In the 1850s, when Portland’s Western Promenade was largely wooded and swampy, Samuel Spring and his uncle, Andrew Spring, commissioned architect Charles Alexander to design twin Italianate villas that would sit side by side on Danforth Street. At the time, most of the Promenade was owned by J.B. Brown, who hired Alexander to design his now-demolished Bramhall estate there. Samuel’s home (shown) varies only slightly from his uncle’s — sporting a segmental versus a triangular pediment over the entry bay, for example — and enjoyed a brief reign as one of the few grand residences in the area. After the Great Fire of 1866 destroyed many downtown homes, development on the promenade increased dramatically.
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.