Jason Rathbun/Sun Journal graphic

When it comes to tall places, there are two types of people. 

Jason Rathbun/Sun Journal graphic

Those who like staring down from above and those who prefer to stay on the ground and gaze up in wonder. 

Fortunately, Maine has enough tall edifices and natural landscapes to satisfy both types. 

The former might hike to the tippy top of Mount Katahdin in Baxter State Park and enjoy a view, not just of a large chunk of Maine, but possibly parts of New Hampshire 170 miles away. 

At 5,269 feet above sea level (11 feet shy of a mile), Katahdin represents the highest point in Maine and if you make your way up to the summit, everything below will appear ant-sized. 

But looks can be deceiving. When it comes to tall stuff, Maine has plenty. If you find yourself gaping up at the top of the steeple at St. Joseph’s Church in Biddeford, it can be dizzying. 


Though there are TV towers and at least one observatory that dwarf St. Joseph’s in height, at 235 feet the church is the tallest public building in the state. 

Fifteen feet shorter in Lewiston, the full 220-foot height of the Agora Grand Event Center on Bates Street (formerly St. Patrick’s Church) can inspire awe. So can a view of Lewiston City Hall, which stretches 185 feet into the sky. Both buildings, as well as the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, are among the top 15 tallest buildings in Maine. 

In the region — and a little bit closer to the ground — there’s the 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan statue in Rumford that’s a joy to behold.

And some may remember the giddy excitement that developed when the 122-foot-tall snow creation named Olympia was erected in Bethel in 2008, still considered the record-holder for the world’s tallest snowperson.   

OK, Maine’s tallest buildings may pale in comparison to the world’s tallest structure — the 2,717-foot-tall Burj Khalifa in Dubai. But regardless, mankind stands in awe of all tall places, perhaps because they represent something bigger than ourselves. Gazing upon a mountain or sky-scraping church, even from a distance, puts things into a new perspective — it’s hard to think of ourselves as very significant when we’re gazing upon something whose top resides in the clouds. 

With that in mind, here, arranged by height, are the 12 tallest buildings in Maine (numbered) and, for context, some other towering and not-so-towering natural and manmade Maine icons and their locations. We hope you don’t get nose bleeds. 


In feet:

5,269     Mount Katahdin

1,667     WMTW tower     Baldwin

420     Penobscot Narrows Observatory     Prospect    (Tallest public bridge observatory in the world)

381     Mount David     Lewiston

235     1)  Saint Joseph’s Church     Biddeford


The Agora Grand Event Center, formerly St. Patrick’s Church, on Bates Street dominates the Lewiston skyline Wednesday afternoon. It is the second tallest building in the state at 220 feet. In the background is the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, another one of the state’s tallest buildings. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

220     2) Agora Grand Event Center     Lewiston

204.5     3) 201 Federal apartments     Portland

204     4) Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception     Portland

185     5) Lewiston City Hall     Lewiston

185     6) Maine State House     Augusta

185     7) Miller Library Colby College     Waterville


175      8) Franklin Towers apartments     Portland

172      9) Back Bay Tower apartments     Portland

170      10) Time and Temperature office building     Portland

The Basilica of Saints Peter & Paul, right, and Lewiston City Hall dominate the skyline of Lewiston. The basilica is the 11th tallest building in the state at 168 feet. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

168     11) Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul     Lewiston

150     12) Coles Tower dormitory Bowdoin College      Brunswick

122     “Olympia” snowperson in Bethel in 2008 (World-record-holding tallest snowperson)

105     Tallest known eastern white pine (Maine’s official tree)       Sumner

31     Paul Bunyan statue     Rumford

14     World’s largest hand-crank telephone     Bryant Pond

Related Headlines

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: