Maine has so many beautiful natural wonders that we often forget about its equally stunning man-made counterparts. There’s just a majestic air in New England that can’t be found anywhere else – its European roots are reflected in its architecture, from towering Gothic cathedrals to charming Victorian homes. Here are 10 examples of just how brilliant Maine’s architecture can be.
1. St. David Catholic Church (Madawaska)
This church was built in 1911 and modeled after Renaissance and Baroque Italian architecture. Not only is it beautiful, it is also symbolic of the Madawaska residents' long struggle for their own parish and priest. Keeping this in mind only serves to enhance its strong and mighty stature that is a treat to marvel at.
2. The Gerald Hotel (Fairfield)
This old fashioned building is now permanently closed, but its individuality can be appreciated forever. It was built in 1900 on the west side of Main Street by Amos Gerald, one of Maine's leading businessmen at the time. He was known for his elaborate designs - the uppermost middle room in the photo is a rooftop pavilion! Staying here must have felt like paradise.
3. Ellsworth City Hall (Ellsworth)
This prominent government building doesn't have the uniform, boxy, corporate look that some city halls do - it has character. The intricacies on the A-frame are especially eye-catching.
4. Amos Gerold House (Fairfield)
This is the home of the same man who built the hotel mentioned in #2. The fact that it's modeled after medieval castles definitely emphasizes his love for unique architecture. The home is now a funeral parlor - this might sound a bit morbid, but I wouldn't mind my service being held in a place like this.
5. Bannister Hall (Brunswick)
This Gothic chapel at Bowdoin College is simply breathtaking.
6. Eastern Promenade House (Portland)
This charming Victorian house really captures the essence of New England.
7. Penobscot Narrows Bridge and Observatory (Stockton Springs)
This cable-stayed bridge was built fairly recently in 2004 to replace the old Waldo-Hancock Bridge connecting Verona Island to Prospect. It appears so delicate and fragile, yet it holds up thousands of cars daily. That is truly amazing.
8. Portland City Hall (Portland)
If there's anything I pride Maine for, it's the fact that it has retained its roots and character after all these years. This old fashioned city hall is another example of Maine's refusal to standardize its architecture and look like a clone of every other building in modern America.
9. First Church of Belfast (Belfast)
This church is New England in a nutshell - I mean, it even resembles Big Ben!
10. Memorial Bridge (Portsmouth)
And rounding out the list is perhaps the most famous bridge in Maine, a memorial to World War I. It was built in 1920 and has endured the weight of millions upon millions of cars since then. That fact combined with its sheer elegance is the epitome of architectural brilliance in my opinion.
Have you ever had the opportunity to be awed by one of these places firsthand? What other places in Maine exemplify just how beautiful its architecture is? Share with us in the comments below!