On The Hill

The Norther Tier of Portsmouth is an interesting and changing place.  The neighborhood known as The Hill sits atop this part of town in the block between Deer Street and Hanover Street, and is filled with older historic homes from the area that were saved from the urban renewal efforts that saw hundreds of homes torn down to make way for the former Parade Mall (soon to be Portwalk Place).  It’s an interesting spot and ensures that this part of town will always have some historic character amidst the larger brick buildings that now include the Residence Inn and the Sheraton and will soon include more residences as part of the progress of the Portwalk Place project. The brick driveways and pastels of the clapboards are a nice part of the rich historic fabric of our charming town. (don’t miss the crescent moon hovering over the chimney at center frame)

The Clock at Sunset

I know that you’ve seen a lot of the North Church lately.  So have I.  I think that’s a good thing – this particular shot was fascinating to me…the perfect colors of the setting sun on a fall night, along with the subtle variations of the contrasting lighting on each side of the clocktower.  I really love this shot, as soon as I see it it strikes me as imposing…which isn’t always the case with a steeple/clocktower.  The image filling the frame along with the biting sharpness of the lines are all good elements, but what drove it home for me was the fact that each side of the structure had such different lighting – almost like the evil twin lurking on the other side of the clock (thanks to the perfectly placed setting sun).

As a bonus – check out the shot below of the headquarters for the New Hampshire Film Festival taking place in Portsmouth this weekend….at the Residence Inn at Portwalk Place.

New Hampshire Film Festival HQ at the Residence Inn

Hilton Garden Inn on The Hill

Atop Portsmouth’s historic North End neighborhood sits several old colonial homes that remind me of what it must have been like to walk around town 100-200 years ago.  Along with those historic homes that are now part of the historic condominium made on site to protect the buildings sit several redeveloped parcels including the Hilton Garden Inn (which is across the street from the notorious bomb scare on Hanover Street), with the Portwalk Place project just down the hill on the same block.

All in all it’s a beautiful area, becoming more so as the redevelopment of the Parade Mall real estate continues to enhance the curb appeal of this growing part of town.  I like this particular shot because it captures the new bricks of the Hilton along with the Piscataqua River Bridge and the Sarah Long Bridge together with the colorful historic homes located in the Northern Tier.

Residence Inn | Portwalk Place

The Residence Inn at Portwalk Place is officially open for business.  Word went out today in the Portsmouth Herald – and I happened to drive by this morning due to my usual route being unavailable thanks to some ongoing infrastructure work and sidewalk improvements on Market Street, so I snapped a couple shots.

The building doesn’t boast the most earth shattering architectural features, but to me it marks an improvement over the languishing Parade Mall project (and it doesn’t stop me from trying to make it look interesting), and I’m always a sucker for new construction.  I think once the entire project is complete with the future office/retail component, it will continue to bring a new feel to the North End.  Change is constant downtown, and I’m happy to see another construction project buttoned up for the time being.  Soon the lifts should be gone and hopefully the surface parking next door will be open for business.

Construction in the City | North End Edition

The Norther Tier continues to change as the construction at two noteworthy projects progresses.  Above, the Residence Inn at Portwalk Place can be seen from Deer Street.  As you can see, the building went up incredibly fast (see other progress photos HERE), and has much of its outer brickwork complete.  I’m not aware of the projected opening yet, but I can’t imagine that it’s too far off.  Foster’s ran an article this week about the prospect of the City of Portsmouth operating a surface parking lot on the excess land at the site until the development market picks up and the office/retail component of the Portwalk Project can be built (and leased out).

Below, the Portsmouth Herald is getting a facelift as well and is being converted to retail/office uses. Below the photo are renderings of the completed buildings, which were kindly provided by Ron Reilly of Reilly Studios in Portsmouth, who worked on this project with DeStefano Architects. In the second rendering, you can see a parking garage that is slated to be built sometime in the future as part of the Westin project.