Portland: Introduction

Portland is the largest city in Maine and an important cultural, commercial, and shipping center. Called "the beautiful town that is seated by the sea" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who was born there, Portland, three times destroyed by fire and rebuilt, has revived again. During the 1960s and 1970s Portland lost more than 11 percent of its population as its economy stagnated. A thoughtful urban renewal program designed to balance the process of economic growth with the preservation and restoration of what made the city unique—including its historic port district and other landmarks—has produced a culturally and economically vital city that is attracting young professionals from across America. Portland entered the new century with a deep appreciation of what makes a city livable and a commitment to ensuring that it remains so for all its citizens.