Gloucester’s most iconic brand has made a charitable donation of $250,000 to Sawyer Free 2025 (visit sawyerfree2025.org), the philanthropic capital campaign to fund a comprehensive renovation, modernization and expansion of Gloucester’s public library building. The donation is earmarked to cover the cost of a new Library History Center inside the library’s existing footprint.
“Gorton’s is proud to support the renovation and modernization of the Sawyer Free Library and its mission,” said Gorton’s CEO Kurt Hogan. “The library is a place of learning, creativity and innovation that nurtures and develops the community. We hope many generations will enjoy the new library for years to come.”
The Sawyer Free 2025 project will preserve the original exterior of Cape Ann’s oldest public library, which will house a fully redesigned interior, and will also double the size of the library’s current footprint with a 15,000-square foot addition. With the gift, Gorton’s secured another of the multiple donor-naming opportunities available in support of the campaign—one that will revolutionize the manner in which Gloucester’s historical artifacts and research materials are curated, archived, accessed and preserved. Currently, the library’s local history space is neither enclosed nor climate-controlled.
“Sawyer Free Library boasts a 140-year legacy as a cultural, educational, communal, civic and social-services hub for the City of Gloucester,” said Barry Weiner, a retired attorney and the campaign chair for Sawyer Free 2025. “Thanks to Gorton’s, the new Library History Center will house invaluable pieces of Gloucester’s history and will take on international relevance as a place people can contact from anywhere in the world with a question about Gloucester. Authors, scholars, reporters, actors and everyday citizens everywhere will obtain a free, insider’s passport to the rich cultural history of this city and region that we all love.”
The design principles of Sawyer Free 2025 are grounded in the human experience and an ambition to put people first. The completion of the new facility—featuring a sound studio, a film studio, a digital tech lab and 110-seat community meeting space inside one of the most walkable destinations in the city—will result in a 25-percent increase in annual visitors, a 25-percent increase in the number of public programs offered each month by the library and a 50-percent increase in the number of programs hosted at the library by partner agencies.
The Sawyer Free 2025 project’s total cost is $28 million, a sum that includes built-in inflation costs through the completion of the project in 2025. The Sawyer Library Foundation, the fundraising arm of the campaign, has already inspired more than $15 million in pledged donations and grant awards, including $1 million in the first 150 days following the public launch of the campaign this past May.
The newly renovated and expanded Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Library will stand as a model for what a 21st century civic hub can and should be in terms of architecture, accessibility, sustainability, the use of natural resources and light, layouts, lines of sight, air quality and public safety. The end product will exponentially amplify the library’s ability to deliver critical services and outcomes not only for Gloucester, but for communities across Cape Ann and the North Shore as a place of equity, inclusion, connection, creation, compassion, renewal and advancement.
Since this spring, six of the project’s 14 naming opportunities have already been funded, including financing for a dedicated Children’s Room by the Institution for Savings, a separate Children’s Programming Room by BankGloucester, an all-ages digital makerspace by Cape Ann Savings Bank, a Teen Creation Center by Sudbay Automotive Group and a new, 16-seat library conference room by a private family foundation.
Since 1849, Gorton’s mission has been to help people everywhere enjoy the goodness of great seafood. Headquartered in Gloucester, Massachusetts, Gorton’s is one of America’s oldest continuously operating companies, and continues to be an innovative leader in the frozen seafood industry. The Gorton’s Fisherman, in his yellow slicker and rain hat, embodies this commitment. For more information, please visit http://www.gortons.com or call 1-800-222-6846.
✓ How do I learn more or contact Sawyer Free 2025?
Call 978.225.0363 or 978.225.0915
Facebook: Sawyer Free 2025
Instagram: Sawyer Free 2025
YouTube: Sawyer Library Foundation 2025
✓ How Do I Give to Sawyer Free 2025?
- Visit sawyerfree2025.org
- Text to donate: Text “325182” to 1-855-575-7888 and select an amount
- Checks: SF2025, 2 Dale Ave., Gloucester, 01930 (Checks payable to: “Sawyer Library Foundation”)
- Volunteer! Reach out if you want to pitch in at the library or with the capital campaign, either in person or virtually. Help your neighbors, serve your community and share your expertise. No matter what kind of volunteer work you do for us, you are contributing in invaluable ways.