New Town Picture Gallery 36: Rumford, Maine

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Picture of Historic Hotel Harris on Hartford Street in Rumford, Maine

Historic Hotel Harris in Rumford, Maine

The town of Rumford, Maine has been added to the town picture gallery. Enjoy!

There are now 37 towns featured in the town picture gallery.

Also, in the course of our research on Rumford, Maine we came across some fascinating information on Strathglass Park.  From the Strathglass Park Preservation Society:

Strathglass Park was one of the first planned communities in Maine. It was built by the entrepreneur Hugh J. Chisholm as laid out in his 1891 “Plan for Rumford Falls.” Around the turn of the 19th century hundreds of immigrants were streaming into Rumford to work in the paper mills. Chisholm established the Rumford Real Estate Company in 1901 in order to build housing for many of the employees. In 1902 construction of Strathglass Park began. The park was named after Chisholm’s country estate in upstate New York, and designed by New York City architect Cass Gilbert. Gilbert and Chisholm traveled to Scotland together, and following their visit Gilbert designed fifty-one duplex houses, four single-family dwellings, and nine apartment houses, all constructed of brick.

Be sure to check out their video about the history of Strathglass Park. There is a nice picture slideshow of Strathglass Park here . . . that is until we are able to get back to Rumford to get our own picture 🙂

As you can see, like all of Rumford, Strathglass Park has fallen on hard times as the local paper mill struggles to survive. Again, from the folks at Strathglass Park Preservation Society:

The town of Rumford has something found in few other New England Communities: an historic, architecturally-significant, century-old neighborhood. Add that it’s on the National Register of Historic Places. Add that homeowners can buy into the neighborhood for under $40,000. Add it all up and Strathglass Park, a section of approximately 100 units on four streets, is clearly one of the assets of the community.

But it is a neglected asset, in decline. Buildings are in disrepair and many of the properties have been used for low income rentals, creating what might be politely referred to as “social issues,” from disruptive adolescents to litter to unleashed dogs.

The paradox presents a challenge to investors and homeowners. It is possible to buy into the “Park” cheaply, but getting a reasonable return on the investment will probably require any investor to get involved not only financially, but in the community as well.

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