May 16, 2010

Open house: Sitting pretty

Front-row seats to the cityscape make this Portland condo shine.

By Ray Routhier
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

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The rooftop patio at Heather Frederick’s condo in the new Chestnut Street Lofts in Portland

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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The dining room

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

Additional Photos Below


LOCATION: Seventh floor unit at Chestnut Street Lofts, corner of Chestnut Street and Cumberland Avenue, Portland. Next to City Hall and Merrill Auditorium.

STYLE: Modern, loft-style condo.

OWNER: Heather and Linden Frederick. Heather Frederick is owner of Vox Photographs, a Portland fine art photography business, and uses the loft to do a lot of entertaining and meeting with photographers. Linden Frederick is a well-known Maine painter who does most of his work in Belfast, where the couple also has a home.

HISTORY: The building was built in 2007, at a time when several loft-style condo projects were being done in downtown Portland. The building is modern looking, with glass, stone and silver- colored steel.

WHAT MAKES IT STAND OUT: Incredible views of the cityscape, Back Cove, and especially of the City Hall clock tower. At night, the 1912 clock tower, with a copper dome and an historic gold-colored sailing ship weather vane, are lit up with 1,000-watt floodlights.

SURPRISING FEATURES: The floors in the living room and dining room are cement, keeping with the modern and "industrial feel" of the unit that the owners like. There is a large open-air patio off the living room, and a rooftop patio with some ocean views, open to anyone who lives in the building.


"OPEN HOUSE" is a monthly series in Home & Garden profiling eye-catching, historic or innovative homes around Maine.

TO SUBMIT a home for this series, contact Ray Routhier at 791-6454 or at

But when the two tables are not side by side, the dining room has lots of room for people to stand around with a cocktail and chat, which is what they do when Frederick hosts open houses for the photographers she represents.

The living room is fairly sparsely furnished, with an aqua-colored couch from Pier 1 Import's "mid-century" line. It's got the sleek look of a 1950s couch, and is narrow enough to not take up a large chunk of room in a 1,000-square-foot condo.

"I had a year and a half to buy pieces for this while it was being built, so I picked every piece to fit its space," said Frederick. "It was a lot of fun to have that much time."

Off the living room and through two side-by-side glass doors is a patio the size of most people's living rooms. The floor is made of concrete slabs and is bounded by metal railings and sheet-metal panels.

It's directly across an alley from Portland High School, but also has a clear view of Back Cove and, on a clear day, Mount Washington in New Hampshire.

There are also views of the roofs of many of Portland's historic buildings, including the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church (1826) and City Hall.

People who live in the Chestnut Street Lofts also have access to a rooftop patio, which has even a wider array of views, including Casco Bay.

Even though it's in the middle of downtown, the building's location in the business center of town means it's fairly quiet on weekends and during the summer tourist season.

And the fact that it's seven stories up -- high by Maine standards for a residence -- means there isn't a lot right around it.

"It's one of the most private places in town in the summer," said Frederick, standing on her patio.



Staff Writer Ray Routhier can be contacted at 791-6454 or at:


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Additional Photos

click image to enlarge

The Chestnut Street Lofts building in Portland

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

The living room

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

click image to enlarge

The patio

John Ewing/Staff Photographer

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