Downtown Plan

Downtown Vision – DRAFT

Adapted from/inspired by the content of “Envision Downtown Lisbon”, the Lisbon Comprehensive Plan, and the Route 196 Master Plan.

Lisbon's traditional village areas, Lisbon Village, Lisbon Center and Lisbon Falls, were each historically anchored by a major manufacturer. This manufacturing history was what built the neighborhoods, architecture, cultural heritage of the community and its villages. Over the years, the widespread loss of the traditional manufacturing industries has had great impacts on many Maine communities, including Lisbon’s historic villages. However, Lisbon’s village centers still hold much of the qualities that are so important to Lisbon's character: a traditional, mixed-use downtown or village center, the buildings and places that are unique to Lisbon’s history, and residents that embody the heritage of their community or come to the community ready to embrace Lisbon’s heritage.

The Town of Lisbon envisions the future revitalization, prosperity, and the preservation of local heritage for each of its villages, with emphasis on the primary community anchors, Lisbon Falls and Lisbon Village. These represent areas with significant economic and community importance, places that have traditionally been the very heart of the Lisbon community. They must continue to serve as mixed-use centers that celebrate their civic, social, historic, and natural assets and opportunities. Though the history of these downtown areas is critical to maintaining their authenticity, they must remain dynamic and seek to innovate and improve while still protecting their local character. And both Lisbon Falls and Lisbon Village will continue to rebuild the community’s physical and cultural connections to the Androscoggin and Sabattus Rivers.

Downtown Lisbon Falls is perfectly situated at the juncture of several vectors: the Androscoggin River, Route 196, and the growing Lisbon Trail System and future regional rail-trail. The historic Main Street and surrounds shall remain a walkable, traditional, mixed-use downtown with easy access to Route 196, downtown neighborhoods, the river, and the developing trails system. Maintaining the character of the Main Street area and reconnecting to the Androscoggin River will continue to be highly important to Lisbon Falls’ prosperity and sense of place. The waterfront area and its larger scale redevelopment opportunities, including the Worumbo Mill and Knight-Celotex sites, represents areas long envisioned for “a new life” and economic opportunity. The Route 196 corridor has been envisioned to reclaim Lisbon Falls’ village character as it is redeveloped, with emphasis on rebuilding a positive image of Lisbon Falls and opening up opportunities for the Main Street area and waterfront area.

Lisbon Village lies at the juncture of the Sabattus River, Route 196, and the future regional rail-trail (railroad corridor). Village Street remains a walkable main street that includes many historic buildings, with the adjacent, revitalized Farwell Mill serving as a significant community anchor. Like Lisbon Falls, the Route 196 corridor in Lisbon Village has been envisioned to reclaim its village character as it is redeveloped, and to seek to reconnect to the Sabattus River.