Sawyer Free 2025 Public Library: Subsequent Redesign plans, Annual Meeting 2022 – Oudens EllO with Dore + Whittier updates and questions #GloucesterMA

November 16, 2022

Recap and scenes from the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library 2022 Annual meeting, including views of the most recent revised concept proposal for the renovation and addition intended for the library as they appeared in the feature presentation (Oudens & Ello Architects with Dore + Whittier Architects) Sawyer Free 2025

Mern Sibley, Pres. of the Library Board, greeted the crowd and emceed. Jill Cahill thanked everyone and announced that she was there on behalf of the Mayor who was unable to attend as he was at the SFL Medal Awards. (And Jenny Benedict, Library Director, was here at the SFL Annual Meeting, unable to attend the SFL Medal Awards at GHS. Ditto some corporators, perhaps.) The City and Gloucester School District are working closely together, and thrilled to be partnering. In speaking with the Mayor about what message he hoped to convey, Cahill said their moving conversation spilled over among the City Hall Administration staff and easily turned to reminiscences about how the library impacted their lives. A musician himself and music fan, Mayor Verga told them as a boy he loved checking out the CDs and CD player. Cahill shared how first public outings for her mom, wheelchair bound after a health spell, were easy at the library precisely because everyone there was so friendly, and the library was so accessible.

Benedict stressed how instrumental the library was in bringing the community back together after Covid closures and how that was reflected in the robust attendance and programs. Attendance numbers included school visits, too. She concluded with a big note of gratitude for the 16 staff “library champions” which received the biggest clap of the night.

Latest Plans – Oudens & Ello Architects with Dore + Whittier Architects

With a nod to prior remarks, Matt Oudens began by saying thanks and that he “was happy to be reminded of going from libraries of things to libraries that DO.”

Thankfully Gloucester’s library can boast both/and since its inception.

He began by showing the library as it stands now.

“We’ve always noticed how difficult it is to enter the building — the renovation of Saunders is its own project– and the difficult wayfinding problem.”

Since the last time he presented, a construction manager was engaged who recommended modifying the plans (along the side of the Monell building parallel to Middle Street). The “sliver” on that side would be too expensive to build. Instead a “glass “gasket” between the Monell shell and the new addition is planned that will be more economical and a clear signal of where to circulate in & up” the library building(s).

Old concept plan Left | Revised concept plan as of 11/16/2022 Right (note angled “gasket”)

LOWER LEVEL

A lower lobby on the Lower Level was expanded. More bathrooms were added. This wing will be available off hours and can be open on its own, separate from the main building. The meeting space on the lower level will open to the outside, to use the outdoor space that runs along the length between the library and Central Grammar (as the children’s library had). *maybe longer then now

DALE AVENUE LEVEL

All adult collection here. The newspaper periodical reading lobby will be open (high ceiling by soaring windows overlooking Rando Memorial gardens and amphitheater). The 1913 pass through stacks (between the Monell and Saunders) is now the Gallery and Cafe area. A gently sloped sidewalk will allow for greater accessibility at this entrance.

TOP FLOOR

Children’s services spaces. Teen spaces.

DESIGN

“Overall, much more light will transform the library into a nice place to be.”

Much of the exterior is being preserved. Oudens was excited that they’ll be removing the HVAC down to floor and increasing glazing by 25%. All the energy upgrades are important to him*. The light colored brick selected for the new addition will match the painted brick of the Monell. (The community pressed for green consideration all along. As of Feb. 2019 the design team emphasized that scope.)

photo block below: Before / After pairings followed by more views of current built environment and questions

TEMPORARY LOCATION ON MAIN STREET IS OPEN

“You can do any and all library things that you do here (at the Dale Ave. location) at the temporary location on Main Street. Go! Please check it out!”

Now thru 2025. The temporary library address is 21 Main Street–above Mystery Train; next to Virgilio’s; across from Tonno, Short & Main, and Caffe Sicilia; down the street from The Bookstore of Gloucester, Pop Gallery, and the Isabel Babson library. Look for “SFL@21Main” for events off site, too!

Questions Asked FROM THE FLOOR

Questions and comments from the audience– followed the budget and architectural plan agenda items:

Question. What is the (financial) arrangement with the city? How does the money/financing work with the city? Joe Grella, Board member, explained first that the Annual Meeting budget report is for the year prior to the year the meeting is taking place. Then he presented the budget. The endowment is below 5 mil and will deplete more. These reserves will need to be built back up at a future date. The questions about the financial arrangement followed his budget report. He explained the debt. (One million had been appropriated for the fundraising/fee.)

Q. What about the fundraising? What happens if it’s not raised? A. Mern Sibley said that’s a perfect segue to introducing John Brennan for the fundraising report. “The City voting to fund the loan for the new building was a game changer,” and they’ve raised 52% of the goal. He appealed for a benefactor like philanthropists over a century ago: “Seeking the Next Samuel Sawyer. The Next Addison…We need to still find donors that will propel the project…(Since ca. 2018) it was a small group of me, Fred, Deb (Lib. Dir. summer 2015-summer 2020), others and NOW with the city’s momentum, we’re picking up speed (fundraising). [Hence another Sawyer Library Foundation and Sawyer Free 2025 Capital campaign.] A postcard was sent to every household in Gloucester…” He credited an audience member with the phrase, “We’re just jazzed.” And thanked the donors: Inst. Savings, Bank Glou, Sudbay, Gorton’s, etc.

Q. This has been mentioned before, but how will children’s services work for programs on the top floor with one elevator? A. Oudens said it has worked at other buildings he’s completed. The elevator will be bigger than the one that’s there now.

Q. Have there been more thought to swapping (floors) / amending designs? A. The distribution hasn’t changed.

Q. Is the atrium height filled in? Yes. The ceiling will be the floor of the top level. (On this floor, height will be opened up above the new Newspapers and Periodical Reading area which is overlooking Rando Memorial )

Q. What is the cafe? A. Oudens repeated the potential location (former stacks connector) and how they’ve worked at other libraries. He replied that that’s undecided.

Q. The new “stacks” space is windows. Where will the art hang (auction and exhibits)? Where are the walls? (several audience members) Oudens suggested free standing display panels, etc., and to check out the space following the meeting to see the general idea of the footprint there and confirm window count.

Q. Has there been consideration of repurposing and/or revising as much as possible of the extant building existing elements? A. Oudens said there’s not a lot to save, mostly because of code compliance reasons. There will be many upgrades. “The plans (now) maintain the exterior. Hopefully the inside will have enough of a refreshed feeling of Monell.”

Q. Where are the bathrooms? A. The plans show more bathrooms than what’s here now, and on each and every level. Oudens mentioned 4 or 5 bathrooms on the School Street | back of the building level, dictated/guided by the size of the meeting room, which is capacity 100. (I believe there were 2 restrooms for women, 1 men, and one all. Maybe they can all be all gender bathrooms, like planes.) *Not sure if they are all accessible

More questions.

I also wonder about the Matz gallery space, and how to add more gallery space. Also, where are the designated special built sites for major works in the collection (removed–on loan to Cape Ann Museum and storage/Trust). I was asked if the bathrooms can be reconfigured or the stairwell so that there are more elevators if the traffic flow isn’t flipped? Is there ample space for archives and research? Do the plans emphasize or miss a strategy and monies spent for digitization of the enviable archives, accessibility for all? Are there too many meeting spaces especially with other options close by (City Hall, Temple, UU Church, CAM, sites on Main Street, and more)? A cafe option split audience reaction, and prompted great chatter of “I’d love that!” and “No way!” One board member repeated how much he loved the Wenham Library more than this building. In the rendering showing a viewshed from Dale Avenue/City Hall to SFL, is the new addition blocking the view of the UU Church? Feedback over the years asked about the corridor between Central Grammar and the library and views showcasing City Hall.

The history of SFL’s extant buildings and archives (of historical and cultural, local and national significance) are the envy of libraries along the North Shore and –with the City’s, CAM’s –such assets are up there with Boston’s Public Library and major university repositories.

I believe that the custodian services are borne by the City. When the library is open for special events beyond operating hours a custodian is responsible for closing, if not the event breakdown itself. How will this impact the budget for the library and the city?

Beautiful and delicious spread by Willow Rest

Links:

  • Ethan Forman wrote about the 2022 Annual meeting here: Architect shares new design of Sawyer Free library addition. Gloucester Daily Times
  • Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Annual Report – will add link or PDF
  • Annual meeting 2021 minutes – will add link or PDF
  • Former presentation roundup here
  • Light corporator attendance. A few board changes plus new corporators .

photo: Party favors – used SFL book ends

RESULTS Week 6 1851 | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt concludes #GloucesterMA #TBT

GHS_20190318_ c ryan.jpg

Gloucester, Mass.  A 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.

ANSWERS TO SHAUN GOULART’S LOCAL HISTORY SCAVENGER HUNT TRIVIA WEEK SIX.¬†THIS CHALLENGE IS THE FINAL WEEK IN THE SERIES. GO BACK HERE IF YOU WANT TO SEE WEEK 6 QUESTIONS ONLY.

The challenge Week 6 was to locate the historic map on Cape Ann Museum’s Fitz Henry Lane on Line and study it closely to comb through location prompts. This is a great family activity for all ages. It’s a bit eye spy or Where’s Waldo mixed with atlas map fun. The students were tasked with photographing the same sites as they appear today and creating a labeled presentation.

Visit CAPE ANN MUSEUM FITZ HENRY LANE ON LINE resource and scroll down to the correct map here

Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Village)
Henry Francis Walling (F. Walling)
1851
44 x 34 in.
Henry Francis Walling, Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Essex Co. Massachusetts. Philadelphia, A. Kollner, 1851
Cape Ann Museum Library & Archive
“Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport, Massachusetts. H.F. Walling, Civil Engineer. John Hanson, Publisher. 1851. Population of Gloucester in 1850 7,805. Population of Rockport in 1850 3,213.”
Map detail = segment of Harbor Village portion of map showing Lane-Winter property on Duncan’s Point.

  Question ‚Äď find on 1851 historic map ANSWER- NOW (2019)
1 Duncan‚Äôs Point Maritime Gloucester / Railways (former FG Low’s & Eli F. Stacy’s whf)
2 Five Pound Island State Fish Pier
3 Front Street (present sign must be in picture) Main and Short
4 Middle Street (present sign must be in picture) Middle Street
5 High Street School Street and Proctor
6 Fort Defiance The Fort
7 Vincent‚Äôs Cove West End Main Street and Rogers section all fill / Gorton’s, Americold, etc
8 Town House Legion
9 Gloucester House Brick building corner of Washington and Main (Puritan House)
10 Two cemeteries 1)cemetery next to Amvets on Prospect 2)St. Ann’s
11 Hospital up  Granite Street veers right to Blyman
12 Town Landing Same (St. Peter’s)
13 Two bowling alleys 1)on Stacy Boulevard (see Cordage manufactury below)

2) on the Fort

14 3 schools study the map!
1)by Univ Church and Eng H& School on Church off Middle on old map
2)looks like where Central Grammar is
3)Prospect and School where apartments are now
4)corner Washington and Gould Ct.
15 Train station Roughly train platform now
16 Engine house Beyond train platform- roughly where Stop & Shop is on RR Ave
17 Canal Street Stacy Boulevard (Tavern side)
18 Cordage Manufacturing Ditto
19 Beach Street Commercial Street (behind Beauport Hotel back to water)

 

Fort Defiance the fort

Prior Posts Continue reading “RESULTS Week 6 1851 | #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history hunt concludes #GloucesterMA #TBT”

Week 6 Questions uses Cape Ann Museum open content | Try #greatteacher Mr. Goulart’s local history trivia for 9th graders at #GloucesterMA High School – good luck!

GHS _20190318_© catherine ryan

For six weeks I’ve been posting local history trivia questions from Shaun Goulart’s creative weekly scavenger project for his 9th grade history class at Gloucester High School one week behind the students’ pace.

This is the final week! The questions are posted today and answers posted Thursday.  Good luck!

Mr. Goulart’s Local History Scavenger Hunt Week 6 (4/14)

Using Cape Ann Museum Fitz Henry Lane resource: Go to: http://fitzhenrylaneonline.org/historical_material/?section=Maps

Search for Map Title: 1851 Map of the Towns of Gloucester and Rockport (detail of Harbor Village)

Directions for students

  • All must be submitted in one Google Slideshow.
  • Each slide should include: a picture at each location with a member in it and the name from the list below.
  • Each correct image with the written location on the slide is worth 1/2 point

РDuncan’s Point

– Five Pound Island

– Front Street- (present day street sign must be in the picture)

– Middle Street- (present day street sign must be in the picture)

– High Street- (present day street sign must be in the picture)

–¬†Fort Defiance

РVincent’s Cove

– Town House

– Gloucester House

– 2 Cemeteries (.5 point each)

– Hospital

– Town Landing

– 2 Bowling Alleys (.5 pt each)

– 3 Schools (.5 pt each)

– Train Station (look closely)

– Engine House

– Canal Street

– Cordage Manufacturing

– Beach Street

Looking back at MFA exhibition: devastating and important Lodz Ghetto photos by photojournalist and survivor Henryk Ross

Museum days with David Cox |  Installation scenes from our April 27, 2017 visit to the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston to see Memory Unearthed: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross. The travel exhibition originated from the Art Gallery of Ontario where this searing and important Holocaust photo collection is held and much of it digitized. You can explore more than 4000 negatives here: The Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross http://agolodzghetto.com/)

Henryk Ross (1910-1991) was one of less than 900 known survivors of 160,000 confined to the Lodz Ghetto by German Nazis.

photo caption: details from exhibition wall text

 

Before 1939, Ross was a photojournalist for the Polish press and heroically that didn’t stop in the ghetto. He was forced to photograph identity cards for every captive, promotional material, and assignments, often gruesome, for the oppressors’ “Department of Statistics”. While photographing ostensibly for “work” he snapped away bearing witness, building evidence and leaving a record. His wife Stefa was imprisoned there as well, aiding and encouraging his activity. They were married in the ghetto. Ross’s cover necessitated movement, access to equipment,¬† developing, and film: His perilous “employee” theft went undetected.¬†Henryk Ross was a brave front lines prisoner and artist surreptitiously documenting specific and deteriorating realities of the innocents¬†for five years–¬†building a body of persistent resistance. He was a war photographer and patriot I did not know before this exhibition and will not forget.

photo caption: selected photos on display at the MFA (click to enlarge and for more information) genocide day by day

 

Miraculously both survived, and some negatives.¬† Ross’s work was used as evidence in the 1961 trial of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. They testified together. By then he hadn’t photographed anything for years and wouldn’t ever again.¬†“I buried my negatives in the ground in order that there should be some record of our tragedy… I was anticipating the total destruction of Polish Jewry. I wanted to leave a historical record of our martyrdom.” -Henryk Ross

I wonder if there is a memorial plaque on Jagielonska Street near where he hid them?

As this repository was such an exacting chronicle and similar camera format, I thought about curating a show of American FSA/OWI photographers, Ross’s contemporaries, working with home front goals in the same time span as Ross. In 1942 Howard Lieberman and Gordon Parks official assignments included portraits in Gloucester, Massachusetts, of family members missing deployed husbands, brothers, sons and daughters, of a community honoring Memorial Day, of fishermen hard at work providing “Victory Food From American Waters”. People helping. Brave souls. (FSA photograpers and FSA had earned clout pre-1937. Did they inspire Ross? Decades later, did these artists ever come to know each other’s works?)

 

photojournalism_past destruction installation view_ 20170427_lodz ghetto photographs of henryk ross collection holocaust photos at museum of fine arts boston_ © catherine ryan
humanity  devoured- death march past synagogue ruins

 

The exhibition included examples of the Lodz ghetto horrifying, gutting circulars. I used Google translate to transcribe a few of the letterpress announcements. I imagine that the Art Gallery of Ontario will crowd source volunteer transcription one day.

Keep Calm and Carry On pronouncements here, too
Aug 12, 1940 Announcement 104: Jews! Remain Calm!
The events of the last days were triggered by the responsible elements that we wanted to bring chaos into our cycle. These people are aimed at the only important benefits allowed to organize positive and appropriate help for the population. In a short period of time since the creation of the ghetto, after great hardships, it was possible to obtain work from the outside for parts of tailors, carpenters, shoemakers, lappers and seamstresses; soon I will get employment for other crafts, as well as for handicrafts.
The Municipal Budget is Overstated.
Supplying children and the elderly is still in the foreground. Pomino will be equipped with kitchens for all: old and young. Regardless of the (?) general kitchen for workers and the unemployed, which will be issued with 10,000 tanks per day and for various layers (also for religious Jews) – block committees will continue to be supplied. this is a positive plan that must be spotted. this is not an easy task. therefore I am appealing to you with an appeal: keep calm. Do not allow yourself to be misled with irresponsible elements that would hinder your previous work and fulfill your future intentions.
I WANT TO SAVE PEOPLE.
I will do everything that is possible and I will strive to ensure that my tasks are carried out with all due diligence – Ch. Rumkowski

March 22, 1942 Announcement No. 371 :  Resettlement
Subject: Orders concerning the transfer of the ghetto.
Spatialization of the western ghetto part…From the Donnersiteg, the western part of the ghetto must be cleared of all residents and workers. the people living and working there must therefore be in the east…
I hereby announce that the resettlement continues to take place on the initiative of the authorities. I urge the persons concerned – who are destined for resettlement – to do so. upon receipt of the departure request, it is essential that you arrive punctually at the meeting time prescribed by you, otherwise you will have to leave the country without any additional packing.
litzmannstadt-ghetto the 22nd, marz 1942 Ch. Rumkowski* is the oldest of the Jews in Litzmannstadt 

excerpt¬†from the MFA museum label (photo below) concerning Administration and Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski: “…The Elder of the Jewish Council, Mordechai Chaim Rumkowski, believed the residents might survive if they became productive…Due to its remarkable productivity, Lodz was the last Polish ghetto to be liquidated. The Jewish Council played a problematic role in the history of the Lodz Ghetto. Its members were forced to implement Nazi policy, but were perceived as privileged in return. Rumkowski remains one of the¬† Holocaust’s most controversial figures.”- MFA label

August 22, 1942 Announcement no. 428 Concerning the size of the ghetto
In addition to the previously no longer enter. Who does not follow this request and on Thursday d. 24 august 1944, after 7 o’clock early in these areas as well as in the already cleared still encountered, is struck, with death…¬†
It is¬†bounded by the area: in the west …
limited: in the east …
limited: to the south …
limited; in the East…
and slow to the south…
For special attention
Workers barracked in these areas in closed premises can remain in their workplace and be allowed to work in the same place.
Secret State Police

September 4, 1942 Announcement No. 391 General Curfew in Ghetto

Museum of Fine Arts display label (see photo above) “On September 4, 1942, Lodz Ghetto populace was told that elderly and sick residents and children under the age of 10 would be deported from the ghetto. This notice forbade the remaining residents from leaving their homes while deportees were collected. “From Saturday September 5 1942 from 5pm on a general curfew is in effect until revoked. Excepted are: firefighters, the Transportation Department, feces and garbage haulers, workers involved in the reception of goods at the Baluty Market Square and the Radogoszcz (station), doctors and pharmacy personnel.”

Installation view_ label_20170427_Lodz Ghetto Photographs of Henryk Ross collection Holocaust photos at Museum of Fine Arts Boston_ originated by Art Gallery of Ontario © catherine ryan _130708.jpg

from the digitized archives: click to enlarge and read description