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Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negatives Collection

Document Type

Still Image

Call number of Original


Contributing Institution

Portland Public Library Special Collections & Archives


Portland, Cumberland, Maine, USA

Creation Date


Format of Original

35mm gelatin silver negative


Full exterior view of the Lafayette Town House apartment building (formerly the Lafayette Hotel), 638 Congress Street, from northeast. Park Street at left. Congress Street in foreground and at right.

The Lafayette Hotel was built in 1903 by developer and hotel proprietor James Cunningham. The hotel was named after the Marquis de Lafayette, an important ally of George Washington during the American Revolution; at its opening, the hotel was decorated with French motifs. The building was constructed to be fireproof (with regard to the devastating fire Portland had endured less that forty years prior- in 1866), such that "underwriters had made the insurance rate lower than any other building in Portland," in 1903.

The Lafayette Hotel also included 162 luxurious hotel rooms, a billiard hall, a large dining room on the 7th floor, and its own pharmacy (on the Congress Street side, called The Lafayette Drug Store).
The building was sold and converted by 1967 into an apartment building, called The Lafayette Town House.

Photo published in the Portland Press Herald, on 3 January 1974

[See Additional Files link- below- for a print of the Lafayette Hotel, published in the Portland Sunday Telegram, on 7 June 1903.]

Lafayette Hotel 07 JUN 1903.JPG (2017 kB)
Lafayette Hotel, in 1903


Portland, Me., West End, Congress Street, Park Street


Image Location


Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.