image preview



Portland Press Herald Still-Film Negatives Collection

Document Type

Still Image

Call number of Original

TL 02 MAR 1997 R3 05

Contributing Institution

Portland Public Library Special Collections & Archives


Portland, Cumberland, Maine, USA

Creation Date


Format of Original

35mm color negative


Full exterior view of the Baxter Building, 619 Congress Street, from south.
Financed by Portland philanthropist and former mayor James Phinney Baxter, the building opened as the Portland Public Library on 22 February 1889.

The Library had been previously located at 44 Plum Street, from 1867 (immediately after the Great Fire of 1866, with an effort having begun in 1857), and known as the Portland Institute and Public Library. As the Baxter Building opened, the Library's name was changed to Portland Public Library. The brownstone structure was designed by Portland architects Francis Fassett and Frederick Augustus Tompson. The Library was renovated 1928-1929 by John Calvin Stevens.
In 1979, the Portland Public Library relocated to a larger and newly-constructed building at 5 Monument Square.

In 1982, the Baxter Building was acquired by Portland School of Art (later, Maine College of Art) for its expansion. The art college owned the Baxter Building until 2010, eventually relocating to the former Porteous, Mitchell, and Braun department store building.

Photo published in the Maine Sunday Telegram, on 2 March 1997

[A postcard view of the Baxter Building, circa 1900, can be seen at this link.]


Portland, Me., West End, Congress Street, Schools, Libraries, Portland Public Library, Maine College of Art

Image Location


Rights Statement

In Copyright - Educational Use Permitted.