I’m very excited to photograph the ongoing changes to one of downtown’s oldest boutique hotels – The Hotel Portsmouth (formerly the Sise Inn). This historic structure on Court Street is currently undergoing a transformation by the same team that renovated the historic Frank Jones grain storage warehouse into the Ale House Inn. As these early images show, the rooms are full of character and unique layouts.
The new Memorial Bridge was opened to the public with great fanfare on August 8, 2013. It was rejuvenating to see so many members of the community come together to celebrate an achievement that will benefit so many people. It was a truly memorable event, and when the presentations were finished and the ribbon cut by the legendary Eileen Foley, pedestrians and cyclists were able to enjoy strolling around the bridge before any vehicles had a chance to take to the new roads. The structure is very impressive from afar, yet streamlined and surprisingly enjoyable to walk along. I’m looking forward to many sunrises and sunsets from the inviting sidewalks and bump outs along the sides of the fresh pavement.
On the eve of the historic re-opening of the Memorial Bridge, I decided to head over to the Portsmouth entrance to the bridge and enjoyed a surprisingly quiet scene. Last night was probably the last night for a very long time that it will be possible to stand in the middle of the road for minutes at a time, so I made the most of it while taking photos of the impressive new structure. Today, on the opening day for the Memorial Bridge, people will arrive in droves to watch as the communities of Kittery and Portsmouth are reconnected – with this scene to become very busy for the next hundred years.
It’s been a very busy few years along the Bow Street waterfront in Portsmouth. The Martingale Wharf building has now long been completed, the River House expanded its deck to the second story, the Memorial Bridge has been replaced and is almost operational – yet the waterfront still looks as though it could have come out of a time capsule from 100 years ago. I’ll always love the simplicity of the waterfront and its accessibility – one of the many things that makes me happy to call the seacoast home.
The clock is ticking – and the scheduled opening of the new Memorial Bridge is less than one month away. Monday June 17th marks the day the middle span will be floated in, completing this streamlined path of steel from Portsmouth to Kittery. It’s been so long since I could walk across the decking that I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like…but with the opening on the horizon, I can’t wait to get back out over the Piscataqua River for some new vantage points.
I was most shocked recently when these massive chains showed up hanging in the bridge abutments – and I’ve been told by one of the workers that each link weighs in at a hefty 500 pounds. There are so many little nuances of the bridge that have been interesting to discover over the past year…with the most significant yet to come – the ability to walk and drive to and from Kittery/Portsmouth.
The new Memorial Bridge is nearly complete, anticipated to open in a mere 3 months. Here is an image I took on a gorgeous morning as the sun rose to the east of the old Memorial’s tower abutments. I’ll miss the curves and the architectural interest of this historic gem.
The renaissance on State Street continues with the recent acquisition and renovation of The Rosa. The Rosa has long been a fixture in Portsmouth’s ever-changing restaurant scene since its doors opened in 1927.
I’m excited to see what the fresh take on the restaurant and the space will be, it’s been fun watching the progress made on the structure inside so far.
The Mary M. Coppedge stands tall in front of the Martingale Wharf building and the construction of the new Memorial Bridge. I love this time of day when the orange lights that adorn the sides of the tugs take on an eerie glow – in this shot they nearly match the orange glow of the homes in the building on the waterfront in the background.
These images of the waterfront were taken almost exactly one year apart. As you’ve seen recently here, the Memorial Bridge reconstruction continues to gain momentum – but sometimes it’s the context of the progress that we need to take a step back and appreciate. The same goes for the continued development and re-development in Portsmouth, which I hope to begin to feature in similar comparisons.
Thankfully – this view is always graced with the last rays of sunlight each day on the Kittery shorefront in the distance. The photo from 2013 has a soft subtle red glow in the background, illuminating the lobstering boats docked in the distance.
The replacement Memorial Bridge is only a few months away from completion, and I’m starting to get a better feel for how it will present from its many angles for the best photos. There isn’t much room by the Portsmouth base at this point to wander, only a little area between the fence on the left and a makeshift fence on the right – but I was still happy with this composition despite some rather boring midday lighting.