Walk this way: Gloucester’s stately Stacy Boulevard public works project is breathtaking and one for the ages! Part 1

This view will be changing imminently! Today’s Motif Monday is the work on the Boulevard.


The marvelous engineering and construction for the boulevard is a HUGE story. In all the collective excitement to walk this way, let’s remember to take a moment to acknowledge this feat.


Mike Hale, Gloucester’s Director of Public Services, was hired in July of 1999, the very same year that this ambitious boulevard infrastructure planning and funding search began for this project. It was funded in 2014.  That means the current project timeline spanned 4 Mayors, administration, staff and city councils. The construction has been exceptionally well managed and I predict it will be or should be nationally recognized with awards. I have been documenting the progress and in the coming days will post several tributes, contemporary views, historic photos and background to rev up anticipation and respect.

Coincidentally, April 16, 2017 will mark the 94th anniversary of an important piece of the boulevard’s construction.

On that day in history, Gloucester’s city council approved the purchase of two lots, the Grant and Low properties:

“Whereas it is the desire of the board of park commissioners of the city of Gloucester to take in fee by purchase or otherwise certain land in said Gloucester lying between Western Avenue and the sea,

“And whereas, the said board has estimated the expenses of acquiring the same to be $8000,

“It is hereby ordered that the sum of $8000 be and hereby is appropriated from the $90,000 Western Avenue act of 1922 to the board of park commissioners as provided by law for the purpose of acquiring and laying out as a public park such land as the said board of park commissioners consider desirable therefore, being the land as shown on a plan entitled ‘Proposed taking for highway and park purposes, Gloucester, Mass, dated April 16, 1923, John H. Griffin, City Engineer,’ having reference to that portion as shown on said plan as is proposed to be taken for park purposes.” I’ve added the bold emphasis to note the big vision of Western Avenue as a public park and extension of Stage Fort in 1923.

The significant original investment was tangible and long lasting, hallmarks of any successful public works project. Did the Boulevard improve the quality of life in Gloucester? It wasn’t easy. Houses and roads were moved.


Photo caption: “A VIEW NOW OF THE PAST. Most of us are familiar with the Above View. it Shows the Dwellings which Once Lined the Western Avenue Waterfront Before Work was Started Constructing the New Boulevard.”

These photographs were published in August 1923 and retrieved from the Gloucester Daily Times microfiche reel at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library.

The caption below describes Kent Circle “where grand stand has been erected for the review of the parades” for Gloucester’s tercentenary celebration. 


Awaiting full access in 2017 is a mere blip of an inconvenience when considering how fundamental the Boulevard is for Gloucester. Its benefits are priceless.


Prior posts

My own Yukon Cornelius makes it to Mt. Washington Observatory

You probably remember in January my hubster Neil’s trip to Mt. Washington Observatory was cancelled due to the impassable auto road and high winds, well this was his “make-up” weekend.   It was a little touch and go on the morning of the ascent because of the 10 inches of snow they were receiving but after a 2 hr delay they made the 2 hour ride up.    He is exhausted and still thawing out, but he had an awesome adventure hiking around the observatory!!


“Fools Dual” ~ Half-Marathon

My future son-in-law Jon came up from CT and participated in our local “Fool’s Dual” Half-Marathon yesterday.   It was a chilly, snowy start, but soon the sun came out, the skies turned blue and he had a great finish as did all the other runners!  Portions of proceeds from this race will help support the O’Maley Middle School and the Gloucester Cool Kids Club.                    


Pet of the week – Gemma

Gema has been staying in foster and her foster mom has this to say. “She has been a perfect guest except for an occasional chase of the chickens, too much fun to resist. She doesn’t seem to want to harm them just hard to pass up. At my home she is sharing with several other dogs and has had no issues with food, toys or beds. She is perfectly housebroken and goes outside when needed. Gema has been sleeping at night on a dog bed and is quiet all night. She is not interested in playing with the other dogs but also isn’t interested in causing any trouble, she tries to avoid conflict if possible. She is a climber and still has the urge to escape if something startles her, so, not a pooch who can be left out in the yard alone. She really wants company and is happiest with people around.  

I would say she would make a perfect pet for someone who is home or works from home or she could even go to work with someone. Gema is a special needs adoption because she had a heartworm infection that was treated but will need follow up with a veterinarian and when she first arrived in our care here at the shelter she had a lot of anxiety about being crated or left alone. With lots of time, patience and the help of some anxiety medication she has learned to settle in a variety of environments and relax enough to start to enjoy life and making new friends. Please come in and visit Gema she is very special. For more information on all of the available cats and dogs at the Christopher Cutler Rich Animal Shelter please go to our website: capeannanimalaid.org.

2017 Bikini and Speedo Dodgeball World Championship Week Is Upon Us


For More Info Click Here

Frankie Gwynne Tournament Host and Organizer writes-

Frankie Gwynne


Pre-event gathering notice:

Tuesday April 4 from 7-9PM at 7 Central in Manchester.
I will be in the bar area to answer any tournament questions, rules questions, speedo questions, and to give out your team shirts if you want to pick them up early. If you want to buy a shirt also, i will have a few extras on hand here.