By Carol McCracken
Architect John Calvin Stevens is such an icon in Portland that whenever one of his properties goes on the real estate market, that fact is worth noting. That’s especially true in the Greater Munjoy Hill area because Stevens was the architect of so few homes in this part of Portland Most of his work was concentrated in the West End of Portland. He’s also celebrated for his summer cottages – Shingle Style – in Delano Park on Cape Elizabeth.
Although he designed (or altered) about 300 buildings on the Portland peninsula, he designed only two on North Street (nos. 34 and 38), two on the Eastern Promenade, (nos. 5 and 126) and on one Atlantic Street for which he did alterations only. MHN is not clear whether or not it’s still standing. Stevens also was the architect for a “dispensary” at 65 India Street. This information was gleaned from “John Calvin Stevens On the Peninsula l880to 1940 by Earle G. Shettleworth,Jr. and published by Greater Portland Landmarks, Inc. 2003.
For sale at l65-67 Congress Street is an absolutely charming and very well-maintained example of Stevens’ architect. It’s hard to imagine this property will remain on the market for very long. It was built in 1883 according to one source and according to the city’s assessor’s office in 1875. Take your pick!
It was built for James Cunningham, who was a successful labor broker within the then up-and-coming Irish community. The Irish themselves comprised a large segment of the labor pool in the mid-to late 1800s. Anyway, long aware that this was a Stevens home, MHN was so delighted to just go inside and peek around that she forgot to ask pertinent questions. Except, it’s sale price is $485,000. and there are four occupied rental units therein.
According to Hill resident and broker, Colleen Bedard, “…if someone is familiar with Portland the buildings that CJS has been involved with –yes, it adds value. Also, you can see his architectural details in the building, which add value and help to make it quality living space.” If it sounds interesting to you, don’t linger! (editor’s note!)
For answers to your other questions, please get in touch with Colleen Bedard, at RE/MAX By The Bay at 970 Baxter Boulebvard. Mobile phone (207) 233-7273. Or firstname.lastname@example.org