Back in the day, Commercial Street was a lively spot with plenty of vehicles and trains moving about. Portland played a crucial role as a hub for trains in New England, a status that lasted until the late 1980s.
Commercial Street acted as the main route for trains going to and from the docks for deliveries. It made it convenient for trains from the Grand Trunk Railroad on the East End to swap cars with the Maine Central Railroad on the West End. However, things took a turn after a fire burned the Back Cove rail bridge in 1984, resulting in significantly fewer trains in the area.
Now, when you glance at both old and new photos, you can still spot the former E Swasey & Co pottery building on the left. However, it’s pretty concealed these days due to the presence of new residential developments. The city has undergone noticeable changes over the years, illustrating the evolution of times and the transformation of the urban landscape.