Shepherded through Congress by Maine Senator Edmund Muskie, the 1967 Model (or Demonstration) Cities Program was originally intended for the nation’s large, ghetto-ridden metropolises where it would target a host of social and economic programs including housing. Thanks to Senator Muskie, both Portland and Lewiston benefited. Before the Nixon Administration scuttled the program in 1973, Portland had created a host of innovative housing, social welfare, law enforcement, and educational programs, shifting the city’s urban renewal program away from its strict emphasis on brick-and-mortar planning. Portland was unique in making Model Cities a part of its downtown renewal. Energizing the city’s young historic preservation movement and boosting housing rehabilitation efforts, Model Cities played a role in the rise of Portland’s celebrated Old Port. John F. Bauman of Southport, Maine, is a Visiting Research Professor at the University of Southern Maine and past-President of the Society for American City and Regional Planning History. He has authored or co-authored numerous books including Public Housing, Race, and Renewal: Urban Planning In Philadelphia, 1920-1974 (1987) and Before Renaissance: Planning in Pittsburgh, 1889-1943 (2006). His history of Portland, Maine (from which this article derived), will be published by the University of Massachusetts Press in 2011.
Bauman, John F.. "Model Cities, Housing, and Renewal Policy in Portland, Maine: 1965-1974." Maine History 45, 3 (2010): 232-257. https://digitalcommons.library.umaine.edu/mainehistoryjournal/vol45/iss3/3