Re-opening of the Baxter Building; A Transforming Day To Be Remembered Says Podgajny

Taffy Field, Morris Fisher and Mayor Nick Mavodones After Cutting the Ribbon at the Baxter Building of the Portland Public Library Taffy Field, Morris Fisher and Mayor Nick Mavodones After Cutting the Ribbon at the Baxter Building of the Portland Public Library[/caption]Dr. William MacVane, chaired the first building committee for the Portland public library in 1977 By Carol McCracken (Post # 442)

“Days such as these can fade into memory quickly or they can be transformative events that acquire a place in the history of a community that cannot be dislodged,” said Steve Podgajny, executive director, at the ribbon cutting ceremony that formally re-opened the Baxter Building of the Portland Public Library. And it is doubtful that many of the huge crowd of people standing in the bright sunshine on Congress Street will soon forget the occasion.

Podgajny went on to say in his remarks that “Monument Square is the emotional center of our City and its major occupant is on the threshold of delivering its decades old promise of positive civic presence and contribution to the social life of the Square.” Mayor Nick Mavodones said that “Today we celebrate the expansion of Portland’s “soul,” with this state-of-the-art facility. A space that has something for everyone. We are saying goodbye to our smaller branches and saying hello to new technology and new ways to deliver a service we all cherish.” The Mayor then introduced the Honorable William MacVane accompanied by his two daughters, Leslie and Peggy.

Dr. MacVane, 95, who served on the city council, chaired the first buildling committee for the Portland public library back in 1977. He was front and center for this ribbon cutting ceremony, although he missed the first ceremony because he was out of town on business. Dr. MacVane said there were “fights about where we were going to put it. I wanted it where Pierce Atwood is located. I lost,” he said laughing. “I got outvoted!” Dr. MacVane was a surgeon for many year at Maine Medical Center. (See above left photo.)

No one was more pleased with the newly renovated library than staff members: Sage, “This library now mirrors the greatness of the Portland community. Portland deserves this. It’s a destination place for Portland now.” Lynne Washburn who has worked in the inter-library loan offie for 11 years said: “I was blown away when I took my first tour several weeks ago. The workers who built the building were amazing. They even treated us to pizza for lunch several times.”

editor’s note: Sorry for the messup on the photo captions above!