The Deering Street Historic District is the epitome of a historic district in that its houses were built in a relatively short and discrete period (1850–98) and the structures are unified by their residential functions. The District represents an outstanding and compact grouping of major Victorian residences dating from 1850 to 1898 and including all the important 19th century architectural styles. The houses, mostly of brick, are large and finely built and signify the upper middle class wealth of their original occupants. It tells us much about the leading citizens of one of Portland’s most dynamic eras during the post-fire reconstruction.
Stevens designed the Samuel T. Pickard House at 743 Congress in the Queen Anne style. The house features an asymmetrical plan and an exploitation of the various ways in which wood can be worked: clapboards on the first story, shingles on the second story and the gable ends, and carved reliefs in the pediment above the entrance and between the windows in the gable Several decades ago the house’s residential use changed and the property became a licensed lodging facility. This use continues today and accommodates has eight (8) rooms for one or two persons with shared baths, plus two (2) apartments.
Over the decades, normal wear due to age and weather exposure eventually caused deterioration. This project was one of the first to use Maine’s Small Projects Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits to offset cost associated with repairs, which included:
- Siding and trim
- Spot repair/replace existing damaged and/or missing slate shingles
- Replace sheet metal valleys and eave flashing with new lead coated copper
- Repoint and flash 2 chimneys + remove and rebuild 1 chimney
- Complete bathroom remodel and floor
- Life Safety electrical upgrades