Recognized as one of the finest examples of high-style Greek Revival architecture in the state, the James P. White House has held a prominent position at the entrance to downtown Belfast since 1842. Its eponymous first owner ascended from a modest log home nearby to become a successful merchant, financier, and mayor of Belfast during the Civil War. Designed by local architect Calvin A. Ryder, the estate functioned as a bed and breakfast in recent years. Now a private residence, the formerly bright-white building has been painted a more historically accurate off-white. On the front door, fresh robin’s egg-blue paint — a color that would have been expensive and hard to come by in the 19th century — serves as an exclamation point, of sorts, on an architectural tribute to White’s considerable wealth.
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.