Biddeford City Hall: an in-depth tour of this iconic building

A story by Biddeford Cultural & Heritage Center Voices of Biddeford project from 2024

Biddeford City Hall tour - February 2024

This video tour will take you back in history through one of Biddeford's most cherished landmarks. You will have the opportunity to experience very different perspectives including views from the rooftop as well as inside its iconic clock tower.

Biddeford became a city in 1855. In 1860, the city bought the land on the corner of Main and South Streets and erected a Napoleon III-style building, complete with a mansard roof and an opera House. The building burned down to the first floor in 1894. Architect John Calvin Stevens saved the first floor to cut costs and he greatly improved the utility and the appearance of the impressive building. (Description above taken from Museum in the Streets marker)

Highlights from the interview include:
Blueprints with the layout of original building, former tenants - from a bank and police station to many stores such as the Childrens' Shoppe, the advantage of built-in vaults through the years and current location of city operations, the 2005 internal devastation due to a second floor water tank leak over a three day Memorial Day weekend, and a review of renovations made over the years and extent of efforts to preserve original features. The video will answer: Is there a "skylight" in the floor? Horsehair plaster? And how did we honor our community's people. You'll see a giant cash register to ledgers dating back over 100 years, and changes to the Council Chambers to meet ongoing needs including COVID.

See for yourself views from the roof of City Hall. See inside the Clock Tower to view the amazing renovations which restored utilization of this iconic feature serving Biddeford since the early 1900s and hear of plans for upcoming building renovations scheduled for 2024.

View a transcript of this interview and more pictures/additional information.

For more stories from the Voices for Biddeford project, visit Voices of Biddeford.