Portland Foreside Update; Phase 1 of Demolition Completed Ahead of Schedule


Blink and another building will have been demolished before you can open your eyes again – or so it seems at Portland Foreside, formerly known as 58 Fore Street on Munjoy Hill.

Phase 1 of the demolition project is expected to be completed at the end of this month.  When that Phase is completed. seven (7) buildings will have been demolished. And Phase 11 will be started in October when buildings 4 & 5 will be demolished.

According to documents of the Portland Company provided by Kevin Costello, managing partner of the development to mhn.com:

“Building 11 Pattern Storehouse (1885). Portland Company documentation indicates that wood patterns that were used for casting iron and steel in sand molds were stored in several locations in the early years of the Portland Company’s operation, including the attic of the machine s hop (Building 2) for the first several decades.  In 1885, Building 11 was built and it became known as the Pattern Storehouse.  These wood patterns were central to the functioning of the Portland Company and represented a large capital investment as they were reused over long periods of time and their preservation was of critical importance.  The Pattern Storehouse was built into the grade of the 58 Fore Street property and as a result, suffered from years of water infliitration compromising the structural integrity of the building and therefore was identified as a non-contributing structure by the Portland Historic Board after close review.

Building 30 was built in 1950 after the Portland Company had ceased transportation related work and constructed in a completely different style than the brick and beam industrial building of the Portland Company.  As a result it was not found to be a contributing structure by the Portland Historic Preservation Board.

This almost ten acres of valuable waterfront property on Munjoy Hill was sold by Phineas Sprague, Jr. to three developers a few years ago.  The Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad & Museum has announced that it must vacate the Museum by the end of August 2019.  Meanwhile, the mini-railroad equipment is expected to go up to Alna where there is another mini-railroad Museum where some of it will be on display.  So, I suppose that the equipment will be heading up that way during the month of August. This equipment was formerly part of the Edaville Railroad in Plymouth, Massachusetts, near Cape Cod.  Until Sprague and some rail fans came along and brought it up here back in 1992.  Now deceased Irv Bickford was one of the principles.

Please see post herein dated May 1, 2019 for more background information.