Portland Regency Hotel & Spa
Portland is situated on the southern coast of Maine, on the craggy shores of Casco Bay. The city has a rich maritime history and its strategic location led to great wealth and prosperity. Two blocks from Portland’s working waterfront stands the Portland Regency, constructed in 1895 as the Maine National Guard Armory. The detailed Neo-Gothic Romanesque building was said to be one of the finest and best-equipped armories in New England and was a prominent feature in the Portland cityscape. The armory’s large drill hall was frequently used as a civic auditorium and hosted many concerts and gatherings. In 1942, the United States Navy took control of the structure and used it as a recreation center for the duration of World War II. De-commissioned in the 1950s, the building was used as a warehouse and the city’s public bath house before being converted into a hotel in 1984.
Guest Historian Series
Read more about the history of the Portland Regency Hotel & Spa, as told by Historic Hotels of America 2014 and 2015 Historian of the Year Stanley Turkel. Excerpt is taken from his latest book Built to Last: 100+ Year-Old Hotels East of the Mississippi (AuthorHouse 2013).