On a cold and windy day the lighthouse looks so pretty with the blue ocean.
On a cold and windy day the lighthouse looks so pretty with the blue ocean.
Excerpt from ‘The Uncertain Future of Places That Preserve America’s Past’
“Thanks to the City’s infamous witch trials, the historic homes and gardens on the Salem, Mass., waterfront usually get about a third of their annual visitors in the Halloween season. But the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting lock-downs have created a scary situation for these places: most of the rest of their visitors arrive in the spring and summer. Thanks to the pandemic, this year’s busy time has been a wash, and it’s not looking like the fall will be much different. At the site of Salem’s The House of the Seven Gables and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace…” Read the full article TIME magazine here
Peabody Essex Museum has reopened with a modified schedule:
“Thursdays through Sundays from 10 am to 5 pm. To allow for safe physical distancing, a limited number of visitors will be allowed inside the museum and its galleries at any time. Reserve your tickets in advance at pem.org/tickets or by calling 978-542-1511.”
In Gloucester, both Beauport Museum and Hammond Castle are open. While Cape Ann Museum is not open, its on line, virtual fare has increased. Check out “CAM connects”- the most recent July 23, 2020 Cape Ann Music
Hammond Castle- Advance purchase of timed tickets is required to enter the museum. Purchase your tickets here. Guest are also welcome to explore the Museum grounds including the Bell Tower, Drawbridge, Look Out Point and our iconic arches. The grounds are open from 9:30 am to 4 pm daily. Face masks are required and social distancing should be maintained as recommended by the State of Massachusetts and the City of Gloucester.
Beauport Museum – Historic New England property details: “The tour has been altered to maximize social distancing, and each tour is limited to four guests. Please read the “Know Before You Go” section below for more information on safety requirements. Advance tickets are required, and admission is free for Historic New England members. Buy tickets now.”
Friday, April 3, 2020 at 10 AM – 3 PM
Join us as we mark the start of our 45th Season with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony at 10 am and day long celebration!
In honor of the continuation of our founder, John Hays Hammond Jr.’s dream that his home and collection of artifacts serve as a museum, we invite you take a self guided tour of the museum at no cost from 10 am to 3 pm!
Our 2020 Season schedule has been extended to offer more opportunities to visit the historic site including weekends in April, November, and December. For the first time, we will open daily in May!
• April: Open Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm
• May through October: Open Daily from 10 am to 4 pm
• November and December: Open Fridays, Saturdays &
Sundays from 10 am to 3 pm
We have so much planned for this season and can’t wait to share it all with you!
Don’t miss this magical (and first annual newly reinstated) “Deck the Halls” holiday event at Hammond Castle. Each of the main rooms of the Castle has been exquisitely decorated by local florists and landscapers, and also draws from the Museum’s own vintage holiday decorations that had been packed away several decades ago.
“Deck the Halls” is just one of the many events designed to engage the greater Cape Ann community. Linda Harvey, the Museum’s Executive Director, and her staff, are transforming Hammond Castle, from a sleepy museum into a vibrant member of the Cape Ann arts and culture institutions.
“Deck the Halls” is open daily through the week, from 10am to 3pm, closing on Friday, December 20th. Plus, if you stop in at the gift shop and purchase an item in an amount greater than $20.00, admission to the Museum is FREE. This is a wonderful deal because the gift shop is chock-a-block full of unique, castle-by-the-sea inspired presents, especially for the youngest on your holiday gift list.
Thank you to Mayor Sefatia for the suggestion not to miss the exhibit, and to bring bring my camera along so our readers will also want to pop on over 🙂
Lots of great way to shop local this weekend.
Holiday Craft Fair, Saturday, December 7th
What better way to do all your holiday shopping than in a seaside castle offering local crafts? On December 7th, from 10 am to 2 pm, we will be hosting a craft fair in the Great Hall. Our vendors include: Abram and Olivia Burton, Nicole M Dahlmer Arts & Photos, Pure Pastry, Selkie Handknits, Whitecap Creations, Victory Designs, Lisa Bowers Soaps and Fragrances, Art Nook Gallery, Style Street Boutique, Ardizzoni Photography, Ma & Pa’s Pickles, Your Welcome Home Artistry-by-the Sea, SeaTales Publishing, Finabella & Cape Ann Fabrics, and Love Home Wreaths. Ticket are: $15 Adults, $12 Seniors, and $10 Children. Off-site parking will be provided! Please park at Stage Fort Park in Gloucester. Free shuttles will run continuously with drop offs every 15 minutes. Click here to purchase your tickets.
For the first time in years, Hammond Castle will be open to the public to celebrate the holiday season! The Museum will be open for self guided tours beginning Saturday December 7th through Friday December 20th from 10:00am to 3:00pm daily (except for Sunday December 15th when the Museum is closed for an event) with the last tickets sold at 2:30pm.
We have invited local community groups and businesses to sponsor a room and decorate it and trim a tree! You won’t want to miss this opportunity to visit during the most festive time of year.
Dec 7 at 10 AM – Dec 14 at 3 PM
for more information please follow the link below:
Hammond Castle Museum
80 Hesperus Ave, Gloucester, Massachusetts 01930
October 6th at 06:00 pm
Join us for a special evening at Hammond Castle Museum. Enjoy a wine and hors d’oeuvres tasting and live jazz played on John Hays Hammond Jr.’s 1920 Chickering grand piano while learning about ongoing restoration efforts and new programming taking place at the museum.
Our generous sponsors for the evening include:
• Creative Catering
• East Meets West
• Gloucester Rental Center
• Henry’s Fine Foods
• New England Weddings Photography
• Seacoast Tent Rentals
• Timothy S. Hopkins Catering
• Vinwood Caterers
• Woodman’s of Essex
Tickets are $50.00 each and a portion of the ticket price is tax deductible. All proceeds will support restoration and programming at the Museum.
Last Chance! These must see 2019 shows are closing soon: Don’t miss ICA Watershed Purple (installation view above) closing September 2; DeCordova New England Biennial and the Provincetown Art Association & Museum’s 1945 Chaim Gross exhibition close September 15; and catch Renoir at the Clark before it’s gone September 22nd.
A few of the listed upcoming exhibitions to note: the NEW building and exhibits at PEM are opening September 2019; Homer at the Beach is on display at Cape Ann Museum thru December 1 (and catch a Richard Ormond lecture on John Singer Sargent’s Charcoals Sept.28 at Cape Ann Museum (ahead of the Morgan exhibition opening October); three new shows opening at MFA; Gordon Parks at Addison; and Alma Thomas at Smith. A Seuss-focused experience was pronounced destined for Boston, ahead of its TBD venue, by the LA entertainment company co-founders. Some shows I’ve already visited and may write about, mostly from a dealer’s perspective as that is my background. Exhibition trends continue to evolve and reveal new directions. A few patterns I see in the exhibition titles: what’s annointed for display and how it’s contextualized (corrective labels); immersive exhibits; revisiting colonial methodologies and themes; major solo surveys; women artists (and this upcoming season boost underscoring womens’ suffrage and 100th anniversary of the ratification of women’s right to vote); illustration; environment; and issues of humanity and migration. The list is illustrated with images of the sites. All photographs mine unless otherwise noted. Right click or hover to see info; click to enlarge. – Catherine Ryan
Note from author: The list below is alphabetized by town, and details upcoming exhibitions at each venue as well as some that are closing soon. Click the word “website” (color gray on most monitors) for hyperlinks that redirect to venues. For a list alphabetically sorted by venue, see my Google Map (with a Candy Trail overlay) “Art Museums in Massachusetts” here and embedded at the end of this post. I pulled the map together several years ago. No apps to download or website jumping. Easy scroll down so you don’t miss an exhibit that’s closer than you think to one that you may already be exploring. A few are open seasonally (summer) or weekends only–call first to check before visiting. Major new architectural building projects are underway at BU (closed) and MIT. The 54th Regiment Memorial on Boston Common will undergo restoration. Get ready for close observation of conservation in process. – Catherine
1. John Greenleaf Whittier historic Home and Museum website
2. Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art website
3. Emily Dickinson Museum website ongoing special guided tours through two historic house museums- Homestead and Evergreens, and programs
4. Eli Marsh Gallery – Amherst College website
5. Mead Art Museum – Amherst College website
6. Addison Gallery of American Art Philips Andover website
7. Cyrus E. Dallin (1861-1944) Art Museum website
8. Attleboro Arts Museum (like NSAA) website
9. The Belmont Woman’s Club & 1853 Winslow Homer (seasonal) website historic house museum
10. Montserrat College of Art website
11. Murals, Cabot Street Beverly
12. Beverly Public Library website
13. Long Hill historic home and gardens 114 acres website
14. Boston Athenaeum website
15. Boston Black Heritage Trail, NPS website
photo info: Visitors will see the Robert Gould Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial undergoing conservation beginning fall 2019
16. Boston Children’s Museum website
17. Boston Freedom Trail website
18. Boston Harbor Islands National and State Park website
(photos show info gateway on the Greenway near the ferry access to Boston Harbor Islands)
19. Boston Public Library website
20. Boston Society of Architects website
21. Boston University BU Art Galleries website
22. Design Museum, Boston website
23. Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway website
24. Innovation and Design building (aka Boston Design Building makeover in process in winter 2016 photos posted here) website
25. Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum website
26. Guild of Boston Artists website
27. ICA Institute of Contemporary Art website
Nice installation with a few surprises and thoughtful connection to other exhibtions on view. (The LeWit and Johns selections triggered what about that work or artist? I wish May Stevens and Harmony Hammond were included and my list grew from there. That’s part of the fun of the exhibit.)
28. John F. Kennedy JFK Presidential Library & Museum, UMASS Boston website
29. Massachusetts State House art collection website and Boston Commons public arts and spaces
30. McMullen Museum of Art BC – Boston College website
31. MAAH – Museum of African American History, Boston website
32. MFA – Museum of Fine Arts, Boston website
33. Otis House Museum, Historic New England website historic house museum
34. Paul Revere House website
35. Society of Arts & Crafts, at Pier 4 Boston website
36. USS Constitution, NPS website
37. Cape Cod Museum of Natural History website
38. Fuller Craft Museum heads into 51st season website
39. Larz Anderson Auto Museum website
40. Eleanor Cabot Bradley Estate website
41. Museum of American Bird Art at Mass Audubon website
42. Harvard Art Museums (Fogg; Busch-Reisinger; and Arthur M. Sackler) website
Why do any of the Harvard museums charge an entrance fee?
43. Harvard – Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts website
The Carpenter Center was closed for an event on the day I scheduled to see the Oppermann exhibition – good reminder to call first for the must see shows on your list.
44. Harvard – ‘The Cooper Gallery’ / The Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African and African American Art website
45. Harvard – Gutman Gallery website
46. Harvard – Graduate School of Design Gund Hall Exhibition website
47. Harvard – Ernst Mayr Library website
48. Harvard – Houghton Library website
49. Harvard – Lamont Library (Harvard ID required) website
50. Harvard – Museum of Natural History website
51. Harvard – Peabody Museum of Archaeology website
52. Harvard- Pusey Library Exhibition Gallery website
53. Harvard – Widener Library (Harvard ID required) website
54. Central Square Murals, Cambridge website
55. MIT Museum website **OCTOBER 2021 MIT Museum moving to KENDALL SQUARE**
57. MIT Hart Nautical Gallery website
58. MIT Museum Studio and Compton Gallery student projects website
59. MIT School of Architecture Galleries website
60. MIT Wiesner Student Art Gallery website Stratton Student Center
61. Mount Auburn Cemetery website
62. Museum of Science, Boston website
63. Museum of Russian Icons website
64. Louisa May Alcott Orchard House 399 Lexington Road, Concord, Massachusetts 01742, United States (978) 369-4118 guided tours year round plus special events
65. Ralph Waldo Emerson House (seasonal) website
66. Walden Pond State Reservation – Henry David Thoreau website
67. Concord Museum website
68. Cahoon Museum of American Art website
69. Crane Museum of Papermaking website Founded in 1930. Mill venue dates to 1844, built after papermaker Zenas Crane’s retirement
70. Cape Cod Museum of Art – 39th year website
71. The Art Complex Museum (Weyerhaeuser collection) website
72. Thornton W. Burgess Society Green Briar Nature Center & Jam Kitchen website *may join Cape Cod Museum of Natural History in Brewster to combine and become the Cape Cod Museums of Natural History
73. Essex Shipbuilding Museum website
74. TOHP Burnham Town Hall & Library, Essex website don’t miss Alexia Parker paper collage
75. Fitchburg Art Museum (FAM) website
76. Danforth Museum of Art, Framingham State Univ. website
August 22, 2019
Thursday, August 22, 2019 at 130 AM – 12 PM
History of Medieval Arms and Armor & Knighting Ceremony
John Pettibone, former curator and executive director of Hammond Castle Museum, will host a lecture and demonstration of the History of Medieval Arms and Armor. He has spent many years studying the ancient art of armor and examples from the castles collection will be on display including: Japanese samurai pole arm (naginata), an armored sleeve and shoulder protection from a Japanese Samurai, and a two handed European sword. John will talk about how one became a knight and the rules of knighthood. He will then confer knighthood with a Dubbing Ceremony for girls and boys of all ages, in order to induct our very first members into the Order of the Junior Knights of Hammond Castle.
At the conclusion of the program there will be a question and answer session, an opportunity to try on the Armor and a tour of Medieval aspects of the Museum.
The Joyful Vampire Tour of America landed at Hammond Castle for a most special screening of Bite Me, within its Great Hall, one of the location shoots for the film.
Bite Me is the second feature film of writer/director collaborators Naomi McDougall Jones and Meredith Edwards. Writer, star and producer, Naomi McDougall Jones, is so besotted by the charms of Hammond Castle, she’s currently working on her next feature inspired by John and Irene Hammond. She hopes to film at the castle in 2020. Her husband is a north shore native and connection for her introduction to this cultural landmark. Hammond Castle programming and curation is returning to its heyday. Look for upcoming special events, and curated exhibitions from new research into the archives.
Marlee Newman, Assistant to Naomi McDougall Jones, shared all the channels of this tenacious film push and where you can screen the movie. Thanks, Marlee!
Youtube & Docu-series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=keIisDY8eeo
Wellfleet, MA (July 29): https://www.bitemethefilm.com/tour-screenings/2019/5/10/acme-screening-room-lambertville-nj-4pfw4
Cape Cod, MA (July 30): https://www.bitemethefilm.com/tour-screenings/2019/7/30/cape-cinema
Assistant to Naomi McDougall Jones
Naomi McDougall Jones
Writer | Actress | Producer
If you fancy getting updates on Naomi’s latest projects, sign up for her newsletter here
July 18, 2019
Candlelight Tours at Hammond Castle Museum
From 06:00 pm to 08:00 pm
80 Hesperus Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
Candlelight Tours at Hammond Castle Museum
John Hays Hammond, Jr. loved the evening. Alexander Graham Bell had suggested to Hammond that he work at night and sleep during the day, which Hammond adopted. Domestic staff, frequent overnight guests, and even Hammond’s wife were daytime people and frequently commented that they might go long periods where they rarely saw him.
With this in mind, “candlelight tours” are offered Thursday nights during the months of July and August. Guides will show you the rooms the Hammond frequented and tell stories about how Irene Fenton Hammond and her husband enjoyed their many years living in the castle. Guided tours are the only way to see the castle on Thursday evenings at no additional charge other than basic admission, and are offered at 6:00, 7:00 and 8:00 P.M. Thursday August 15th there will be no candle light tours. Come and
Rebeccah Pearson, Museum Shop manager submits:
Artist reception at Hammond Castle Museum Monday July 8th 6pm – 8pm
“On the Right Track” artist meet and greet is a wonderful way to meet some of our most talented artists on Cape Ann that are being featured in Hammond Castle’s Museum Shop. Join us Monday July 8th at 6pm ending at 8pm. Refreshments will be served as you talk with the artists and enjoy their paintings. Please RSVP by going to the website at www.hammondcastle.org.
The featured artists for the month of July include:
Rosemary Ryding was born in London and is greatly influenced, by the art old and new in Europe. Her main interest is in the study of new mediums and methods. Her present pursuit is the study of ENCAUSTIC which is a medium used by the Greeks in the fourth century BC. It is now used in a multitude of ways and combines the old and the new.
Patty Boynton is a painter whose art is inspired by the beauty of the Northeast, in particular the marshes of Cape Ann and the Isles of Shoals . She works in oils in a representational style with a goal of simplifying and abstracting her subjects. When she isn’t painting, she enjoys walking, working in her garden, singing in her church choir, reading and traveling. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Linda Harvey has been painting as hobby for the past 20 years. Her work includes seascapes, landscapes, children and European streetscapes. Oil on canvas is her medium of choice. She has had many painting adventures in France, Spain, Majorca and Italy . She paints with joy in the beautiful color.
Therese Melden lives in Manchester, MA and began painting 14 years ago. She has explored acrylic and oil paint and currently works in pastel. “I have always loved making art. I enjoy trying new techniques and have been fortunate to work with gifted teachers and talented peers. I paint plein air and mostly from photographs. I choose subjects that I have an emotional reaction to.”
Camille Skilton has been painting as a hobby for around 15 years. She started in watercolors but now does mostly oils. She paints in the tonalist style which George Inness started in the 1800s.
Carmela Martin a native of New England, Carmela Martin finds that these are the landscapes and people that most attract her as an artist. Whether working representationally or in a more expressionistic style, her art is informed by her experiences living in this unique part of the country. Martin has studied at Montserrat College of Art and with many gifted and renowned artists from the North Shore and beyond. She works in pastels, acrylic and oils, often incorporating cold wax and marble dust. Martin is an artist member of the North Shore Arts Association, Rockport Art Association, Newburyport Art Association and the National Association of Women Artists (NAWA). Her paintings are in private and corporate collections in the U.S., Canada and Scotland.
Katie Bull has lived in Beverly MA most of her life. Though her travels inspire her art, she thrives on her sense of place in her own back yard. Her primary medium is pastels, and recently she has been exploring and enjoying painting in oils.
Every month through out our season Hammond Castle Museums Shop will be featuring local artists upon its walls. A portion of the proceeds will go towards restoration efforts. To view this months local artist please click here! Hammond Castle Museum, 80 Hesperus Ave, Gloucester MA 01930 www.hammondcastle.org
Hammond castle open daily! Enjoy guided or self-guided tours.
Hammond Castle Museum Gift Shop Grand Reopening
80 Hesperus Avenue
Gloucester, MA 01930
Thursday, April 25, 2019
9:30 – 2:30
Gloucester, Mass. Great teacher at Gloucester High School, Shaun Goulart, creates a local history scavenger hunt trivia game for his 9th grade students that takes place weekly for 6 weeks. We’re taking the challenge paced one week after the students.
ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY TRIVIA WEEK FOUR
How did you do? Week two delved into Gloucester’s famous inventors. Stop here if you prefer to go back to see Week 4 questions only
Mr. Goulart’s Local History Trivia Scavenger Hunt Week 4 Inventors
1.John Hays Hammond Jr. “Jack”
Go to the location of his home and take a picture with a member in it.
Answer: “Over the course of his professional career, he was awarded over 800 foreign and domestic patents resulting from over 400 of his inventions. Many of these began in radio control before extending to electronics, naval weapons, national defense, as well as various consumer products.” – Hammond Castle
“In connection with his radio researches Jack obtained most important patents for receiving and broadcasting and these he sold to RCA…” John Hays Hammond, Sr
Hammond Castle – I hope that one day the Trustees and Historic New England add this as a shared property among their preservation jewels, along with the Natalie Hammond property and much of the parents’ estate, Lookout Hill, with some portion of admission for the City. At one point Hammond Castle was one of the top attractions in Massachusetts.
Go to the location where his company was and take a picture with a member in it.
What did he invent?
Answer: flash freezing
3.Augustus H. Wonson
Go to the location of his grave and take a picture with a member in it.
Answer: Mt. Pleasant cemetery
What did he invent?
Answer: Augustus S Wonson invented antifouling copper paint to protect boats. Tarr & Wonson’s was established in 1863. The former factory and harbor icon is now Ocean Alliance.
Paint Factory Past/Present
Paint Factory Ocean Alliance_2018 09 28_ Goetemann artist Deborah Redwood public art – whale’s tail in process_Gloucester, MA © catherine ryan
4.William Nelson Le Page
Go to the location where his company was after it moved from Rockport and take a picture with a member in it.
What did he invent?
Answer: Le Page’s glue from fish waste (established 1876)
Answer: Castle Manor Inn
Very windy with gave a diamond look to the blue ocean.
Article describes some Gloucester highlights: Cape Ann Museum and Harrison Cady exhibition, Gloucester Beaches, Stage Fort Park, Half Moon Beach, Gloucester Shuttle, Cape Ann Cinema, Gloucester Stage, Schooner Thomas E. Lannon, Hammond Castle Museum, Perfect Storm, Wicked Tuna, Rocky Neck, Latitude 43, Lobsta Land, Zeke’s Place, Willow Rest, Beauport Hotel, Ocean Hotel at Bass Rocks, Beth Williams, and (couldn’t get a reservation at) Duckworth’s Bistro.
Photos contributed by Denise Merlino
I think this is the first reported Snowy Owl to arrive to Gloucester in what looks to be quite possibly a fabulous year for Snowy Owls.
READERS, please continue to let us know of your Snowy Owl sightings. Thank you!
Good Morning Gloucester FOBs (Friends of the Blog) Denise Merlino and John Felock write,
I remember when the Snowy Owl visited you, well she is back! We named her Samantha the Snowy Owl. She was seen in our back yard and she is beautiful. Everyone keep an eye out for her.
Denise Merlino and John Felock
READ MORE ABOUT THE 2017 SNOWY OWL IRRUPTION HERE:
“No finer place for sure, downtown.”
Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful center.
Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)
City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.
Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.
Although there are several new handicap parking spaces along Dale Avenue by City Hall, carving out the landscape on the left for more spots is in the cards because of grant money. Why? Several people told me that Dale Avenue parking spaces are hazardous for anyone exiting on the street. Although I do not want to minimize any pressing needs, I still ask, “Really?” Have we become so car dependent we would rather a thoroughfare here than the elegant streetscape we have (once a tree lined walk from the train station.) I was also told that it will increase visitation counts. It is an unfair advantage that historic sites with access to more funding (Monticello, Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and more) are better equipped to face these seemingly no-win situations. But there are creative retrofitting options for Gloucester, too. Universal design is about balance, not chasing funding sources at the expense of preservation and beauty, nor backwards planning.
Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.) A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.
So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?
Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?
Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar. One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.
A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs
Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.
The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state. Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.
If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction
that would be wonderful. It’s not just Gloucester.
From where I was standing in Gloucester neighborhoods, here are several homes (and one gallery) with cut out shutters; beginning with the green shutters seen on the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann house, one of Gloucester’s two National Historic Landmarks, and a Historic New England property.
Beyond shutters: beginning with “Lookout Hill”, estate built by Natalie and John Hays Hammond, Sr :