Hagge Builds on the Hill

 By Carol McCracken

The civic minded Cyrus Y. Hagge is moving his family to Turner Street on the Hill where he’s building a 2 family, triple decker home. He and his wife, Patty, will occupy the top two floors with sweeping views of Casco Bay year round. The first floor unit will be rented. The Hagge family expects to be moved into their Turner Street home by Thanksgiving. They are currently living on an island off Portland since their West End home has been sold.

Hagge, who spent the last 30 years as a building contractor, is building this towering home on a vacant lot. When the foundation was dug he did not find any evidence of a previous home there. However, according to city photographs from 1924, there was a 3 bay barn on the site. The façade will be of clapboard with a curved front bay window facing Turner Street.

Two years ago while living on the west end of Portland, Hagge ran for city council against David Marshall. Hagge, who had been in the public eye for many years was expected by many to defeat Marshall, the lesser known of the two candidates. However, Marshall beat Hagge by 10% of the vote. “What was I thinking? Why did I ever run against David?” said Hagge, laughing at the memory of the defeat handed to him by artist Marshall. The two have since developed a warm relationship through their work together at the Portland Downtown District, a quasi-governmental office of which Hagge is president.

Hagge served on the city’s planning board for twelve years. That duty ended in 2002, he said in an email to the MHN. Over the years, he’s served on a number of city committees and is currently president of the Cumberland County YMCA.

Hagge insists he has no intention of running for city office again next year, even though District I city councilor Kevin J. Donoghue will be up for re-election. Likewise, Donoghue does not see Hagge’s move to the Hill as a threat to his re-election in 2009. “I think he’s just renesting as his kids are over 18,” Donoghue said in an email to the MHN. David Marshall concurred. “I don’t think he’s going to run again, because he’s sick of us all,” said Marshall grinning.

“I’ve lived in Stroudwater, the west end of Portland and so I thought I’d give the Hill a try,” said the congenial Hagge, who was leaning on crutches because of a bad knee outside his under construction home on a beautiful summer day recently.

Hagge now runs a property management company on Commercial Street, Project Management, Inc.