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Preserve America

Visit to Portland City Hall

On November 10, 2003, Mrs. Bush visited Portland, Maine, to highlight the importance of historic preservation. Mrs. Bush commended the residents of Portland for their historic preservation efforts and encouraged communities across the country to do the same. She also highlighted Preserve America, a new White House initiative that will help more for the learning and enjoyment of future generations. More information on Preserve America can be found at

Greater Portland, a four-season destination in southern Maine, offers scenic beauty, recreational opportunities and a wealth of historic and cultural attractions. Maine's metropolitan area sits on lovely Casco Bay, a gateway to historic forts and lighthouses. Portland stands as one of the few working waterfronts left in the United States.

Portland is Maine's largest city with 66,000 full-time residents. Portland boasts six individual National Historic Landmark properties, including the Wadsworth Longfellow House, Tate House, Thomas B. Reed House, Morse-Libby Mansion, McLellan-Sweat Mansion, and Neal Dow House. Portland also has hundreds of individual properties listed in the National Register of Historic Places, including churches, government buildings, banks, libraries, observation and light houses, private homes, art museums, and commercial blocks. In addition, there are many historic districts containing scores of buildings, both commercial and residential.

Over a decade ago, the City of Portland adopted a comprehensive historic preservation ordinance that provides recognition and protection for over 1500 properties in the city, including buildings and sties within eight designated historic districts, 60 individual landmarks, and five historic landscape districts.

Under Portland's preservation program, city-owned landmarks such as Portland City Hall are receiving the kind of high-quality repairs and restoration they deserve. The Portland City Hall was designed by Carrere and Hastings of New York, one of the nation's leading architectural firms at the turn of the century. Two previous city halls stood on this site. The first fell victim to a large fire in 1866; the rebuilt hall burned in 1908. The architects are perhaps best known for their design of the New York Public Library, but Carrere is said to have been especially pleased with his design here.

Related Links
Visit to the Museum of Mobile
Pennsylvania Avenue
Visit to Portland City Hall
Remarks by Mrs. Bush for the National Association of Counties
Executive Order: Preserve America
Laura Bush Announces Preserve America Grants Budget

Click Here to visit the Preserve America Web Site

Click here to visit the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation