Concord Massachusetts MOTT spotlight | Little Women, Great Buildings, writing, history and hikes — plus ties to #GloucesterMA

Heading from Gloucester & Cape Ann to Concord makes for easy nature hikes and must see visits year round. Winter walks on mild days offer unobstructed views. It’s remarkable how many points of interest and preservation are within walking distance — or brief drives– from each other.

Concord Museum

 

The Concord Museum expansion, the Little Women film impact, and Carol Thistle are featured in the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism Industry Update from January 2020 (MOTT). Read the full January 2020 news and stats here for inspiration. Nice to see North Shore highlighted.

“On behalf of the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism, Happy New Year to our tourism colleagues around the world, as we embark on an exciting new year and a new decade here in Massachusetts. We are looking forward to a busy and productive year.  
In-state initiatives on our horizon include Plymouth 400, the Restaurant Promotion Commission, a new Historic Women Trailblazers of Massachusetts initiative in honor of the 100th anniversary of the right to vote for women, and a major exhibit on King Tut coming to Boston in June. On MOTT’s international front, we have trade opportunities in Germany, Japan and South Korea in the coming months, as well as two of our most important tourism conferences, DNE and IPW. In this month’s MA Spotlight, we profile Concord Museum’s Marketing & PR Director Carol Thistle, who shares details about exciting new exhibits coming up in 2020 here.” 

Concord Museum expansion Little Women Concord Mass Carol Thistle featured in Mass Office of Travel & Tourism Industry Update Jan 2020 (MOTT)

Massachusetts Mass Film Map Little Women

Mass Film map Little Women

“…we are so excited about the Little Women film and we have already seen an increase in visitation to Concord because of it. Louisa May Alcott’s copper tea kettle that she used as a nurse during the Civil War is showcased in the Museum. Louisa almost died during the endeavor and was inspired to write her first published work, Hospital Sketches, which helped launch her remarkable and prolific career as one of America’s favorite writers.” – excerpt from Carol Thistle interview for MOTT spotlight Jan 2020

On exhibit at the Concord Museum through June 7, 2020 Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere

Special events featured here– save the dates!

Concord Museum save the date

The $13 million capital campaign supported construction of the new Anna and Neil Rasmussen Education Center, which opened in fall 2018. What are some of the educational features? With this state-of-the-art Center, we host Forums on women’s suffrage, the abolition movement, revolutionary history, decorative arts and other topics connected to our collection. Since the opening of the Rasmussen Education Center, the Museum has served 14,000+ students through a variety of curriculum-based educational programs. Kids can explore the world of Henry David Thoreau, cook over an open hearth, and learn about Native culture through archaeology and so much more. In 2019, the Paul Revere’s Fund provided free bus transportation to the Museum and underwrote all program fees for nearly 4,000 students from Lowell, Lawrence, and Everett.”

One of the greatest joys in my marketing and public relations career has been promoting so many incredible destinations in our state. Massachusetts has so much to offer local, national and international visitors with its natural beauty, seacoast and of course its history.  In the past 25 years, through branding campaigns and strategic marketing, I have promoted some of Boston’s key icons, including Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Boston Harbor Islands and the Museum of Science – as well as the cities of Gloucester and SalemFor the past 3 ½ years, I have been the Marketing Director for the Concord Museum as it has undergone an exciting $13 million dollar capital campaign, expansion and renovation. I’m also currently serving on the Board of the Concord’s Chamber of Commerce as well as the Advisory Board for both Discover Concord and the Town of Concord’s new Tourism initiative.” – excerpt from Carol Thistle interview for MOTT spotlight Jan 2020

Plan ahead because there’s so much in close proximity. It’s easy to park at one of these sites and walk to the others.

Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Concord, Mass. Emerson’s home of 50 years is situated across from the Concord Museum and a two minute walk from Alcott’s family home. The house belonged to his wife, Ellen Tucker who died of TB at twenty in 1831, just two years into their young marriage. Emerson supported Thoreau, Alcott’s father (Bronson Alcott) and Hawthorne because of spousal inheritance. He married Lydian in 1835 in Plymouth, Mass. They raised a family in the Concord home.

Gloucester – Concord connections: Emerson itemized “Gloucester” in his pocket journal entries because he came here for work and pleasure: as a  Gloucester Lyceum invited speaker; with friends, most notably a famous walk here with Thoreau; visited Rockport in August 1855 and Pigeon Cove with family in 1856 (where he is remembered as the Inn in Rockport Mass most famous guest). Art fans aside: his ancestor, Thomas Emerson, built Arthur Wesley Dow’s house in Ipswich!

 

Lousia May Alcott home of Little Women Orchard House

Founded in 1912 (!), the museum is the long time family home where Alcott wrote and set Little Women website  Ralph Waldo Emerson backed her father’s work. Thoreau was her schoolteacher.

“When she was about seven her father enrolled her in a school taught by Thoreau, then 23. Thoreau often took his students out of the classroom into the woods. He  taught them about birds and flowers, gathering lichens, showing them a fox den and deer tracks, feeding a chipmunk from his hand.

Sometimes he took the children on his boat, the Musketaquid, and gave them lessons as they floated down the Sudbury and Assabet rivers. As they passed the battlefield where the American Revolution started, he explained how the farmers had defended themselves against the redcoats. Louisa recorded her vivid memories of those field trips in Moods.” excerpt New England Historical Society

Gloucester – Concord connections: Alcott stayed on Rocky Neck when she visited Gloucester.

 

Walden Pond

Concord, Mass. Don’t forget that Walden Pond is right here, too! Hike to the site of the Henry David Thoreau cabin which he built on Emerson’s land and stayed 2-2-2 (as in two years, two months, two days) over  1845-47.

“When I wrote the following pages, or rather the bulk of them, I lived alone, in the woods, a mile from any neighbor, in a house which I had built myself, on the shore of Walden Pond, in Concord, Massachusetts, and earned my living by the labor of my hands only.” Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond, published 1854. 

Combining this stop with downtown Concord underscores the scalability of his solitude and deep nature study, and how it was made possible with support from cherished family and friends. (Since it’s pretty much his back yard, no wonder he could walk home!)

Thoreau lived at 255 Main Street in downtown Concord from 1850 until his death in 1862. His former student, Louisa May Alcott, bought the historic house for her sister. She and her father lived there, too.

Gloucester – Concord connections: Walden Pond NPS Visitor Center designed by architect MaryAnn Thompson, same firm that built Temple Ahavat Achim in Gloucester, Mass. Thoreau came to Gloucester at least twice that we know of- in 1848 as an invited speaker by Gloucester Lyceum hosted in the town hall; and in 1854 as the penultimate stop of his north shore trek. Dogtown.

Temple Ahavat Achim Gloucester Mass. designed by Mary Ann Thompson architect. photograph ©c ryan Jun 2017
Temple Ahavat Achim Gloucester Ma designed by MaryAnn Thompson 2012 (photo July 2017)

 

Gropius House

Lincoln, Mass. (Walden Pond/Concord line). A Historic New England property, Gropius House  is a landmark Bauhaus residence now museum built in 1938, the same year as MoMa’s legendary Bauhaus exhibition. Marcel Breuer’s house 1 is down the hill.

Gloucester – Concord connections: Mass Modern trail and great buildings. Don Monell and other modern inspiration can be found on Cape Ann. 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 McMillanBenjamin C. Thompson*,  Jean FletcherSarah Harkness and John Harkness. Twenty years later, Monell’s Plum Cove elementary school design in 1967 in Glocuester Mass 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.) This early 20th century history in Concord could inspire another movie.

*Jane (Fiske McCullough) Thompson and Deb Allen were co-founding editors of Industrial Design; Thomson had worked at MoMa for Philip Johnson. She married Ben Thompson in 1969. To my knowledge, no relation to architect MaryAnn Thompson who designed the Walden Pond visitor center. 

 

The Marcel Breuer House 1 (1939) at 5 Woods End Road is essentially nestled into the Gropius hill property. Floor plans and interior photo published here are from the Marcel Breuer papers in the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution collection. It was added to the National Historic Register in 1988. Minutes away conservation land was set aside thanks to 20th Century modernist architect, Quincy Adams. He served on the town’s conservation committee and donated hundreds of acres of his family’s land for green space.

Marcel Breuer house 1 lincoln mass_floorplans Smithsonian archives

Marcel Breur papers Smithsonian

Six Moon Hill

Lexington, Mass. One could drive to Six Moon Hill after stops mentioned above, on the way back to Gloucester. It’s about 15 minutes from the Gropius House. Six Moon Hill is the nick name for an enclave of neighborhood homes in Lexington, Massachusetts, designed by the modernist architects of The Architects’ Collaborative (TAC) between 1948 and 1950. (The Gropius home was already optimally sited within the Walden Pond/Thoreau orbit. I’d wager intentionally so, a poetic and multidimensional nod to the natural and built environment and how to live. This dialogue among masters across centuries is another reason I believe Maryann Thompson’s visitor center is ideal.)

“Six Moon Hill is a community of twenty-nine Mid-Century Modern houses designed by members of The Architects Collaborative (TAC), beginning in 1948… The property was purchased by the TAC architects in 1947 so they could build inexpensive homes for themselves, their growing families and their friends, and express Modernist socially progressive ideals. A corporation was formed, creating by-laws affecting future development, maintenance and communal responsibilities. The parcel was originally part of a farm, and while the land was initially used for grazing, the steeper areas had reverted to forest at the time of the purchase. Most of Moon Hill is on a ridge with rocky outcrops, wooded with oak and conifers. The impact of construction has been minimized, leaving the site as natural and undisturbed as possible” read more from the historical survey here

Art historian Simon Schama resided on Moon Hill between 1981 and 1993.

Don’t miss what’s nearby!

Concord Mass. Points interest_Thoreau Walden Pond_downtown Concord_ Ralph Waldo Emerson_Louisa May Alcott_Concord Museum_Gropius_Moon Hill Road_decordova Minute Man Nat Park_Drumlin Park ©c ryan

Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm is a five minute or so drive from the Gropius house. Moon Hill Road is more like 15-20 minutes. Minute Man National Park and Decordova are here, too. There are ample and varied scenic treks to mix it up for repeat visits.

Boston Globe seashore jaunt all #GloucesterMA | Beauport Museum, Halibut Point restaurant, Virgilio’s, Bananas

Gloucester in the news again this weekend about  a great road trip. See today’s Sunday paper- Boston Globe By Linda Greenstein

Read full article  here

to see more mentions from their itinerary.

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Cape Ann Museum and Historic New England present Thomas Jefferson Coolidge lecture at Coolidge Point by William R Cross

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Ocean lawn, 2006

postcards from my collection- Coolidge Marble Palace, Magnolia, MA and Coolidge Italian Gardens, Magnolia, MA

enjoy press release from Cape Ann Museum below:

SAVE THE DATE: June 23 at 10:00 a.m.

Thomas Jefferson Coolidge: A Man Ahead of His Time

An illustrated talk by local historian William R. Cross

 GLOUCESTER, Mass. (June 13, 2018) – The Cape Ann Museum and Historic New England are pleased to present a special lecture about Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, on Saturday, June 23 at 10:00 a.m. at Coolidge Point: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Manchester, MA. This program is $15 for CAM/HNE members or $20 nonmembers. Advance purchase of tickets is required. Space is limited. Visit capeannmuseum.org or historicnewengland.org for more information, or call 978-283-0455 x10.

Thomas Jefferson Coolidge: A Man Ahead of His Time, presented by William R. Cross, spotlights the 19th century industrialist whose vision and generosity shape Manchester and New England to this day.  Discover the history of Coolidge’s “wild promontory,” which he shaped into one of the most beautiful places in Massachusetts. Following the lecture, enjoy a visit to the grounds of Historic New England’s most recent acquisition; light refreshments provided.

William R. Cross is a member of the Board of the Cape Ann Museum with a deep knowledge of the 19th century history of Manchester and of Cape Ann.  A longtime public and private equity investor, he now serves as a consultant to various museums, and writes and lectures on art and local history.  He also serves on the Board of the Yale Center for Faith and Culture, and has served in the past on many other for-profit and not-for-profit boards, including those of Christ Church (Hamilton, MA), Christians in the Visual Arts (Madison, WI), and the Museum of Biblical Art (aka MOBIA, formerly New York, NY). He received his BA from Yale College magna cum laude, and his MBA from Harvard University.  He resides in Manchester with his wife Ellen; they are the proud parents of two grown sons. 

Coolidge Point: The Thomas Jefferson Memorial is located at 9 Coolidge Point, Manchester-by-the-Sea, MA 01944. Several special public programs will be held there this summer. It is one of more than three dozen historic sites owned and operated by Historic New England, the oldest and largest regional heritage organization in the nation. Historic New England saves and shares New England’s past to engage and inform present and future generations. Historic New England engages diverse audiences in developing a deeper understanding and enjoyment of New England home life by being the national leader in collecting, preserving, and using significant buildings, landscapes, archives, stories, and objects from the past to today.

Gloucester in the news: Nell Porter Brown fabulous Beauport Sleeper McCann article in Harvard Magazine

Harvard Magazine, May-June 2018,  “Gloucester’s Beauport Mansion” by Nell Porter Brown is well done, sprinkled with quotes from site manager Martha Van Koevering, and with special upcoming tour announcements for the season at this Historic New England property, 75 Eastern Point Blvd, Gloucester, Mass., open May 26-October 13. Beauport was designed by Henry Davis Sleeper and executed by and with architect Halfdan Hanson. One must go and go again to Beauport!

excerpt:

“Sleeper’s brother inherited Beauport, but couldn’t afford to keep it. In 1935, the conservation-minded Helena Woolworth McCann, heir to the Woolworth department store chain, bought the mansion and preserved it virtually as Sleeper had left it. The McCann family spent several years summering there, but by 1941 both she and her husband had died. Their children, knowing their mother’s wish that Beauport be preserved as a house museum, donated it to Historic New England with the caveat that they could stay there whenever they wanted. One of them often did, into the 1970s, amicably closing the door to her quarters in the “Red Indian” room when tours came through. And therein lies much of Beauport’s appeal. It’s not…”

 

Read more – Download PDF

 

 

 

Beverly hosts a regional Massachusetts Cultural Council cultural districts gathering at The Cabot

The City of Beverly and The Cabot hosted a Massachusetts Cultural Council north shore cultural district meeting today. The theater was getting ready for tonight’s sold out Celtic Sojourn with Brian O’Donovan and they still made time for the districts. Mayor Cahill welcomed the group. The current exhibition installed in this sunny space is a solo show by fine artist and commercial sign maker, Andrew Bablo.

Cultural districts and organizations coming together for this meeting included the following: Beverly Main Streets and the BAD district; Montserrat College of Art; Chris Sicuranza, Gloucester’s Director of Communications & Constituent Services,Office of the Mayor; the two Gloucester cultural districts, and local cultural council; Rockport’s cultural district; Essex Historic Society and Shipbuilding Museum  and district; Historic New England and Cogswell’s Grant; Lynn’s district; Haverhill’s; and Concord’s. Concord will be hosting their regional meeting tomorrow. Currently there are 35 cultural districts across Massachusetts with 40 possible by the end of June. Salem may come on next year.  Interactive MA cultural districts as Google map.

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OUR HOSTS photo L-R: Kevin Harutunian, Chief of Staff, Beverly; Aaron Clausen, City Planning Director, Community Development, City of Beverly; Gin Wallace, Director Beverly Main Streets; Meri Jenkins, MCC; J Casey Soward, The Cabot, Beverly; Steve Immerman Montserrat College of Art, Beverly; Annie Houston, MCC

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Ma Cult Districts.jpg

$463,141: City Council okays 14 CPA grants for 2016. Info meeting for 2017 application February 8th

Congratulations to the 2016 (round 7) awardees!  Their final presentations were at City Council on Tuesday.

 

Since Gloucester voted to approve the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in 2008, the city has administered 7 rounds of funded projects throughout our community. Have a look at who you helped fund in 2016

  1. North Shore CDC and Action, Harbor Village *missing this photo but great presentation!
  2. Cape Ann Amateur Radio Association, Wheeler School House & GFD Riverdale Hose, No 2
  3. Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Civil War Monument
  4. Generous Gardeners, Stacy Boulevard Gardens
  5. Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee, Welcome Center Renovations
  6. Community Development Dept., Stage Fort Park Beautification Project
  7. City Clerk’s Office, Archives Initial Storage Project, Phase I
  8. Oak Grove Cemetery, Oak Grove Cemetery continued restoration
  9. Gloucester Committee for the Arts, “Out of the Shadows: Gloucester’s historic Depression Era Mural” preserve & restore murals with refined project scope,discovery and schedule of work
  10. Historic New England, Beauport Museum, outer building roof replacement
  11. Sargent Museum, Preservation of porch, granite steps & retaining wall
  12. Gloucester Writers Center, Preservation of Maud/Olsen Library & GWC Archives
  13. Maritime Gloucester, Rehab & Restoration of the railway
  14. Friends of Burnham’s Field, Continued rehab of Phase I of Burnham’s Field Restoration

Safe bet you might know someone assisting one of these projects. Who else helps?  The volunteers on the Community Preservation Committee are fantastic: Catherine Bill Dugan, Catherine Schlichte, Henry McCarl, David Rhinelander, John Feener, Barbara Silberman, Heide Wakeman, Ellen Preston, and Scott Smith. There’s no break for this committee. From start to finish the process from an applicant’s perspective takes nearly a year. Depending upon the project, it will involve assistance from the Community Preservation Committee, City staff and various departments, City Council, City Council sub committees, and the administration.  Just as one round winds down, the next year’s process and round of applicants gears up. Visit the Community Preservation Committee page on the City website to learn more about the CPA and to see prior projects.

Save the date:The Community Preservation Committee will be hosting an information meeting for prospective 2017 applicants at Sawyer Free on  February 8, 2017 at 6pm. Applications are due April 17, 2017.

Debbie Laurie, a Senior Project Manager in the Community Development Department who manages Grants and CPA for the City writes about the info meeting: “We want to help guide applicants through the process and answer any questions you may have before filling out an application.  We can also determine if your project is actually eligible or not.  Please pass the word around if you know of anyone that may be interested. “

Live blogging: In Their Own Words- Henry Sleeper and Halfdan Hanson Build Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House. Cape Ann Museum and Historic New England special tour!

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We are on this incredible tour at Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House.  Descendants of both Sleeper and Hanson are here! This special programming duet was brought together by two Gloucester institutions, the Cape Ann Museum in collaboration with Historic New England’s Beauport property, inspired by the Cape Ann Museum’s Design/Build exhibition.

Lorna Condon, senior curator of Historic New England’s Library and Archives, is leading the tour. Martha Van Koevering is the Site Manager for the Beauport Sleeper-McCann House.

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Stephen Bridges, Martha Van Koevering, Lorna Condon

Continue reading “Live blogging: In Their Own Words- Henry Sleeper and Halfdan Hanson Build Beauport, the Sleeper-McCann House. Cape Ann Museum and Historic New England special tour!”

Beauport pic by Geoffrey Gross

From Pilar Garro-

GLOUCESTER-Photographer Geoffrey Gross will give a talk on how to capture the beauty of historic houses on Saturday, June 27 from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Sawyer Free Library. His photography in the 2008 book Great Houses of New England features four house museums owned by Historic New England including Beauport , the Sleeper-McCann House, which also appears on its cover. With four decades of experience in the field, he is currently completing two more books for Rizzoli fine art publishers, Old Houses of New England and New England Modern, both of which feature Historic New England properties. Following the talk, Copies of Great Houses of New England are available for purchase. While the talk is free, registration is required. Please call Beauport at 978-283-0800.

Historic New England is the oldest, largest and most comprehensive regional heritage organization in the nation. It offers unique opportunities to experience the stories of New Englanders through their homes and possessions. For more information visit www.HistoricNewEngland.org.

Beauport pic by Geoffrey Gross, originally uploaded by captjoe06.