2016-02-05 / Community

A Window on the Past

Then and now: 104 Ocean St. in Knightville
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society

In these then and now photos, we see the historic home that once stood at 104 Ocean St. and the Waterfront Graphics and Printing office that now occupies the site. (Courtesy photos)

In these then and now photos, we see the historic home that once stood at 104 Ocean St. and the Waterfront Graphics and Printing office that now occupies the site. (Courtesy photos)

We look again this week at Ocean Street in South Portland’s Knightville neighborhood. In the 1930s, there were only four buildings located on the east side of the street, between D and E streets; they were numbered 92, 100, 104 and 112 Ocean. Last week, we looked at the house at 92 Ocean St. This week’s historic photo shows 104 Ocean St. and, just to its left, a glimpse of the corner of the house at 100 Ocean St. with the mansard roof. We haven’t been able to find a full head-on photo of that house, so we are grateful to at least get an idea here of what it was like.

These house photos show a completely different look to Ocean Street than what we saw in the post World War II era. When I grew up in the 1970s, Ocean Street had seen an incredible amount of change. The one-way traffic that sent thousands of cars whizzing through Knightville on their way to Portland caused a number of changes, including the removal of these old houses to make way for gas stations and service stations. I’ll also never forget bringing our car down to Knightville for an occasional car wash, too.

Like last week’s historic photo, we can see that this house at 104 Ocean Street was also a beautiful old home, and we get to see another of the fancy lamp posts on the sidewalk. I particularly like the porthole-type windows that give it a sort of “sea captain” look that would have fit in very well in Knightville (although we don’t know of any sea captains who lived in this house). In the more modern-day photo, we see the office of Waterfront Graphics and Printing that is now located at this site.

Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo is executive director of South Portland Historical Society.

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