PORTLAND – Few apartments have history and character like those at The Motherhouse (the former Saint Joseph’s Convent). These special units are just coming available, to people age 55 and older.

The gold-domed, landmark structure on Stevens Avenue was built in 1906, and closed in 2005 after the number of resident Sisters of Mercy declined. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Today, following renovations overseen by Archetype Architects of Portland and carried out with great sensitivity, 88 brand-new apartments are being introduced at the 101,000-square-foot, five-level complex. Well over half of those apartments have already been taken – a testament to their desirability.

Full, well-appointed kitchens; large full baths with tubs, and hardwood flooring are standard, as are heat pumps and the highest degree of efficiency. Beyond that, absolutely every apartment is different – floor plan, features, and even the views.

Sizes range from a studio of 334 square feet, to the largest one-bedroom apartment at 934 square feet. Lofty ceilings and tall windows ushering in abundant natural light enhance the sense of space.

Some apartments have lovely stained-glass; some, leaded-glass; others, arched. Two apartments’ arched windows measure 8 feet across at bottom.

Hallways are broad. Many units have beadboard wainscoting. There are chalkboards here and there. Top-floor apartment rooms tend to have architecturally distinctive ceiling angles. One unit was formerly the art room.

Each apartment has a parking space. A pet (dog or cat) is permitted. Two floors have laundries. There is a mail room, and many common areas, including a library; a spacious, enclosed porch; and a function room, with kitchenette, that can be reserved.

The southern end of the property’s acreage offers a very nice private park, and the walkable location – close to Deering Center, abutting Baxter Woods, and opposite Evergreen Cemetery – is a big plus.

And the beauty of the Motherhouse’s architecture, interior and exterior, is surely among the foremost advantages of living here. Although the stunning chapel will remain intact, the building has no religious affiliation, and welcomes everyone 55 and older.

For more information, contact DC Management at 772-3225 or at [email protected].