Two views of Portland’s Monument Square, in 1973 and in 2013. The 1973 photo ran on the front page of the Aug. 17, 1973, edition of the Portland Press Herald with this caption:

“Where busy automobiles once circled downtown Portland’s Monument Square, pedestrians will slowly meander once reconstruction of the area around the monument is completed. The far side of the square, where cars are now parked, will become a part of a pedestrian walkway surrounding the monument itself, leaving the only roadway in the foreground for cars. The contractor, Blue Rock Industries of Westbrook, is removing 1,500 cubic yards of old paving and dirt from the area and will replace it with 1,700 yard of gravel; 8,524 feet of curbing; 2,845 yards of sidewalk and pavement; and 120 square feet of cobblestones. The mall will have benches, shrubs and no parking, and is planned as part of a major downtown project including construction on Federal, Brown, Exchange, Market, Free, Cross and Temple Streets. Staff photo by Bill Curran, Jr.”

The 1973 photo comes from the Portland Room collection at the Portland Public Library, where the photographic negatives from the Portland Press Herald, Maine Sunday Telegram and Portland Evening Express are currently being archived and cataloged. In Flashback, we’ll periodically share some of our favorites from this collection, which spans from the 1930s to the 1990s. See more at

Historic photo, by Bill Curran Jr., courtesy of the Press Herald archives housed at the Portland Public Library; contemporary photo by John Patriquin, Staff Photographer.

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