Demolition of buildings 7 and 10 at Portland Foreside, once known as 58 Fore Street, is scheduled to begin early tomorrow morning. A fence erected around the Fore Street entrance will be shut so no one can enter the ten-acre waterfront property for safety reasons according to a manager from Consigli who is overseeing the demolition.
A few years ago, the historic waterfront property, known as the Portland Company, was sold to three developers for redevelopment. One, Jim Brady, dropped out but the other two remaining owners,Kevin Costello and Casey Prentice, remain owners.
Yesterday afternoon the city’s permitting department inspected the property and shortly thereafter a permit to demolish was issued. There are eight buildings to be demolished by the end of July 2019. The site will be shutdown for about three or four weeks – that is until a temporary road can be constructed. It will run right through where building 7 is currently located. That temporary road will be in use until the Thames Street Extension is constructed.
Building 1 will be the third to be demolished most likely.
The Historic Preservation Board wrote the following about Building 7: “The original car shop of the Portland Company were actually built in 1847 in a similar location, but destroyed by the fire in 1873 and replaced by the brick structure there today sometime after 1873. The Portland Company closed production of railroad cars about 1900 at which point Building 7 was then used as a shop and showroom for KNOX Automobile Co. for a period of time. Building 7 aligned with Building 6 allowing for efficient manufacturing process, first iron work then the wood framing of the railroad cars during that brief period of time by the Portland Company. The Portland Historical Preservation Board found Building 7 to be a non-contrbuting structure during their Historic Preservation process as a result of its lack of structural integrity.”
Regarding Building 10, (top photo) the Historic Preservation wrote: “Similar to Building 7, the earlier paint shop was in a similar location, but was lost to the fire in 1873. This version was rebuilt some time after 1873 with brick. Building 10 was found to be a non-contributing structure due to its severe lack of structural integrity.”
Meanwhile, staging will probably be constructed around building 12 next week. That will permit the dismantling of the bricks to be stored in another building on site. The building has been laser scanned. At a later date, reconstruction in another part of the property will begin.
Meanwhile, an employee of CIANBRO, at 100 Fore Street, said demolishing therein could start anytime now. That building is set to be a large garage.