Incorporated in 1791, Bangor is named for an Irish hymn “Bangor.”
The Great Fire of 1911destroyed most of the downtown and changed the face of the city, but Bangor rebuilt and prospered. Most of the present downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the “Great Fire Historic District',” while the portion that survived the fire is the 'West Market Square Historic District'. The Unitarian Church shown below was destroyed and later rebuilt on the same site.
The current library building, designed by the Boston architectural firm of Peabody and Stearns, opened its doors in 1913. The library is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Great Fire of 1911 Historic District.
City Hall was the former post office. Walking in the front door you are greeted with a 3-part mural “Autumn Expansion” (1980) by noted artist Yvonne Jacquette known for her depictions of aerial landscapes, especially low-altitude aerial views of cities.
There are three large bronze statues in downtown Bangor by Brewer, Maine sculptor Charles Eugene Tefft, shown below these are the Luther H. Peirce Memorial, commemorating the Penobscot River Log-Drivers, a statue of Hannibal Hamlin (Lincoln’s first vice president and Maine native) and an image of "Lady Victory" at Norumbega Parkway.
Downtown Bangor began to recover in the 1990s, however, with bookstores, cafe/restaurants, galleries, and museums filling once vacant storefronts. The recent re-development of the city's waterfront has also helped re-focus cultural life in the historic center