University of Maine at Orono Historic District

Munson, Sebec, and Schoodic Rds., Orono, Maine



Street Views 


University of Maine Historic District Boundary Increase; Roughly bounded by the Mall, College Ave, lower Munson and Long Rds, Orono. NRHP #10000228, LISTED, 4/27/10.

In 1978, the University of Maine at Orono Historic District was listed in the National Register of Historic Places. That district focused on the oldest of the university buildings (1868 - 1909) and was located in the western section of the 600 acre campus. The goal of the Historic District Boundary Increase was to provide additional descriptive information on those already listed properties, add information about their site, location, and landscape, and to then expand the boundaries of the district to encompass the adjacent resources and landscapes built between 1891 and 1942. The University of Maine was founded as the Maine State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts in 1865, with Federal funding from the Morrill Act of 1862, which provided land to states to finance higher education in agriculture and engineering, thus creating “land grant” colleges and universities. Over the years, the Campus grew in roughly three phases. The initial phase began with the formation of the college in 1865 and extended to the mid-1910s. During that period the campus consisted of academic buildings facing the Stillwater River and agricultural buildings for the college farm located to the east. In 1866 the College’s trustees hired the renowned landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted to design a plan for the campus that used the river as its focal point. Although they never fully executed Olmsted’s design, the Trustees adopted many of his ideas in the early years of campus planning. During the second phase of campus development, from the early 1920s to the end of World War II, the central Campus Mall and the South Mall became the locus for new construction. The University hired the Olmsted Brothers, Frederick Law Olmsted’s successor firm, to provide a campus plan in 1932, which, although it was also not fully implemented, provided the plan by which the campus has today developed it spatial identity. The third, post World War II, phase of campus development is beyond the scope of the current district expansion. The expanded University of Maine Historic District is significant in the areas of architecture, education, landscape architecture, agriculture and community planning and development. The expanded district now contains 27 contributing buildings, four contributing sites, and six non-contributing buildings.

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on July 12, 1978
Reference number
Architectural styles
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival; Victorian; Other architectural type; Greek Revival
Areas of significance
Education; Architecture
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event; C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic functions
College; Research facility; Educational related housing
Current functions
College; Educational related housing
Periods of significance
1900-1924; 1875-1899; 1850-1874
Significant years
1868; 1913
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 10

Update Log 

  • November 16, 2016: New Street View added by Brian Bartlett
  • December 20, 2013: Updated by Brian Bartlett: Added description