2013-05-24 / Community

A Window on the Past

Look back at Long Creek Terrace
By Kathryn DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


An aerial view of Long Creek Terrace. The Community Building can be seen at right center; Redbank is at top right. (Courtesy photo) An aerial view of Long Creek Terrace. The Community Building can be seen at right center; Redbank is at top right. (Courtesy photo) We recently received a copy of the 10th anniversary report of the South Portland Housing Authority – our thanks to Stev Parker for finding the report and getting it to our historical society. The report outlines all of the wartime housing complexes in South Portland with many details and photographs. One of those housing complexes was Long Creek Terrace, a 27-acre area that is now the site of Home Depot and Home Goods. Here is some of the information from the report:

“Just a quarter of a mile from Redbank Village, Long Creek Terrace provided 500 homes for families in 74 dwelling buildings of six to eight families each. These were two-story buildings with flat roofs. There were three, four and five bedroom units, some of them furnished. Long Creek Terrace housed the families of war workers from May of 1943 until it closed in April, 1946. The Community Building contained 3,496 square feet of floor space, was constructed of cement blocks and was arranged so that rooms could be divided or combined for various activities. During its short period of use, it was a very busy place. The Administration Building adjoined the Community Building by a breezeway.”

After the war ended, in 1945, the shipyards closed and families began to move out of South Portland. At the same time, though, veterans were returning from the war to overcrowded communities and colleges, so a new use was found for the wartime housing in South Portland by moving it under the Title V program to other communities to provide housing for veterans and their families. The buildings from Long Creek Terrace were moved to Cambridge, Mass., to the University of Maine, and also some to Colby College.

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