On October 7, 2019, the Portland City Council formally designated five historic structures on Forest Avenue as individual local landmarks subject to the protections of Portland's historic preservation ordinance. The five buildings are clustered around Woodfords Corner and are tangible reminders of the important role Woodfords Corner played as a community center around the turn of the twentieth century.
The five buildings designated by the City Council are the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company Store (1915) at 617 Forest Ave., the Darling Kidder Motor Car Company building (1917) at 630 Forest Ave., the Odd Fellows Block (1897) at 643-651 Forest Ave., the Chapman Block (c.1916) at 648 Forest Ave., and the former Valle's Sandwich Shop (1964) at 660 Forest Ave. (See photos and building descriptions below.)
Historic designation signifies that these five structures are important community assets that should be preserved into the future. As suburban sprawl and roadside development make more and more commercial areas look the same, preservation along traditional commercial corridors like Forest Avenue provides the Woodfords Corner area with a competitive edge. As has been shown in other commercial historic districts like the Old Port and Congress Street, designation is an effective and proven economic development tool. When historic structures are highlighted and enhanced through sensitive rehabilitation, others are inspired to invest in the area. Quality investment stabilizes commercial neighborhoods and boosts property values.