Revitalization of the Sanford Millyard
Located in the southwestern corner of Maine, the City of Sanford enjoyed a booming economy in the early 1900s based on textile manufacturing. The Goodall Mill, located in the heart of downtown, was the primary employer and harnessed local water power from the Mousam River to produce some of the finest fabrics of the 19th and 20th centuries. In 1950, the city’s textile production collapsed, and manufacturing and warehousing operations soon followed, leaving the city riddled with contaminated land, vacancy, and joblessness. Though revitalization is long overdue for Sanford, the legacy of toxic remnants and multiple property owners with different visions for the future has stymied redevelopment over the last three decades.
Such efforts were kickstarted when the City of Sanford applied for and was awarded the first ever EPA Brownfields Area-wide Planning Pilot Grant. The Master Plan for Sanford’s Millyard weaves historic textile infrastructure into a diverse tapestry of new uses and public spaces, revitalizing the community. Strategies for remediation create a new energy landscape within a rehabilitated civic core. Redeveloped mill buildings form a new downtown center with housing, retail, education, office space, as well as cultural and social institutions, reconnecting the Mousam River to the city and region beyond.