Tuesday, March 9, 2010
One of the most prolific architects of the West End area was Francis H. Fassett (1823-1908), and along with the original Maine General Hospital, the Baxter Building, a landmark of upper Congress Street was of his design. James Phinney Baxter , mayor of the city for six years, donated the building for use as the Portland Public Library. During high school, I spent a lot of time afternoons researching in the library's collection of American Heritage magazines for my American History class. Mom would drop me here soon after 4PM, and I'd be there til she picked me up at closing. In the 70's, the city sold it to the Maine College of Art where it housed photography labs, darkrooms and other studios. It has recently been put on the market again. Finding a resting place for this grand old building, in these economic times, probably won't be easy. From this photograph, you get a bit of a taste of some of the amazing architecture and intricate design inside and out.