• DE
  • EN
  • FR
  • International Database and Gallery of Structures


General Information

Completion: 1807
Status: out of service

Project Type

Structure: Wooden truss tower
Function / usage: Observation tower
Material: Wooden tower

Awards and Distinctions


Location: , , ,
Address: 138 Congress Street
Coordinates: 43° 39' 55.30" N    70° 14' 53.72" W
Show coordinates on a map

Technical Information


number of floors (above ground) 7


tower wood
foundations stone


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]


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

Relevant Web Sites

  • About this
    data sheet
  • Structure-ID
  • Published on:
  • Last updated on: