Time and Temperature Building

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View of the Time and Temperature Building
Entrance to the Time and Temperature Building.

The Time & Temperature Building (official name 477 Congress Street) is a fourteen story office building located on Congress Street in downtown Portland, Maine.[1] The building is named after a large three-sided four-element eggcrate display screen on the roof that flashes the local time and temperature.

Originally known as the Chapman Building, it was erected in 1924 as a twelve-story building. Together with the ten story Fidelity Trust Tower next door, these buildings were for many years two of Portland's tallest.[2]

When it first opened, the Chapman Building once had the state's first indoor shopping center on its ground floor. A few shops still operate inside. In 1964, two additional floors were built, with the flashing time and temperature sign installed on the roof. At the time, Casco Bank & Trust was the main tenant of the building, so in addition to the time and temperature, the words "CASCO" and "BANK" also flashed. An updated sign was installed in 1999.[3]

When the addition was added in 1964, its more modern design did not go well with the older section, and in the 1980s, a major renovation of the building took place, and this problem was corrected.

The building, being one of Portland's tallest, can be seen for many miles around, including from Peaks Island across the harbor. Many Portlanders depend on the Time and Temperature sign, as it has become a popular landmark on the skyline. On one occasion, the malfunction of the sign resulted in 60 phone calls to the owners of the building in the hours after the sign stopped displaying information.[3]

Over the years, different sponsors have had messages flashing from the sign, including Portland Savings Bank, WMTW-TV, and most recently, The Law Offices of Joe Bornstein (with the message "CALL" "JOE"). Also, when there is a snowstorm, the words "PARK" and "BAN" flash to remind people not to park on the street during snow removal. Maine law normally prohibits flashing messages on signs visible from state highways, but the Maine Legislature passed an exemption in the law for the Time and Temperature sign, to allow it to use advertising to cover its operating costs starting in 1991.[3]

Besides general offices, the building is home to radio stations WTHT 99.9, WHXR "The Bone" (now simulcast on 106.3 and 106.7), WFNK Frank FM, on 107.5, and The Maine Sports Network on AM 870/1470 WLAM.

The building was taken into foreclosure by Wells Fargo on May 11, 2016, due to several tenants leaving it as well as a lack of maintenance. At least one remaining tenant stated that they were told the foreclosure would not affect them. The firm hired to manage the building, NAI Hunneman of Boston, has already begun to carry out needed repairs to the structure and is working to get new tenants. [4]


  1. ^ CBRE Richard Ellis
  2. ^ Mall is not lost, Portland Press Herald, November 25, 2003
  3. ^ a b c [1]
  4. ^ J. Craig Anderson (May 12, 2016). "Portland's Time & Temperature Building lands in foreclosure". Retrieved May 12, 2016.

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Coordinates: 43°39′26″N 70°15′36″W / 43.6571°N 70.2599°W / 43.6571; -70.2599