2013-02-22 / People

A Window on the Past

Development boomed during World War II
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


This map, courtesy of South Portland Historical Society member Ron Jenkins, shows where the city’s housing complexes used to be located. (Courtesy photo) This map, courtesy of South Portland Historical Society member Ron Jenkins, shows where the city’s housing complexes used to be located. (Courtesy photo) We recently posted a photograph on Facebook showing a class at the Marion Street School. The Marion Street School was the school that was later renamed Dyer School; it was built in the 1940s to handle the large influx of children moving with their families to the shipyard housing complexes of Broadview Park and Mountain View Park, as well as the new Stanwood Park.

We still have a street next to South Portland High School, Mountain View Road, that serves as a small reminder of the Mountain View Park housing complex that used to cover that area during World War II. Broadview Park is an area that is still remembered by some who used to live in the area, but most residents of today have little or no knowledge of how these neighborhoods developed.

Our tremendous thanks goes out to society member Ron Jenkins for sharing the accompanying image of a map of the area around the intersection of Evans Street and Highland Avenue. The streets closest to the northwest corner of Highland Avenue and Evans Street – the streets with the presidential names, such as McKinley and Buchanan – make up the neighborhood that is now called Stanwood Park. Stanwood Park was developed during World War II; a whole neighborhood of affordable single-family homes for which there was an endless demand during those shipyard years.

Through the map we can also see how Marion Street ran parallel to Alfred at the start of the street near Evans, and we also see how the Alfred Street of today actually evolved as an extension of Marion Street. Broadview Park was made up of mostly barracks-style housing – the housing ran along Alfred and Marion streets and then curved around the Stanwood Park development to arrive at Highland Avenue.

If you have any maps, photographs or other historic pieces to share, please call the South Portland Historical Society at 767-7299, or you can contact us on Facebook or at sphistoricalsociety@maine.rr.com.

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