The Armory on Milk Street in Portland, pictured here in March 1898, was built in 1895 for $20,000. It was used for drill purposes by the many National Guard units that were headquartered there and also served as a civic auditorium. After the Guard vacated the building in 1941, it was used to house military personnel who were in Portland temporarily. The Navy used the building during World War II as a recreation center. In 1962, the city took over operation and was set to convert the property for parking. The Armory was instead sold to State Paper Company to use as a warehouse. Today, the building houses the Portland Regency hotel, Armory Lounge and Eighteen95 restaurant. Collections of Maine Historical Society. Order a copy at, item #12545″

In commemoration of Maine’s bicentennial this year, The Forecaster is featuring historical highlights and artifacts from our communities’ past 200 years. This feature can be found in print and online every other week.