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The Biddeford Historic Preservation Commission is about to embark on a project to document historic buildings in the downtown and surrounding areas of the city. This project is called an Architectural Survey, and will be conducted by Kleinfelder, Northeast, Inc., a consultant the City hired through a competitive RFP process.
Biddeford is fortunate to have a rich assortment of historic buildings, and this survey will record the wide range of buildings its history reflects, dating from the 1700s through the early 1970s. The project will begin in early November and is expected to be completed by September 30, 2023.
The Biddeford Architectural Survey is supported in part by a grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of the Interior and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.
Throughout the fall, the consultant will be working in Biddeford’s downtown neighborhoods, photographing each building, structure or object (a statue, for example) and documenting its age, construction details, and architectural style. The Study Area map below indicates the geographic range of this survey. The Survey will create a record and narrative that will be used by the Historic Preservation Commission in its work to better protect historic resources in Biddeford.
“You will probably notice the project team walking through your neighborhood and taking photos over the next few months,” said Brad Favreau, staff liaison for the Historic Preservation Commission. “It’s important to remember that this survey will not affect property taxes or your privacy in any way.”
Documenting a community’s historic buildings is the first step in preservation of these buildings.
Historic preservation helps tell the story of a community’s past. It helps tell the story of a place, often in terms of how and why a community developed. It is a link between past and future generations. Preservation of historic buildings is important because old buildings are a reminder of the way in which people lived decades or centuries ago, and the ways in which buildings were constructed.
Properly preserved, old buildings also add economic value to a community.
“People love old buildings and are drawn to the architectural richness of a nicely preserved downtown,” Favreau said. “Old buildings are people-friendly because they are usually better scaled to the human experience. Small business owners prefer old buildings, because they are usually less expensive to rent, compared to newly constructed buildings which can be costly. Well-preserved buildings also attain higher property values than do neglected old buildings.”
For more information on the Architectural Survey, please contact Brad Favreau, Economic Development Coordinator, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 207-284-9115.