Reading the article about possibly losing low-income housing if the Portland Museum of Art tears down the historic structure that once housed the children’s museum was frustrating. I do agree that the building being proposed is a beautiful structure, but it does not fit Free Street whatsoever.

Being born in Maine in the late 1960s, I’ve seen it change at the whims of citizens trying to make their mark or leave their legacy stamped for all to see. We’ve lost beautiful architecture to parking lots and modern conveniences.

Recently, my spouse and I visited the museum on First Friday. I’ve been visiting it for my entire life and enjoyed revisiting my favorites pieces and the seeing wonderful new acquisitions. Looking closer, though, I became very embarrassed at the state of the museum. The bathrooms were gross – dirty and stinky. The walls and stairs were scuffed, and the edging was coming off, revealing the metal in the wall corners. It looked beat to heck, and it’s not even tourist season yet.

Maybe, instead of focusing on expansion, the management could put far greater effort into making what we already have the jewel it is meant to be. I’m sure laying off maintenance workers didn’t help a bit. My two cents.

Jennifer Kastelic

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