Date of Award


Level of Access Assigned by Author

Campus-Only Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Ngo-Vinh Long

Second Committee Member

Howard Segal

Third Committee Member

Richard Judd


In the current-day city of Bangor, Maine, there is a large international airport, surrounded by facilities for a small university, various industrial concerns, a rehabilitation center, and nearby low income housing controlled by the Bangor Housing Authority. How did all of these disparate elements come to be in one small area? Until the late 1960's, they were all part of Dow Air Force Base, a major component of the social and economic health of the city. This paper looks at what gave rise to the base in the first place. Next, it examines that relationship, as the air force base served not only as an economic driver to the city, but an important element of its social life as well. Then, it is seen how Bangor managed to cope when it was decided to close Dow and make its facilities available to the city. Finally, it is revealed how that effort worked out when the Air Force pulled out and the city was left to make what use it could of what remained. In the end, the civic and business leaders of Bangor were able to bring in new interests to replace the United States Air Force, and the major pieces that once were Dow still operate today.