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Architecture in Portland, Bangor, Acadia, Bar Harbor, Maine Coast

Things to do / Travel Guide

The Maine Coast is a fantastic place to visit if you like hunting down old and interesting buildings. The region's architectural variety is rich, with everything from classic New England Clapboard old-style barn houses to neo-classical governmental buildings. Here are a few structures worth visiting:

The Shakespearean Theater at Monmouth

This unique theater is over a half-century old, and houses a working Shakespearean company. The style is, well, Elizabethan of course, and while not exactly London's Globe Theater, we're sure Old Willie would approve. To get here from the mid-coast area (Rockland, Camden, Belfast, or Boothbay), take either State Road 17 or State Road 3 to Augusta. Go 180 degrees around both rotaries, following signs for Western Avenue, State Road 202 West or Winthrop. Follow Western Avenue past the entrance to I-95. After about 12.5 miles, you will see signs for State Road 132, Monmouth and The Theater At Monmouth. Following the signs, turn left onto State Road 132 (southbound), and follow that for 2 miles. The theater is on the left.

Bath's Main Street

Here is a whole Main Street full of architectural delights. The classical New England style shines brightly through the myriad shops, restaurants and inns in the historic old Maine Coast village of Bath. This is an ongoing restoration project, and is under the auspices of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The Thompson Ice House

With an honored place on the National Register of Historic Places, the Thompson Ice House is a prime example of industrial architecture from the 19th century. The site is located in South Bristol on the mid-coast.

The Criterion Theater

Another of the Maine Coast's gems, this building is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Criterion Theater originally opened on June 6th, 1932. Located in the heart of downtown Bar Harbor, this 870-seat, Art Deco masterpiece was at one time a stop on the vaudeville circuit as well as a motion picture house.
The most unusual aspect of the theater is its “floating” balcony, one of only a few of its kind ever built. With current renovations and top-notch acoustics, the Criterion still offers a great menu of live music and theatrical productions. You can even catch a first-run movie.