Special Collections

Campus Descriptions - Portland

CAMPUS - Portland Junior College, which was established in 1933, held its classes in rented quarters until it purchased six acres of the old Deering estate in October, 1947. This was very historic land, having been obtained from Sir Ferdinando Gorges in 1637 and been involved in the Indian Wars. It was owned by the Brackett family for a very long time, sold to Noyes and later in 1802 to James Deering. The mansion which Deering built fell into such bad condition that it had to be torn down when the College purchased the land. Both the old carriage house (barn) and the farmhouse were on the land purchased. The College secured some Navy pre-fab buildings from the federal government which were ferried from Great Diamond Island in pieces and erected on the new campus. The “Barn” became the gym and the auditorium and provided a cafeteria, while the old farmhouse (built 1804) became the administration building. The pre­fab buildings provided classroom and library space. The last pre-fab building was taken down in September 1988. The “Barn” was also taken down.

For more on the campus history, click to see a brochure from the University Archives. The authorship and sources of this publication are not known.

The old Deering Estate 'barn'.

The old Deering Estate 'barn'. 

23 BRIGHTON AVENUE - The old farmhouse became the Alumni House. The building now houses the Interfaith Chaplaincy and Office of Community Service Learning.

PAYSON SMITH HALL - The merger of Portland Junior College with the University of Maine in the summer of 1957 created the new institution of the University of Maine in Portland (UMP). Payson Smith Hall was the first building erected by the University, and was opened in 1960. Portland Junior College had been for men only (except in its early years) and because of a lack of facilities in the old buildings,women did not enter UMP until the completion of this building. It was named for Mr. Smith who was a well known Maine educator and who later became Commissioner of Education in Massachusetts.

LUTHER I. BONNEY HALL - As UMP grew, more space became a necessity. Bonney Hall provided five stories of classrooms, seminar rooms and office space as well as the 250-seat air-conditioned auditorium/lecture hall which was refurbished in 2006 and named the Gerald E. Talbot Lecture Hall. Dedicated on November 18, 1965, the building was named in honor of the Dean Emeritus, often called the Father of the Portland Campus. Luther Bonney had been instrumental in the founding of Portland Junior College from the very beginning in 1933 and became its Dean in 1938, serving until the merger in 1957. The entire building, classrooms and library, was designed by the Portland archi­tectural firm of Wadsworth, Boston, Dimick, Mercer and Weatherill. Mr. Philip Wads­worth designed the main entrance and patio. The two-story wing of Luther Bonney Hall was built for the Library which moved from Payson Smith Hall in the fall of 1965. It remained the Library for twenty-eight years (very, very crowded in its last years there), until it moved into its new quarters in August of 1993. The space now serves as a computer lab.

THE UNIVERSITY COMMONS – This area includes the Abromson Community Education Center, The Wishcamper Center (Osher Lifelong Learning Institute and Muskie School of Public Service), The Glickman Family Library and Osher Map Library. The land between the library and Abromson Center was purchased by the USM Foundation from Portland Plastic Pipe.

ABROMSON COMMUNITY EDUCATION CENTER - The Abromson Center, which opened in 2005 as part of the University Commons, was designed by the architectural firm Einhorn Yaffee Prescott. The center includes classrooms and the Hannaford Lecture Hall as well as the covered Alumni Skywalk for pedestrian traffic across Bedford Street and a 1,200-car parking garage. It was named after former Portland mayor, city councilor and USM faculty member Linda Abromson and her late husband, state senator Joel Abromson. With its ‘green’ design the building was the first in Maine to earn LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Certification at the Gold level.

THE WISHCAMPER CENTER - The Wishcamper Center, named after Joe and Carol Wishcamper, opened in 2008 as part of the University Commons project. It houses two separate programs, The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute of Southern Maine and its National Resource Center and The Muskie School of Public Service.

ALBERT BRENNER GLICKMAN FAMILY LIBRARY - Work began in the Fall of 1991 on what had been origi­nally the National Biscuit Company building (100,000 sq. ft. of space), later owned by the Johnson Supply Company, from whom the University purchased it. Four of the seven stories were renovated (the remainder to be done as funds permit) and the Library opened in its new building on September 1, 1993 with official opening ceremonies October 3, 1993. The Library provides a variety of study areas, over 300,000 books, periodicals and government documents (both Federal and State), reference service, inter-library loans and bibliographic searching of computer databases. The remaining three floors were renovated and opened in 2004 and included a new facility for Special Collections. The first floor was renovated in 2009 to expand the Osher Map Library and create a new front entrance for the library.

VIKING SHIP SCULPTURE - In October, 1967 the Student Senate voted to look into the possibility of obtaining a piece of sculpture on a Viking theme to serve as the campus symbol. The Art Department was contacted and the Spring of 1968 brought a model of a sculpture by Mr. John Risley of Wesleyan Univer­sity, called “The Viking Ship and the Midnight Sun”. After much discussion pro and con (some students wanted a 10’ tall statue of a Viking in full battle regalia), the Senate agreed to the model, and it was completed and received by December, 1969. A decision for its placement was finally made. The base was constructed and the Ship was ensconced in the outdoor court of Luther Bonney Hall.

POWERS HOUSE & 92 BEDFORD STREET - These houses were acquired in 1968 to provide quarters for some of the Student Activities. They house the Student Senate and many student groups, as well as The University Free Press and the radio station, WMPG. Around the same time some other properties on Bedford and Chamberlain Streets and vicinity were purchased for use as office space and parking. 92 Bedford houses The University Free Press and the radio station, WMPG. In place of the Powers House the parking garage and Abromson Community Education Center now stand.

SULLIVAN RECREATION AND FITNESS COMPLEX - Two new buildings were under construction in 1968 and opened in 1969. The student body and the degree programs offered had increased so rapidly (from 300 day students in 1960 to approximately 1,200 day students in 1968) that the space and facilities were badly needed. The first of these, the Gymnasium, seats 2,800 and is used for many activities as well as spectator sports. It also provides classrooms, offices, the Portland Health Center, squash and handball courts, the Employee Wellness Program, Gym Operations, Outdoor Recreation and Police Department. The well-known Lifeline program was housed there until it closed at USM and moved to the Maine Medical Center in 2009. The architects were the same as for Luther Bonney, Wadsworth, Boston, Dimick, Mercer and Weatherill. In 1993 the building was named for James V. Sullivan, who served Athletics from 1960 to 1992.

THE SCIENCE BUILDING - The second building to open in 1969, this was dedicated December 10th. The architects for this building were Alonzo Harriman Associates of Auburn. It provides space and facilities for the Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, Physics, Psychology, and the Southworth Planetarium, a big drawing card for the community at large and public school systems. The Planetarium puts on excellent programs throughout the academic year. The projector in use has the capability of duplicating the appearance of the sky at any time of any year and from any location on the earth. It was donated by Mrs. Constant Southworth in memory of her husband. Constant Southworth was a prominent Portland publisher of the Southworth-Anthoensen Press. The wing of the Science Building was added in 1975.

BIOSCIENCE RESEARCH WING- The wing of the Science Building was added in 1975 and houses the Maine Center for Enterprise Development, Wise Environmental and Genetic Toxicology Laboratory, Research Administration and Development and Special Projects in Information and Innovation.

LAW BUILDING - This is another building designed by the architectural firm of Wadsworth, Boston, Dimick, Mercer and Weatherill. It was opened in 1972. In addition to housing the University of Maine Law School and its excellent law library (the building was expanded in 1993 to provide the library more space), this building holds the Edmund S. Muskie Institute of Public Affairs, and the offices of the President and the Provost. The Moot Courtroom in the Law School is often used for special lectures by legal experts as well as its own purpose (the UM Law School has won many moot court competitions against other nationally recognized law schools).

ROBERT L. WOODBURY CAMPUS CENTER – This building was dedicated September 18, 1985. This had been the Inter­national Harvester Building and it was completely renovated by the architects Moore/Weinrich and Woodward of Brunswick. It houses the Cafeteria, the Office of Student Activities, meeting rooms, and lounges.

21 DURHAM STREET - From 1987 to 2009, The Child Day Care Center operated at this location.  This site now houses the Communication and Media Studies Production Center.

MASTERTON HALL - In the Spring of 1987, construction of a new classroom and office building began. It houses primarily the School of Nursing, with its administrative and faculty offices, classrooms, clinical practice rooms and a learning lab. It also houses the Social Work Department of the College of Arts and Sciences. It was dedicated in September, 1988 and named in honor of Robert R. and Nancy Masterton. The exterior sculpture is Patricia Campbell’s “Patterns of Origin I”, and the stained glass windows were designed and executed by Jim Miller. The building was designed by Earl R. Flansburg and Associates, and constructed by the George DiMatteo Company.

PORTLAND HALL - Formerly the Best Western Executive Inn, this was USM’s first Portland Campus dormitory, which opened in the Fall of 1988 at 645 Congress Street, was sold in 2008.  Part of the complex was demolished and rebuilt in 2009.  The upper floors are currently rental apartments and on the ground floor is the Local Sprouts Café.

15 BAXTER BOULEVARD - Office of Sponsored Programs, Office of Research Integrity and Outreach

25 BEDFORD STREET - Facilities Management, USM Recycles

94 BEDFORD STREET - Women and Gender Studies Department

98 BEDFORD STREET - History Department

102 BEDFORD STREET - Honors Program

106 BEDFORD STREET - Annual Giving, Development

118 BEDFORD STREET - Maine Center for Business and Economic Research, Center for Entrepreneurship

120 BEDFORD STREET - Sociology Department

126 BEDFORD STREET - Political Science Department

1 CHAMBERLAIN AVENUE - Criminology Department

7 CHAMBERLAIN AVENUE - Cooperative Extension

11 CHAMBERLAIN AVENUE - Economics Department

15 CHAMBERLAIN AVENUE - Cumberland County 4-H

19 CHAMBERLAIN AVENUE - Department of Communication and Media Studies

209 DEERING AVENUE - Human Resources

222 DEERING AVENUE - Office of Equity and Compliance, Stonecoast MFA Department

228 DEERING AVENUE - College of Communication, Culture and the Arts

39 EXETER STREET - Graduate Admissions

45 EXETER STREET - Graduate Studies, Institute for Family-Owned Business

47 EXETER STREET - Philosophy Department

49/51 EXETER STREET - ASL / Signed Language Research Lab

55/57 EXETER STREET - Under renovation.

59/61 EXETER STREET - Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic

65 EXETER STREET - Linguistics Department

11 GRANITE STREET - American and New England Studies Department, Classics Department


*Compiled by Special Collections Staff from USM Archives and other sources.