Portland Press Herald vacates longtime home

Posted May 24, 2010, at 5:39 a.m.
FILE - This June 18, 2009 file photo shows the Portland Press Herald's Congress Street building in downtown Portland, Maine. The state's largest newspaper has moved from the familiar yellow-brick building it called home since 1923, and into a modern office building a few blocks away. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)
AP
FILE - This June 18, 2009 file photo shows the Portland Press Herald's Congress Street building in downtown Portland, Maine. The state's largest newspaper has moved from the familiar yellow-brick building it called home since 1923, and into a modern office building a few blocks away. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty, File)

PORTLAND, Maine — After 87 years in its downtown home, the Portland Press Herald has moved into a nearby modern office building.

The move marks the end of an era for the familiar yellow-brick Press Herald building at 390 Congress St., which the paper has occupied since 1923 across from Portland City Hall.

The newspaper’s circulation department moved last winter to the paper’s printing and distribution center in South Portland. Editorial, advertising, human resources and other departments made the final move over the weekend to the 13-story One City Center office building, said Richard Connor, president and chief executive officer of MaineToday Media Inc., which last year bought the Press Herald and its sister papers in Augusta and Waterville from The Seattle Times Co.

The paper’s new space is airy, bright and modern, Connor said.

“It’s different and it’ll feel different,” Connor said. “It will be very emotional for a lot of people even though they’re going to a better place.”

After buying the newspapers, MaineToday Media sold the newspaper building and other properties to a New York developer, who plans to renovate the building and lease it out as office space.

At One City Center, the Press Herald will occupy part or all of three floors.

Reporter Tom Bell said employees understand the need for moving because the paper has fewer workers than in the past and the new owner needed to pay down debt.

“It’s a bittersweet moment,” Bell said. “We’re moving from a building where we’re the only occupant to a building where we will occupy just (three) floors and we won’t have our own identity. The good news is we’re staying downtown.”

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