A first visit to the Eastern Promenade. Home to some over-the-top architecture to match some over-the-top views. Our first is a ‘by request’ glimpse. And it’s over the top
In another first, the 1924 tax rolls have no listing for this building. More on that later.
The house was built for Henry P Dewey around 1886. This date is derived from a deed by Dewey selling a house just around the corner at 18 Atlantic Street to Joseph Castell in that year. Beckett’s City Directory for 1873 has Dewey living at that address in 1873.
The house has a real vertical emphasis. This being enhanced by its relationship with the street. Details are heavy and overly emphasized with the current color scheme. The style is Italianate with a very generous dose of Colonial Revival thrown in. Or should I say on?
Henry P Dewey was a partner in J S Winslow & Co. Jacob S Winslow was a merchant, trader & one of the biggest ship owners in Portland in the 2 decades after the Civil War. Henry was married to Jacob’s sister Sophronia. Henry purchased the property in 1879. One wonders why the Deweys waited 7 years to ‘move in’. A little voice says this is a Francis Fassett design. Allot of the design is within his oeuvre but the pastiche of detail isn’t. The period is certainly right. A puzzlement.
Henry died in 1900. Sophronia sold the property in 1902. The house would go through a series of owners over the next century. It and the entire East End would stagnate and decay in the ’60s and ’70s. This decline is evident in the fact that when the 1976 Portland Historic Resources Inventory was created, the East End was not included and the only structure mentioned therein was the Portland Observatory.
As mentioned earlier, the 1924 tax rolls have no listing for the house. This is the first time I have encountered this issue. Perhaps the record was lost or damaged. This is not to say there is no record at all. There is a data card, no photo, for a garage on the property. It was built of concrete block in 1916.
The house was converted to condominiums in 2000. There are currently 4 units.