Greater Portland Landmarks has announced that the popular Portland Observatory will remain closed this summer. After consultation with the city of Portland and careful consideration for the health of staff, docents and visitors, it has been determined that the Observatory cannot safely open at this time. The unique conditions at the Observatory, including the single staircase and the increasingly small floor area on the upper levels of the building, make it impractical, even with additional COVID-19 protocols.
It was a very difficult decision to make. The Tower is such a special place in Portland and reflects the strength and ingenuity of ur community. The Observatory has seen a lot in its 213 years on Munjoy Hill and will continue to stand tall as we work together through these challenging times wrote Sarah Hansen, executive director of the non-profit.
Built in 1807, the Observatory, a National Historic Landmark, is the only remaining maritime signal tower in the US, In partnership with the city of Portland, Landmarks has been educating all visitors, including thousands of students, about the Tower’s role in maritime communication, its significance to Portland’s maritime and social history and its restoration and preservation. Greater Portland Landmarks plans to reopen the Portland Observatory in 2021 and again offer the opportunity to experience Portland’s history and climb to the top for unparalleled views of Portland and Casco Bay.