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  • International Database for Civil and Structural Engineering

Portland Observatory

General Information

Structural Type: Wooden truss tower
Function / usage: Observation tower
Completed in: 1807
Status: out of service

Geographic Information & Related Structures

Location: Portland, Cumberland County, Maine, USA, North America
Address: 138 Congress Street

Technical Information

Dimensions

number of floors (above ground) 7

Materials

tower wood
foundations stone

Notes

Captain Lemuel Moody originated the idea to build the tower.

Field stone foundation, with ballast of Field Stone. Frame wood. Exterior walls shingled. Floors single thickness. Stairway to top.

Portland Observatory was built for private enterprise. Purpose of building was to sight incoming vessels (ships can be sighted at least 12 miles at sea). Owner's flags, which could be seen from town, indicated arrival of ships. It is believed that merchants prepared to do their trading before ships had entered harbor. Portland Observatory was also used in sending aid to ships showing signals of distress. During War of 1812, the Observatory was used as a watch tower of the town. Location of the structure is one of the highest points of land in Portland. [Text from HABS]

Participants

Currently there is no information available about persons or companies having participated in this project.

Relevant Web Sites

Relevant Publications

There is no relevant literature listed in the database.

Internal Information
Structure-ID: s0011647
Created: 19/03/2004
Last Updated: 23/07/2014