did NOT notice, that I updated the first post on this thread, so be sure to check page 1 again.
04-29-2010, 09:10 PM
Saw the update....incredible! It's amazing what we could have had for that area around Monument Square. I still have hope though....
06-30-2010, 12:08 AM
I have been reviewing some more of these clippings, and the number of high rises proposed in Portland (but never built) over the years is astounding. There are some really interesting renderings I'll share when I get a chance.
That would be great, if we could see what portland's skyline might have looked like! Let's just hope the future doesn't take the same route as the past! We want them built, not just past proposals that are forgotten.
03-15-2011, 11:44 PM
Here are some visuals showing the alternative rendering for One City Center (the one endorsed by the City), as well as One City Center under construction, and some aerials.
03-16-2011, 09:14 AM
How does One City Center work urbanistically? In my limited experience there, the pedestrian street connecting it to Monument Square has seemed like a missed opportunity. The drab office buildings at the foot of that street and Spring Street kill it a bit, too, but it seems like the street-level of One City Center is probably to blame, as well. The "Grand Central Station" (I don't really understand how that's demeaning) rendering could probably stand a bit more height, but it seems much more sensitive to pedestrians and like it might have been better for that pedestrian street. With a more pedestrian-friendly ground floor at City Center and perhaps an eventual reworking of Temple and Spring Streets, it seems like this could be a great way of tying Monument Square and Exchange Street.
03-16-2011, 10:26 AM
You are right that One City Center is not the best from an integration perspective, but the ped way is great, in my opinion, all the same. One of my favorite spots in the City. And the professionals from One City Center add to the street scene a lot and the restaurants and surrounding stores. The real street that is not great is federal street, running between all three of the high rises, with loading docks and elevated entrances. That place is unattractive. The idea with One City Center was to tie Monument Square in with the Old Port, hence the stepped down shape of the building to match surrounding structures. But, despite that effort, the popular thought at the time was to build self contained structures. This was supposed to be a self contained neighborhood inside, and it has a whole food court, maybe some shops, too. At the time it was built, it was supposed to have a lot more shops in sort of an indoor mall way, but I think economics has turned them into office space.
03-16-2011, 06:54 PM
I actually think One City Center fits well into the parcel of land it was built on and is a nice transition between Monument Square and the Old Port. My only complaint is I feel it should have been about five floors taller which would have made the building more prominent as viewed from the waterfront. Though it is still Maine's premier office tower, it could have been even more of a signature structure.
03-17-2011, 12:00 PM
I'm a fan of One City Center, too. It works well as the downtown connection to the Old Port in my view. The mall area inside is a bit drabby and retro feeling/looking, but serves its purpose pretty well.
Patrick's note about Federal Street being a service alleyway is true, but it's a necessary function I suppose. This makes me think about 2 Monument Square (I think that's what it's called, the one that wasn't re-cladded recently) and it's very poor interactions with street level. One side is connected to One Monument Square, One side is a garage entrance and dumpsters on Federal Street, one side is another garage entrance to Congress, and the Temple Street side is nothing (but would make a nice little pocket park!).
04-03-2011, 02:39 PM
I just happened upon this article (http://www.portlandmonthly.com/portmag/2011/03/lost-horizon/) online in the April issue of Portland Magazine, concerning One City Center which Patrick posted some pictures of on the last page. Patrick was also interviewed for the story, nice work!
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