1969 Great Building by architect Don Monell is a modernist beauty at 32 Dunham Road in Beverly (formerly Salem News) now available to lease

“…Coughlin said the building, which was built in 1969, needs to be updated but is in good shape structurally and will not be demolished. “It’s too good of a building (to demolish),” he said.”– John Coughlin Gateway Realty Trust quoted in Gloucester Daily Times, Paul Leighton article 1/7/2020

What a beautiful spot! The building was designed by architect Donald F. Monell for the  Beverly Newspaper Offices and Factory in 1968 (built 1969) and consolidated with the Salem News in 1995. Monell worked and resided in Gloucester Massachusetts and designed residential, public and busieness projects including the Gloucester Daily Times (1956), Newburyport Daily News buildings, Sawyer Free Library addition, and the Cape Ann Museum.

photos – winter views January 2020

photos: Spring views

Will Build to Suit (978) 768-4511

About the architect

Excerpt from a prior post I wrote about Donald F. Monell back in May 2019 with photos of extant designs both residential and commercial:

“Donald F. Monell ( 1917-2002) earned multiple degrees: Bowdoin (BS, 1937) , Royal College of Edinburgh (1938), Tekniska Hogskolan in Stockholm (KTH Royal Institute of Technology), and M.I.T. (MS in city planning,1941 and MS in architecture, 1950).  He was a research assistant in City Planning at M.I.T. (1940-41), and a Research Associate in solar energy at M.I.T. from 1949 to 1951. During World War II he served as a Captain with the 333 Engrs. S.S. Regiment in the US Army Corp of Engineers from 1942-46. Prior to setting up his own firm in 1952, he worked as a community planner in Tennessee and for various architectural establishments. His son Alex Monell said that his father declined positions with larger international firms. “He preferred working on a smaller one to one relationship with clients.” Monell’s tenure at M.I.T. coincided with I.M. Pei and Buckminster Fuller; Monell set up his eponymous business two years prior to I.M. Pei. I asked Alex if his father worked with architect Eleanor Raymond. She built her home in Gloucester and had similar interest in sustainable design. She is credited with designing one of the first solar heated houses in 1948 “I know he worked with Maria Telkes (who invented a means to store heat in melted crystals that stored more than water could) on one of their solar homes and now that I looked her up I see the home was designed by Eleanor Raymond! So they knew each other.”

Monell was licensed to practice in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New York and was NCARB certified. He was a member of AiA and Boston Society of Architects. He served on Gloucester’s Civic Art Committee beginning in the 1960s. He was a trustee of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, an incorporator of AGH and Cape Ann Savings Bank, and a Vice President of the Cape Ann Museum (then Cape Ann Historical Assoc.).  Monell’s office was located in the Brown Building, 11 Pleasant Street. His son remembers visiting his dad on jobs and admiring the hand made scale models. Local residents may recognize the names of Monell hires:  Kirk Noyes who preserved Central Grammar and other award winning developments, was a draftsman, and Craig Toftey helped Monell

Portrait of Lila and Don Monell ca.1951_at Sarah Fraser Robbins home_Gloucester MA_courtesy scan from historic photo.jpg
Don Monell and Lila Swift should rightly be included on any Massachusetts #MassModernism trail. courtesy image: portrait of Lila and Don Monell ca.1951 at Sarah Fraser Robbins (photographer unknown)

Don Monell and Lila Swift, co-founders and collaborators of their own wrought steel furniture design firm in 1950, Swift & Monell, husband and wife, architect and artist, were the Charles and Ray Eames* of Gloucester for a time.  Original examples of their woven leather, metal and enamel stools, tables, and bins are rare and placed in collections. The furniture was exhibited at Current Design (now ICA) and Furniture Forum. They operated the business in upstate New York when Monell worked for Sargent Webster Crenshaw & Folley. They built a studio for their business in their home when they moved back to Gloucester in 1952. Initial prototypes and editions were inspired by touring Lawrence Mills with Monell’s brother in law, who worked in the textile industry.  Alex clarifies: “I do not know what mill my father’s brother in law was involved in or to what capacity, I just remember my parents toured it and found the source of leather. A Cambridge firm sold them for awhile. And later my parents gifted them as wedding presents to close friends and relatives. Ray Parsons a blacksmith from Rockport often made the frames and later I made some at Modern Heat.”

*footnote- Ray Eames in Gloucester: Before Hans Hofmann (1880 – 1966) settled into teaching in Provincetown, he was invited to teach summer classes at the Thurn School of Art in Gloucester, Massachusetts, in 1933 and 1934. Thurn was a former Hofmann student. Ray Eames studied painting with Hofmann in Gloucester and was a student of his for years.  Decades later (during an interview with Ruth Bowman, who I knew, was wonderful, and friends with Rita Fraad who had a great Hopper) Eames mentioned 1940, a later date, for when she first learned about Hofmann. On an architecture timeline-  Charles and Ray Eames were born in 1907 and 1912 respectively, and Monell in 1917. They were married about a decade before Monell & Swift and west coast rather than east. Yet they were contemporaries. Art & Architecture case study homes began in 1945 (Eames house, 1949) Eames lounge chairs were manufactured in 1956 (after years of prototypes). Gropius House in Lincoln , Mass., landmark Bauhaus residence now museum was built in 1938, same year as MoMa Bauhaus exhibition. The Graduate school at Harvard designed by Gropius was a TAC (The Architects Collaborative) build in 1950. TAC was founded in 1945 with the clout addition of Gropius who continued with the firm until his death in 1969. Original 7 founders were Norman FletcherLouis McMillenRobert McMillanBen Thompson,  Jean FletcherSarah Harkness and John Harkness. Twenty years later, Monell’s Plum Cove elementary school design in 1967 was leveraged by partnering with The Architects Collaborative. Gloucester’s Plum Cove school is a TAC build. Wikipedia lists several commissions. The school could be added…”

DON MONELL ARCHITECT_ Plum Cove school and grounds_built in 1966_ Gloucester MA_ lovely gentle winding path approach through nature_20190523_©c ryan

Read my full piece here  and see more examples of his buildings. “Many of his commissions are heavenly sites where buildings serve the surroundings,  whether built or natural.”

February 26, 2018 Gloucester Daily Times

Writing for the Gloucester Daily Times, Paul Leighton wrote that Salem News was looking for a new space because the operations no longer required such a big building.  Various production and departments had already been relocated by this time. You can read the full February 2018 story here. The article mentions that it’s a 60,000 square foot property. Recent descriptions indicate that it’s 37,000+. I’m not sure why; perhaps, the greater figure encapsulated the grounds.

2019 Commercial listing description

“32 Dunham is a 37,502 square foot building on 6 acres of land. Zoned for industrial, research and office, with high visibility on route 128. Less than 30 minutes from downtown Boston and Logan airport.” 

January 7, 2020 Gloucester Daily Times

Salem News moving to Danvers article by Paul Leighton Staff Writer about the status of the building now

excerpts:

“The Salem News is moving out of its longtime home in Beverly and heading to a new location in Danvers. The newspaper will move into its new office suite at 300 Rosewood Drive in Danvers on Sunday, according to Karen Andreas, regional publisher of North of Boston Media Group, which includes the Gloucester Daily Times.

“The Salem News has been located at 32 Dunham Road in Beverly since merging with the former Beverly Times in 1995. The company moved its press and printing operations out of Beverly years ago and consolidated several other business functions, such as the finance and customer service departments, in the North Andover offices of its sister paper, The Eagle-Tribune. Therefore, Andreas said, the Salem News no longer needs a building of that size.

“This building is 37,500 square feet, and way too big for us,” Andreas said. “It doesn’t make sense for us operationally.”

“Gateway Realty Trust of Essex has signed a purchase-and-sale agreement to buy 32 Dunham Road. John Coughlin, a project manager for Gateway Realty, said the company plans to preserve the building and lease it.

“Coughlin said Gateway does not have a tenant lined up yet but said the building, which has a mix of office and warehouse space and more than 100 parking spots, would be good for many types of businesses.

“Ideally it would be one tenant that would want to take the whole building, or we can sub-divide it,” he said. “It lends itself to a lot of potential users.”

“…Coughlin said his company, which owns several buildings on the North Shore, was attracted to the building due to its location next to Route 128. Dunham Road has been the site of several new office complexes built by Cummings Properties as well as a new manufacturing headquarters built by tech company Harmonic Drive. The road is also home to North Shore Music Theatre.

“…The Salem News building, which includes six acres of land, was listed for sale at $3.5 million. 

 

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s