The U.S. Courthouse of Portland, Maine, is a classic example of the Italian Renaissance Revival architectural style that was erected in 1911 within the growing public district in Portland, next to Lincoln Park. Designed by Supervising Architect of the United States Department of Treasury James Knox Taylor, this U.S. Courthouse is named in honor of Edward T. Gignoux, a local federal judge who passed away in 1988.
In 1868, the grand opening of the U.S. Post Office Building
near Lincoln Park in Portland established the beginning of what would become
the public district of Portland. In
addition to the Edward T. Gignoux U.S. Courthouse and the Post Office Building,
this district came to house the County Courthouse, the Portland Fire Department
Headquarters, the United States Custom House of Portland, and the Portland City
Hall. Many of the buildings in the
public district have been preserved incredibly well, and represent multiple eras
of popular architectural styles.
The Edward T. Gignoux U.S. Courthouse was designed by James
Knox Taylor, an accomplished architect who designed a great number of public
buildings across the state. Among his
credited structures stand iconic buildings such as the San Francisco U.S. Post
Office and Court House (now known as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals,) the
Ellis Island Immigrant Hospital, and the United States Post Office of Niagara
Having been almost completely unmodified from its original
design, the Courthouse now stands as a fantastic representation of the Italian
Renaissance Revival style that characterizes many notable government buildings
around the world. The only modifications
that have been made to the building at all since its construction (outside of
cleaning of the structure) is the construction of a parking lot on the grounds
and the replacement of some of the front doors, which could not hold up to over
a century of use.