November 16, 2017

Children's Museum's move to Thompson's Point gets city's OK

The layout at Thompson's Point in Portland, which is fast filling up with businesses. The latest development is a planned move of the Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine from its present location on Free Street into a yet-to-be-built three-story building at Thompson's Point by the spring of 2019.

The Children's Museum and Theatre of Maine has set its sights on moving into a new three-story building at Portland's Thompson's Point by the spring of 2019.

The Portland Press Herald reported that the city's Planning Board approved on Tuesday a permit allowing the museum to move from its present downtown location on Free Street to a yet-to-be-built 30,000-square-foot building on Thompson's Point. Executive Director Suzanne Olson told the newspaper that the museum will remain in its current 18,000-square-foot building until the $10.5 million relocation and the fundraising required to make it happen are completed.

Its existing building at 142 Free St., next door to the Portland Museum of Art, will be put on the market. Forefront Partners is working with the Children's Museum on developing the new facility at Thompson's Point, the newspaper reported.

Olson told Maine Public the museum has outgrown its current space, where it has been located for 20 years.

"Our current building is 18,000 square feet, so it's substantially different in size," she said. "What we're very excited about is that it will actually be a purpose-built building. So rather than this building, which was created originally to be, I think, a church, this [new] building is designed really with the intention of meeting the needs of children and their families."


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