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Built in 1846, The Portland Forge is the oldest operating blacksmith shop in the state of Maine. It is located at 58 Fore St., tucked behind a corner of the larger Portland Company — an historic, brick complex of which The Forge is a part — and down a narrow alley lined by parallel brick buildings. The shop abuts the city’s 200-plus-year-old seawall. Without a fire blazing in the forge, the lighting inside takes on the attenuated, charcoal-grays of its interior. Among the anvil, hammers and bellows and soot-stained walls, it’s easy to feel locked into pre-industrial history.
But soon Sam Smith, owner of The Portland Forge and a practicing blacksmith, may have to relocate. In 2013, Phineas Sprague, the then-owner of the 10-acre Portland Complex, sold the waterfront property to James Brady, a managing partner of the real estate development company CPB2LLC. And last June, after a great deal of controversy, the City Council passed plans for the development of condos on the 10-acre lot, much of which is detailed at Brady’s site, http://www.cpb2.com.
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