On Walker Street in Portland’s West End, the 1868 A.B. Butler House is a shining example of the Second Empire style that became popular in the city during the Civil War. Its defining mansard roof, tiled in two-tone slate, is juxtaposed with elegant Italianate details, including paired doors, a bracketed cornice, and cupola. Albert Berry Butler, a well-known dry goods merchant, occupied the house until his death in 1907. It was designed by architect Matthew Stead, who focused much of his efforts on rebuilding Portland after the Great Fire of 1866. This home, along with the Merchant’s National Bank Block on Exchange Street, are the only remaining examples of his work in the city.
Portland-based writer Julie Senk holds degrees in history and historic preservation and provides property surveys and architectural analyses to homeowners and businesses. To learn more about her work, visit northernvernacular.com.