1800s Maine Historians Protected Portland’s Modern Views (Portland Press Herald)

Bowdoin students on a community-immersion orientation trip work while enjoying an unobstructed view of the Portland shore

“The lot named has a more beautiful outlook than any other vacant space in the city and should be preserved as an open space. Whatever occupies this ancient site, it should not be a hotel, to shut out all that is beautiful of the landscape.”

Such was the argument of Portland historian William Goold in the late 1800s as various developers tried to claim the waterfront area known as Fort Allen. The city of Portland heard his plea and bought the land in 1890, supplemented by an additional purchase by Mayor James P. Baxter in 1905. These purchases assured that Portland citizens would always have a view of the Portland Harbor and Casco Bay. Subsequently Portland’s city engineer, William Goodwin, worked to develop a park there with shrubs, trees, lawns, an Eastern Promenade roadway and a bandstand that still stands today. Read more about the creation of Fort Allen Park and the Eastern Promenade in the Portland Press Herald.

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