FoEP to host March 8 meeting on Fort Allen Park

Friends of the Eastern Promenade is sponsoring a public meeting to present the current concept plans for the Fort Allen Rehabilitation Project. The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at the East End Community School, 195 North St.

Landscape designers Martha Lyon and Regina Leonard will present historical research of Fort Allen Park and describe features of the current design concept. The public will be invited to provide comment during the meeting.

“The evolution of this design scheme provides an enhanced pedestrian experience while balancing the opportunities to enjoy Casco Bay from Portland’s most significant greenspace,” said Diane Davison, FoEP President.

Friends of the Eastern Promenade is sponsoring the Fort Allen Park Rehabilitation Project, working closely with Lyon and Leonard, the Historic Preservation Board and staff from the City of Portland. The Historic Preservation Board will hold a final public hearing on the project at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 18 at City Hall. In addition, the Parks Commission will review the plans at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 8 at 55 Portland St. Public comment will also be taken at this time.

The upcoming meetings continue an ongoing process to keep the public informed as the project develops. Friends of the Eastern Promenade presented the plan at its annual meeting in October. The Historic Preservation Board has held three public workshops to offer guidance on the design of the park and to hear feedback from the public.

“We continue to extend the invitation for public comment and truly hope to hear input from the broad section of park users,” Davison said.

Fort Allen Park, located at the southeastern end of the Eastern Promenade, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and recognized as a Historic Landscape by the City of Portland. The 4.5-acre park is known for its views of the Portland harbor and Casco Bay, its iconic bandstand and its two Civil War-era cannons, which rest on the remains of the original earthen berm of Fort Allen. The park is also home to several monuments, including the USS Portland, the USS Maine and the 9/11 monuments.

Major features of the current design include:

    • Remove all remaining evergreen trees along the Eastern Promenade roadway and the park interior (except for the Mugo) and remove existing crabapples along the entrance side of the horseshoe drive.
    • Plant Ginkgo trees along the Eastern Promenade roadway at the top of Fort Allen Park
    • Plant Hawthorn Winter King trees along the outer edge of the new pathways on either side of the horseshoe drive
    • Replace the original central walkway leading to the bandstand
    • Add pedestrian pathways on either side of the carriage drive
    • Realign the carriage drive to its original layout
    • Rebuild the overlook terrace to improve accessibility
    • Repair the Civil War cannons and carriages, the bandstand and replace fencing
    • Install low-level bollard lights along pedestrian walkways and remove lighting along carriage drive

Fort Allen Park Restoration Project