There are a lot of old buildings in Bangor. As anyone who’s been house-hunting in the area will tell you: it’s nearly as easy to find a house that was built in the 19th century as it is to find one that was built in the 20th.
Bangor’s oldest houses are not as old as the oldest buildings in Maine. That distinction goes to a number of structures in the far southern Maine towns of York, Wells and Kittery, some of which date as early as the 17th century.
We wanted to find what buildings in Bangor ranked as the oldest, however, and we were surprised to find that they’re all single-family or multi-unit homes, a few of which date to the 1700s. There are a number of commercial, religious or educational buildings that date to the 1820s, but there are houses that are much older than that, scattered throughout the city.
To develop our list, we asked the assessor’s office at the city of Bangor to identify all the properties in Bangor that were built before 1850. We also referenced a survey of historic buildings in Bangor done in the mid-1970s by Maine historian Earle Shettleworth — though it’s worth noting that accurate record-keeping from more than two centuries ago can sometimes be hard to find. Here are the nine oldest ones we could find.
782 Pushaw Road
This Federal-style farmhouse sits on 67 acres just over the Bangor town line from Glenburn. According to Bangor’s records, it was built around 1780, four years after the Declaration of Independence was signed, making it the oldest building in Bangor — despite the fact that it’s almost in Glenburn.
30 Kenduskeag Avenue
The Bangor Historical Society says it was built in 1781, though Bangor tax records indicate it was built in 1793. Regardless, this house — also known as the Smart-Daggett House — is among the oldest buildings in Bangor. Built in the Federal Colonial style, its side-facing front door shows that it was most likely built before Kenduskeag Avenue was laid out.
3 Hudson St.
It doesn’t bear some of the more ornate architectural details one might see in some of the grander Federal-era buildings in Bangor, but it’s nonetheless the third-oldest building in Bangor, built in 1800. Today, it’s a residence operated by the organization OHI Maine.
9 State Street Avenue
This four-bedroom Cape Cod-style house was built in 1802. You wouldn’t necessarily know by looking at it, but inside, it’s got a traditional Federal-era staircase and a huge, formerly functional fireplace. It sold for $109,000 in May 2021.
473 Union St.
473 Union St. in Bangor was built in 1803. Credit: Linda Coan O’Kresik / BDN
This 1803-built house is across the street from Hayford Park and right around the corner from the Standpipe, with an old-fashioned dormer — almost a turret — adding a tiny third floor.
104 Lincoln St.
This brick building has been an apartment building for decades, but few may realize it’s actually a rare example of a period-built Colonial Gambrel house. It’s one of three houses built in 1810 in Bangor that are still standing today.
172 Kenduskeag Avenue
There are an array of architecturally interesting houses along the Kenduskeag Stream — from mid-century modern homes to pink stucco Italian-style estates. The oldest house directly on the stream, however, is the 1810-built 172 Kenduskeag Avenue.
28 Fern St.
This multi-unit in Bangor’s Tree Streets neighborhood was built in 1810, and has retained much of its original charm.
Correction: A previous version of this story listed 32 W. Broadway as being built in 1806, according to Bangor city records. After the publication of this story, the city changed its listing of the house’s construction date to 1863 in response to historical documentation from the owner.