Iconic Maine Smokestack Being Taken Down

NBC Universal, Inc.

There are big changes already being made to a landmark in Portland, Maine, visible to tens of thousands of people each day.

The B&M bean factory is prominently visible from Interstate 295 as you leave or enter the city going toward or from Falmouth.

According to Maine Department of Transportation statistics, an average of 33,000 vehicles travel that route in each direction daily.

However, in recent days, the side of that factory that faces the highway looks very different than it has for the past 65 years.

A prominent smokestack that many Mainers consider to be a landmark and part of the Portland skyline is in the process of being dismantled.

"It's sad, it's definitely part of your childhood growing up in Maine seeing that," said Amber Pepin-Turbide, of Auburn, who explained the smell of beans cooking was something she remembers from her school-age years in South Portland.

Others, like Tess Hoffmann of Portland, said the building is immediately recognizable and the change instantly noticeable.

"I don't know if I would miss it too much, but it would be weird not seeing that anymore, I think," she said of the smokestack.

"We've always loved it, you're almost to Portland and the smell, we love the smell," said Katy Hoffmann of Yarmouth.

According to NBC-affiliate News Center Maine, the company that owns the B&M factory is removing the smokestack because it has not been functioning for 20 years and it experienced weather-related wear and tear that have made it unsafe to keep.

On Monday, approximately half of the structure had been removed with a large crane still on the site of the more-than-100-year-old plant.

Contact Us