PORTLAND – Last week, a resident of The Motherhouse apartments had a question.

“Is it OK for me to hang something on the wall?”

The answer: “Of course you can! It’s your home!”

Such is the quality of life – homelike, welcoming – at the historic former St. Joseph’s Convent on Stevens Avenue. Last fall, sensitive renovations were completed on The Motherhouse’s 88 apartments. All were created to provide affordable living. This spring, only a few units – both studios and one-bedrooms – remain available, to people age 55 and older.

Also this spring, raised beds will be available for garden enthusiasts at this gold-domed, pet-friendly building in the pleasant, walkable Deering Center neighborhood, abutting Baxter Woods. One resident, Irene Dufour, has launched a community newsletter.

Inside the secure building – where original, 1906 woodwork, stained glass, and many other stunning features are in prime condition – every apartment is different, including floor plans and views. Full, well-appointed kitchens; large full baths with tubs; and hardwood flooring are standard, as are heat pumps.

Each unit has a parking space. There are two elevators, a mail room, a library, a spacious indoor sun deck, a big living room, a function room with a kitchenette.

Dufour, who lives in a one-bedroom, compares the facility to “a huge house, with so many common areas to enjoy. It’s also fun, and healthy, just to walk the long halls.

“You can be as private as you like, or as sociable. It’s a diverse community of ‘elders’ who have a lot to offer,” Dufour said of her neighbors.

Resident Services Coordinator Rhonda Harrington is available onsite several days a week, for tours, linking people with services, coordinating health and wellness programs, and more (including picture-hanging advice).

Please contact Rhonda at 207-233-2970 or at [email protected].