467 Congress Street
Beaux Arts, 1910
Portland’s first skyscraper, the Fidelity Trust Company Building was designed by G. Henri Desmond, a Boston architect. The building features a steel, a structural form now so common that one forgets its revolutionary effect on modern architecture. Prior to the use of structural steel, the exterior walls of a building supported the structure’s weight. The use of structural steel transferred the weight of a building to the interior skeleton, making possible the possible the development of the exterior “curtain wall”. The frame of the Fidelity Building is covered on two sides by Indiana Bedford limestone. The sculptured roof line gives the Fidelity a unique profile, almost Gothic in appearance.
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