PORTLAND, Maine — Few people can lay claim to a legacy in this city as large as Frannie Peabody’s. When Peabody died in 2001, she left behind two lifetimes’ worth of work on preservation as well as change.

Frannie Peabody was both a historic preservationist but also a pioneer AIDS and gay rights activist. Photo by Annette Dragon, courtesy of the Gay and Lesbian Archives, University of Southern Maine

In 1964, Peabody helped found Greater Portland Landmarks, an organization dedicated to preserving historic buildings in the city. She helped save countless, irreplaceable architectural masterpieces from the urban renewal movement’s bulldozers. Also, as she reached her early 1980s, Peabody jumpstarted compassionate activism centered around HIV/AIDS in Portland. She helped usher in an era of changed attitudes around the widely misunderstood disease.

Take a walk into history as we team up with Greater Portland Landmarks in telling Peabody’s inspiring story. Her house is not actually included in the nonprofit’s series of online, virtual walking tours throughout the city — but it should be.

Troy R. Bennett

Troy R. Bennett is a Buxton native and longtime Portland resident whose photojournalism has appeared in media outlets all over the world.