September 21, 2019
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BDN journalist receives top Portland history award

PORTLAND, Maine — Bangor Daily News journalist Troy R. Bennett received a Preservation Leader award by the organization Greater Portland Landmarks during the group’s annual meeting Thursday night.

Bennett was one of two to receive a Preservation Leader award from the organization, and was feted for his 2017 series for the BDN, “This Week in Portland History,” which featured 46 videos highlighting people, places and events from throughout the history of Maine’s largest city.

Bennett, who has worked in Portland for the BDN since 2012, said he was surprised and humbled to be honored by Greater Portland Landmarks.

John Wilkes Booth in Portland

John Wilkes Booth was in Portland the night the Civil War broke out and he skipped town the next day without paying his bills.

Posted by BDN Portland on Monday, December 18, 2017

“Greater Portland Landmarks is a gold-standard local preservation organization,” he said. “Their fingerprints are all over every major preservation effort in this city for the last 50 years. They even take care of the Portland Observatory. Just to be mentioned in the same breath as they are is cooler than you can imagine. To be honored by GPL blows my mind.

“I made the videos simply because I found all the stories fascinating. I had a feeling other people would want to hear them, too,” Bennett continued. “Stories that great should be told, over and over, every generation or they’ll be lost. Making videos, putting them online was just a natural way of telling the story in the 21st century.”

Bennett also was quick to point out that he drew from books and research by other experts in developing his series, saying, “I’m not a historian, just a storyteller.”

[The full catalog of “This Week in Portland History” episodes]

Marianne Chapman of the group Friends of the Grand Trunk Cemetery was also given an Preservation Leader award, while six restoration and adaptive reuse projects were also honored at the Greater Portland Landmarks celebration Thursday.

Chapman managed the popular blog “ Remnant: Grand Trunk Cemetery Reclamation Project.”

“The substantial number of quality nominations this year demonstrates the community’s continued commitment to honoring the history of its landscapes and architecture,” said Landmarks’ Director of Advocacy Julie Larry in a statement. “Everyone benefits from projects that maintain the authentic character of the region.”

The organization recognized three projects under its Restoration & Rehabilitation award category, including the Conant-Payson Block on Exchange Street, the rebuilt State Theatre marquee and the Grand Trunk Railroad office building. Another three projects were awarded under the group’s Adaptive Reuse category, including the Brick South building on Thompson’s Point, The Motherhouse at Baxter Woods and Plummer Senior Living in Falmouth.

Thursday night’s celebration was held at the Motherhouse.

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