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Portland Public Main Library | Portland, ME

THE TEA CRITIC - Tea Space Reviews & Ratings

Not too long ago, I read an article in a magazine entitled, Afar, about how visiting a city's public library can give insight into the city's personality and characteristics. The article remains my inspiration for every library that I visit in and outside of my home-town.

Recently, while wandering through Portland, Maine, I decided to also check out the Portland Public Main Library and in this blog post I share the impression it had on me and what I learned about the city while browsing its public library's bookshelves.

Homegrown Herb & Tea: address, rating, price range

Date Visited: 29 March 2019

Sundays | closed

Monday through Thursday | 10 am - 7 pm

Friday | 10 am - 6 pm

Saturday | 10 am - 5 pm

(207) 871-1700

- Parking -

Park on the street, in the Elm Street Parking Garage or Midtown Parking Garage (enter from Monument Square or Free St).



The Portland Public Main Library was built in 1979 and recently has undergone a phase I renovation in 2010. Plans for phase II improvements are underway. The library's face comes in a stark modern contrast with the old-world vibe of the city, almost as a reminder that the vintage charm of downtown Portland is, in fact, in the 21st century.

Upon entering the library you are greeted with a small stair case leading to a sitting area that resembles a large dining cafe. Immediately you sense the feeling of community and multi-purposing, which actually are themes for most buildings in Portland (Portland prides itself in community homes for immigrants which serve also as learning centers for English and basic skill-sets). In addition, the library offers meeting rooms and the Lewis Art Gallery which has increased community usage and donations.

Although I loved the attention taken to renovate the library, I got the feeling that Portland was either betraying its personality or introducing a new dynamic. The modern edge of the library just didn't fit the city to me. I feel as though Portland is struggling with figuring out how to accept the new while still trying to maintain its sense of self.





Portland Public Main Library - front facing sign
Asian art sculpture in entrance of Portland Public Main Library
Sitting area near entrance Portland Public Main Library
Portland Public Library renovation plaque
Newly renovated granite tile
Mosaic art
Live greenery
Portland Public Main Library Book Store
Modern staircase in the Portland Public Main Library
Bookshelf decor
Lewis Art Gallery
Wall art facing Lewis Art Gallery
Gabie standing in front of the glass door of one of the meeting rooms of the Portland Public Main Library
Elephant art in Children's section of Portland Public Main Library
Children's book art

What public library would you like to see?

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