MBTA Mitigation Public Forum June 5 at 6:30pm in Gloucester City Hall-Kyrouz 2nd floor
One of the most celebrated and beloved American artists of the twentieth century, Edward Hopper, frequently traveled by public rail from New York to Gloucester. Usually it’s fairly simple to experience Gloucester as Hopper and other notables did–by train and on foot. Hopper walked to lodgings just a short jaunt from the train station in downtown Gloucester and to the many sites he sketched and painted. The result was more than 110 works of art, including views of the Annisquam River Bridge to Cape Ann, the boarding house in downtown where he stayed, the railroad gates, and numerous other subjects still visible.
Today, the MBTA route that Hopper took not only serves weekday commuters, but brings visitors to this historic port. Trains connect New England history, the arts, and natural beauty. Summer or winter, trains make it easy to reach a beach, historical site, or favorite restaurant, to get out of the bustle and enjoy lingering in our coastal towns. They offer a real allure, crossing some of the most incredibly scenic vistas of our special New England landscape, and seasonally charming riders.
There’s no question that planned closures in the busiest of seasons will have negative impact for commuters and visitors. Desperate infrastructure needs will regrettably impede long lasting economic developments tied to Massachusetts’ cultural assets, out door recreation opportunities, and other attractions. The necessary closures do offer an opportunity to think about how to increase MBTA ridership including promoting New England’s historical, artistic and natural riches–MBTA as “Massachusetts’ green go-Between for the Train and Arts scene.”
photo captions: There are more than 110 Edward Hopper works of art inspired by Gloucester, MA. Four reference trains: that’s how he rolled. Above Untitled Edward Hopper drawing in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art (catalogue “Landscape with Bridge.”) It is Gloucester, MA. I hope the new bridge design can add a little yellow bridge house reference. Below: Allegra Boverman, Gloucester Daily Times, 2012.
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