Cottage for Francis Cushing on Cushing Island, Portland, ca. 1896

Contributed by Maine Historical Society


Architecture commission for Francis Cushing at an unknown address in Cushing Island, Portland, ME, circa 1896. The commission is associated with John Calvin Stevens. This item is part of the Stevens Architects drawings and records collection.

This commission includes drawings for a cottage and a farm house.

In 1882-83, Cushing Island owner Francis Cushing hired Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. to design the 266-acre island as a summer colony. The Cushing Island plan integrated common aspects of Olmsted’s park and subdivision design techniques. Olmsted’s concept included enlarging the existing Ottawa House hotel, reserving adjacent land for hotel cottages, and laying out about 50 house lots between one and 11 acres. He also suggested creating tennis, archery, and croquet grounds, developing a network of walks and curvilinear carriage drives with the main drive along the highest ridge for the best ocean views, and reserving scenic vantage points, the entire shoreline, and about 100 acres for common use. Although much of the plan was not realized, Frances Cushing loosely followed Olmsted’s road layout, set aside large open spaces, and maintained unobstructed ocean views. In addition, John Calvin Stevens adopted many of Olmsted’s architectural guidelines when designing many of the summer cottages which remain today, along with a stone shelter which has been reconstructed.

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About This Item

  • Title: Cottage for Francis Cushing on Cushing Island, Portland, ca. 1896
  • Address: unknown, Cushing Island, Portland, Cumberland County, ME
  • Client: Francis Cushing
  • Creation Date: circa 1896
  • Subject Date: circa 1896
  • Primary Architects: John Calvin Stevens
  • Object Type: Text and Image
  • Subtype: architectural drawing
  • Media/Genre: floor plans; elevations; additions;
  • Materials: graphite on paper; ink on tracing paper; hand coloring;
  • Local Code: Coll. 209, 3-A-3-04
  • Collection: Stevens Architects drawings and records collection
  • Number of items in commission: 5

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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