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Circa Date

circa 1870

Subject Date

circa 1870


Built in 1827 by Zadock French, the French House was so big (with over 70 rooms) that it was known locally as 'French's Folly.' In 1828, the Penobscot Exchange Coffee House (named after Boston's Exchange Coffee House) opened, and it is this sign that is visible in the photograph. The building is made of brick, four and a half stories, gabled roof and eight chimneys. he Queen Anne ballustraided balcony was added later. Although it continued to be known as the French Hotel, it changed ownership several times among French's heirs and relatives.

The mansard roof was added in 1859, along with two extended wings, possibly the work of Benjamin S. Deane and Edwin Lee Brown. Additions and revisions were a constant theme, and the character of the building continued to shift. In 1908 a city ordanance required that all downtown buildings have a flat roof to aleviate danger from ice and snow, so the building was expanded to a full five stories with an Italianate cornice, as well as modern bathrooms and an elevator. In the mid twentieth century, the building was briefly a dormitory for Husson College, but was eventually razed in the Urban Renewal program of the 1960s.

Collection Name

Vickery Stereo Photo Collection


French, Zadock, Homes and haunts, buildings, Houses, Hotels


Bangor, Penobscot County, ME


stereo photo, stereograph


7.6 x 14.5 cm

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French, Zadock, Homes and haunts, buildings, Houses, Hotels