beforeafter

Summer 2014 photo by Jill Brady/Staff Photographer; historic photo from the Portland Press Herald print archives (photographer uncredited).

This uncredited photograph from the Press Herald’s print archives depicts Gorham’s old Free Meeting House, today an art gallery for the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus, as it looked in 1961.

The accompanying Maine Sunday Telegram story from Sept. 3, 1961, describes how the 1822 building, previously used as a house of worship and then as Gorham’s town hall, was then being offered for use as an inter-faith chapel on the growing campus of the Gorham State Teachers’ College.

The building was in the news again last summer when a renovation project proposed to replace its clapboards with vinyl siding. After a public outcry from preservationists, the school agreed to use pine clapboards.

The Portland Room of the Portland Public Library is in the process of organizing and conserving the archival collection of original Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and Evening Express photographic negatives — a major collection that spans from 1937 to 2005. Find more photos at www.pressherald.com/flashback/.