PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Greater Portland Landmarks announced a first-of-its-kind list of historic properties in greater Portland that are at risk of being lost to development or due to neglect.
PHOTO GALLERY: Landmarks in peril
The seven places on the Places in Peril list are considered significant to the history and feel of the region.
"The criteria we looked at were three things," explained Hilary Bassett, executive director of Greater Portland Landmarks. "One is the significance. How important is it to the history of the greater Portland area, or to the history of architecture in greater Portland and in Maine? And then also, how imminent is the threat? Is it deeply neglected? Is it suffering from vandalism? Is it on the market for sale and we don't know what will happen in the future? Does it need a big infusion of investment to survive? Those are the kinds of threats that we've been looking at."
Greater Portland Landmarks winnowed down the number of distressed properties from twenty-six to the seven finalists because of immediate concerns about their state of repair or the potential that they could be sold and alter the landscape of the community.
They want to create awareness about these endangered places and encourage action by bringing people together to come up with creative solutions.
"A lot of people really are not aware of the importance of these properties, and in some cases, that they even exist," said Bassett. "They haven't really thought, what would happen if we lost that building? What would Portland feel like, or South Portland feel like, if that building were not there or that landscape were not there?"
The group plans to make this an annual event, with the hope that some of the places that made the initial list being replaced once they are no longer threatened.