WHO WAS FRANCIS FASSETT?
We’ve chosen to name our hotel after Francis Fassett, who designed our building as a home for Mellen E. Bolster in 1881. Born in Bath, Maine in 1823, Fassett was a leading architect for Maine in Portland, and is credited with helping rebuild much of the city after the Great Fire of 1866, heavily influencing the look and feel of Portland’s historic West End neighborhood. Many of Portland’s historic landmarks bear his designs – the Baxter Library, Maine General Hospital Building (now Maine Medical Center), the Second Parish Church, as well as the former City Hall. His influence continues to be felt in other Portland neighborhoods by the designs of his most successful protégé and eventual partner, John Calvin Stevens.
The Francis is a tribute to the man who helped design a new Portland after the fire in 1866 destroyed so much of the city. By 2016, his 1881 masterpiece at 747 Congress Street had been abandoned for over a decade, and was badly in need of repair. With the opening of The Francis, we have capped a 2-year restoration project by re-introducing the Mellen E. Bolster House as an historic hotel, with modern amenities and meticulously preserved original detail. We are proud to announce that the building is now on the National Park Service’s Registry of Historic Places, ensuring its preservation for years to come.