You are encouraged to attend a forum The Friends of Fort Gorges have set for WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 4th, at 5:30 pm. at the East End Community School, North Street, to discuss the future of the historic Fort Gorges, off Munjoy Hill.
It is imperative that the community attend the meeting and anyone else with an interest in saving the Fort from commercial development do so as well. “The Friends of Fort Gorges is totally opposed to this private developer(s) and the city developing this property for their financial benefit,” said Paul Drinan, executive director, this afternoon. “This is a public park and needs to remain that way.”
The City of Portland has responded this afternoon to an inquiry from mhn.com about a proposal to commercially develop the historic Fort Gorges off Munjoy Hill on Portland’s east end. This possibility was disclosed yesterday on this blog.
MHN. has contacted several sources at city hall to try to ascertain more details about this and see just where it stands. The following message was just received from the city’s spokeswoman, Jessica Grondin:
“There is no proposal before us. We are not aware of any future ones either.”
There may not be a formal proposal at city hall, but talks with city officials supported by accompanying material, have taken place at city hall. However, community activist Karen Snyder says her sources say there is a proposal at city hall and that ideas are being tossed in and thrown away. Although most city officials are remaining tight-lipped about the proposal making the desk rounds at city hall, others are talking more openly about it.
About 30 years ago, Tony DiMillo, founder of DiMillo’s Restaurant on Commercial Street, tried to develop the Fort into a casino with docks all around it. The effort was not successful, obviously.
Under the category of lessons learned, Drinan compared this historic landmark to Congress Square Park. The city of Portland moved forward on the sale of the Park without getting the public’s input. Second, no one cared about Congress Square Park as they care about Fort Gorges he said today.
The Fort was named for an Englishmen who never set foot in the US. He was, however, a persistent although unsuccessful developer of the Maine coast.
Please see previous post for more background information on the matter.