By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,569)
So you thought you’d heard the last of the future of 58 Fore Street last November when Portland voters easily defeated an effort by the Souls of Portland to stop the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street? Take a deep breath and think again!
This evening, beginning at 5:00 pm., the City Council will decide whether or not to adopt the recommendation of the city’s Planning Board or to accept the advice of the city’s Historic Preservation Board.
The “Souls” are teamed up with the Historic Preservation Board and Greater Portland Landmarks to continue its selfish “land grab” effort to try to limit the viability of this piece of Portland history even if they didn’t win at the ballot box. District 1 Councilor Belinda S. Ray wrote in an email that she will introduce “an amendment to make Building One a contributing building, thereby preserving it and preventing its demolition. At the same time, this amendment endorses the non-contigious historic district recommended by the planning board. I feel like this is the best possible compromise and I hope it will receive support from my fellow councilors,” Ray concluded. The “Souls” home base is Munjoy HIll, Ray’s district.
If the City Council votes to accept the recommendation of the Planning Board, Building 1, will be demolished. It will allow CPB2, to provide more public access and a sweeping view of Casco Bay that is now missing because of the presence of Building 1. Ironically, the establishment of an iconic view and public access are two of the myriad of planks on which the opponents based their objection to the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street. “Souls” feared the redevelopment would prohibit access and reduce view opportunitiies. Not so! There are seven other buildings on site that will be preserved under the HP guidelines and with which the developer agrees.
Supporters of increasing public access and expanding the spectacular view by demolishing Building 1 urge the public to testify in favor at the City Council meeting this evening starting at 5:00 pm
For more information, please visit http://www.cpb2.com/historic.php