Masonic Temple, Abyssinian Meeting House Make Imperiled Places List
The Portland Masonic Temple Grand Lodge and the Abyssinian Meeting House have made Greater Portland Landmarks' first Places in Peril List. The list calls attention to prominent and historically-significant properties in greater Portland that are in danger of being permanently lost or diminished.
Built in 1911, the Portland Masonic Temple Grand Lodge at 415 Congress Street, Portland, "is one of the finest examples of Beaux Arts architecture in Maine," according to Landmarks. It is believed to be Maine’s last original and intact grand lodge building. The building is considered endangered because of physical deterioration and lack of funding for capital improvements.
Built in 1828 as a house of worship, the Abyssinian Meeting House, 73 Newbury Street, Portland, is the third oldest standing African American meeting house in the United States. It is a designated city landmark, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and recognized by the National Park Service’s National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom as the first site listed in Maine.
The property is currently undergoing an extensive renovation to restore its original character, but progress has been slow because of the significant cost of the restoration work. "Without further investment, the project cannot be completed," Landmarks writes. For more about the Abyssinian Meeting House project, read Sing Hallelujah in the March 2011 issue of Down East.
Other properties on the list include:
The Portland Company (1847-1940), 58 Fore Street, Portland
House Island, Casco Bay, Portland.
The Maine National Guard Armory (1941), Broadway, South Portland.
Grand Trunk Office Building (1903), 1 India Street, Portland.
Eastern Cemetery (1600s), Congress Street, Portland.
View the complete list.