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Square Hotel: 1910

Square Hotel: 1910

Portland, Maine, circa 1910. "Congress Square Hotel, Congress Street and Forest Avenue." 8x10 inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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I spent many an hour looking out on Congress Street from that 5th floor corner window. My great-aunt Irene Banks, an employee at the American Can Corporation in Portland, was a "hotel lady" who lived there for 40-plus years until her passing in 1971. She never married, and as I recall she did like her weekly excursions to the "Green Front" store. Which in Maine at the time was the state-run liquor store. There were other relatives, a great-great aunt and her husband, who lived in another section of the hotel. One block down Forest was Steve's Hot Dogs and Newsstand. They served up another Maine staple, Red Hots! Here's my aunt inside her room 1967. TNX to my Cousins for the picture and correct Floor!

Nice strong shoulders

I particularly like the way the photographer has cancelled the perspective on this photo so the left and right edges of the tower are parallel. Though the photo appears to be taken from the second floor, there is no vanishing point in the vertical direction, making the hotel look more imposing.

This is doable with a view camera by some combination of tilting and raising the lens relative to the glass photographic plate. See

Still there

And looks more or less the same. It's now an apartment building.

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