Sawyer Free proposed building in the news | annual meeting Monday

Sawyer Free exterior_20190517_© c ryan.jpg

Gloucester Daily Times article Sawyer Free trustees eye renovation by Ray Lamont here

Glouceser Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library 2019 Annual meeting Monday May 20 6-8PM

SFL annual meeting 2019 invite.jpg
SFL annual meeting 2019 (*note to SFL- please consider returning to Valerie Marino type posting days — with real people rather than clipart advert photos of children)

 

Prior post Febrary 4, 2019 with some questions

Besides the local new Cape Ann Museum build I’ve mentioned, here is a another recent comparable. Bowdoin’s new Roux Center for the Environment is approximately 30,000 ft’. The planning phase took 9 months. The build out took 14 months and the project cost less than 15 million (seeded with 10 million from the Rouxs). The Sawyer Free project is more than double that cost and the planning phase is many times past.

The community has been consistent about addressing the bathrooms for sometime. In 2014, the¬†‚Äúimmediate objectives will be working with the library‚Äôs board, staff and volunteers to review the library‚Äôs collections for relevance;¬†revamping the building‚Äôs public and staff spaces;¬†overseeing installation of a modern heating and air conditioning system, and mentoring staff in their professional development‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Round up of new library building coverage prior to November 2018:

Prior post with 1973 brochure ed. Joe Garland

 

Sawyer Free proposed build in the news | annual meeting Monday

Sawyer Free exterior_20190517_© c ryan.jpg

Gloucester Daily Times article Sawyer Free trustees eye renovation by Ray Lamont here

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library 2019 Annual meeting Monday May 20 6-8PM

SFL annual meeting 2019 invite.jpg
SFL annual meeting 2019 (*note to SFL- please consider returning to Valerie Marino type posting days — with real people rather than clipart advert photos of children)

 

Prior post Febrary 4, 2019 with some questions

Besides the local new Cape Ann Museum build I’ve mentioned, here is a another recent comparable. Bowdoin’s new Roux Center for the Environment is approximately 30,000 ft’. The planning phase took 9 months. The build out took 14 months and the project cost less than 15 million (seeded with 10 million from the Rouxs). The Sawyer Free project is more than double that cost and the planning phase is many times past.

The community has been consistent about addressing the bathrooms for sometime. In 2014, the¬†‚Äúimmediate objectives will be working with the library‚Äôs board, staff and volunteers to review the library‚Äôs collections for relevance;¬†revamping the building‚Äôs public and staff spaces;¬†overseeing installation of a modern heating and air conditioning system, and mentoring staff in their professional development‚Ķ‚ÄĚ

Round up of new library building coverage prior to November 2018:

Prior post with 1973 brochure ed. Joe Garland

 

Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27

Sawyer Free Library Gloucester Massachusetts_20190306_© catherine ryan

Keep What Works at the Library – Keep What Works at the Library”, Martha Bowen letter to the editor, Gloucester Daily Times, March 23, 2019

Keep What Works at the Library LTE by Martha Bowen Gloucester Daily Times_March 23 2019.jpg

UPCOMING MEETINGS THIS WEEK

  • ON Tuesday¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†March 26, 2019 Library Trustees meeting from 5:30-7:30PM
  • ON Wednesday March 27, 2019¬†there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting from 4pm – 6pm.¬†The monthly meetings sometimes follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, and sometimes they have been/will be combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019¬†02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.

Since the last meeting February 26, 2019

 

City Hall from Sawyer Free Gloucester MA_20190306_© catherine ryan

library event page March 25 2019
website 3/25/19

Continue reading “Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27”

Sawyer Free Library new building presentation Tues. February 26

architecture of Sawyer Free Library Gloucester MA_comprised of three buildings_winter 20190224_©Catherine Ryanphoto caption: three buildings of Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free public library, winter 

UPCOMING MEETINGS

Note schedule change –¬†architect presentation with new building committee and library trustees is Tuesday February 26.

  • ON Monday February 25, 2019 Saunders House Stewardship Committee, 10:30AM-noon
  • ON Tuesday February 26, 2019¬†there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting 5:30 PM sharp – 7:30 PM. Please¬†note schedule change, again.¬†The monthly meetings announced were said to follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, but that has not happened as meetings have been combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019¬†02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.
  • ON Wednesday February 27, 2019 the fundraising committee for the new building may be meeting but I’m fairly certain it’s not at 4-5am– just a little typo on the events calendar. Maybe it’s 4-5pm

Fundraising committee.jpg

Catch up (click link to select)

 

Sawyer Free new building plans, Prudence Fish weighs in, and public meeting for net-zero green sustainability concerns Feb 5th 2019

Besides the architectural firm, library staff, and library Trustees (including those serving on the New Building committee and the Saunders House committee) there were just a handful of people present for the January 30, 2019 Sawyer Free Public Library new building presentation. There will be monthly Building Committee (“BC”) progress meetings as follows: 2/27, 3/27, and 4/24.

 

sparsely attended presentation mostly architectural firm_ library trustee_ new building and saunders committee members_20190130©catherine ryan
photo caption: Sawyer Free Public Library, Matt Oudens presentation, January 30, 2019, Options 3 & 4 (quite small audience included members of the library Trustees, new building committee, Saunders House committee, and a few residents)

 

The architect stated that the current building was horrible and doing nothing for us, that the new building would improve the look, mediate between old and new, and most importantly provide a strong presence on Dale Avenue. Indeed, The driving goal stated by the Trustees and building committee is to make a statement building that claims a greater presence on Dale Avenue.

I feel that Sawyer’s impact via Saunders and from Dale Avenue (and the back) are elegant. Do we need another City Hall? The library already has a strong individual design identity and at different scales. There‚Äôs a possibility for enhancement, but I’m less confident with examples presented by this team. They continue to describe the library in negative terms. They did not consider honoring or determining the delirious, exceptional qualities of this library‚Äôs already enviable assets, civic center balance, and Gloucester.

New building projected to cost 30 million + and is All staircase / books begone

Preliminary plans Option 3 and Option 4 were touted. Unlike prior reveals, these plans do include and illustrate the cherished historic Saunders House, the beloved Rando Memorial Garden (described as “the random garden could be preserved”), and a setback from the street (Dale Avenue). One allowed preservation of the north side space that’s there and sensitively sited by Monell.

However, the new options continue to put forth a three story building dominated by an unwieldy progressive or processional staircase¬† (“usable bleacher seating”) and the children’s services on the top floor with an “occupiable terrace”– an absurd design flaw roundly dismissed by patrons, corporators and experts since first iterations were presented late 2016.¬† Since they’ve been working on this for years, and options 3 & 4 are only slightly different than what was initially proposed (the “components” were shifted but still there) why aren’t all the plans readied? The earlier plans* had the progressive staircase along the South side of the Monell building. *see below

The efficient Monell building can welcome and disperse 150+ guests for a lecture or presentation on its main floor without any elevator crush. Just as with homes, aged or injured appreciate that the main floor embraces a one level plan. The current entrance steps are few. Existing accessibility options are sufficient for any population. Similarly, bustling children’s services¬†programming — like caregiver laptime– have multiple access options. There is never any stroller traffic jam at the elevator or entrances. We used to line up our strollers outside. As a mother of twins, access to the outdoors (North side and Dale) was a most welcome part of programs and sometimes necessary for “family time” (e.g. swift exit for overtired bawling!) Navigating a rooftop green space terrace and a purposeless overgenerous statement staircase with toddlers and a double stroller would have been my idea of a nightmare. I’m not sure patrons or staff would be excited to bring a group of toddlers on a roof or staircase for serious running around & playtime, but that’s not a problem on the ground floor. Prior to 2014 a couple of Trustees had spoken with me about a climbable public sculpture commission to enhance that outdoor space. It’s funny to hear it being described as dispensable.

Also confounding was the idea behind a glassed in children’s extra room: it would afford adults choices for seating or reading outside the space with the option of observing their charges signed up for some children’s programming. I found that a)creepy because it also underscores welcoming observation by anyone and b)depressing as it misses the point entirely of literacy and building community. I sought library programming to experience with my children and friends and foster connections. (I suppose it could be some type of babysitting amenity??)

  • New Sawyer library building preliminary plans _20190130_ options 3 and 4 not markedly different than options shown 2017 ¬© catherine ryan

 

scituate mom carrying kid on stairs.jpg
photo caption: Scituate was one of two libraries (the old one “very dated and ugly inside not unlike this one…similarly required aerating”) shared as model examples. Note the mom carrying the kid on the dominant staircase. The second model example was Webster which looked similar to the new hospital builds in Burlington.

Prudence Fish reflects on the meeting

I wondered what others felt about the meeting. Prudence Fish writes:

“The meeting of the building committee last week concentrating on a rebuild plan for the Monell building initially gave the audience a certain amount of confidence and relief that a decision had been made to proceed with a plan that would retain the Monell building and bring it into the 21 century. Our bubble burst when the committee was asked if this meant demolition was off the table and were told that nothing was off the table.

This process has gone on for over two years. It will still be years before they break ground and even more years before a ribbon cutting. This process has become a painful never ending ordeal. Throughout this time the projected costs have escalated. The money spent on plans with no immediate end in sight is increasingly extravagant.
It goes without saying that the building should be as green as is possible. However, this is in a local historic district and is also in a National Register District. It is unlikely that the National Trust for Historic Preservation would ever approve or endorse the demolition of an existing 40 year old building in order to build a net zero or green building replacement.

It‚Äôs time to cut to the chase and move things along with common sense and a plan that is affordable and meets our needs within the walls of the Monell building.” – Prudence Fish reflecting on the January 30, 2019 meeting

Some Q & A from 1/30/19

*I think the consultants should transcribe the meetings and collect & consolidate prior feedback so as to avoid misstating comments such as no knowledge of the community’s green concerns or that the north side from their understanding is not used. The library Trustees can provide accessible links on the website and print outs for the meetings.

Question  Are nimble renovations, major adaptive reuse, or tear down more green? Is keeping the building the same size more green? Of plan options 3 & 4 which is more green? How about leaving the building pretty much the same? Why is there so much emphasis on more windows if green goals are desired? How can you talk about net zero when you demolish one building to build another? In the effort to meet programmable needs can sustainability needs be met?

Answer- According to the presenters, because the architectural firm is now realizing just how important green building is to the community, they encourage us to join the building committee for a public meeting Tuesday February 5, 2019 to delve into these questions. The architectural firm announced that it had not realized just how concerned Gloucester was with green builds and as such brought on a consulting expert to join their team. Emphasis on green design was a huge concern two years ago during every public meeting.  There will be a meeting about the new building and green design Tuesday February 5, 2019. 5:30PM

Question-¬†Does plan 3 have more parking?¬†Can a parking lot be added to the North side? (“North” side is the space between Central Grammar and the library. The few people present said please preserve this green space corridor which is consistent public feedback.) How does designing for more cars line up with green concerns?

Answer – Maybe. “We need to study everything further; The plans are very preliminary.”¬† (Three guests expressed preserving the North side green space.)

Question: What is the size of the new plan?

Answer- 26,000 to 27,000 but again these plans are preliminary. They believe the plans are within what’s allowable, but “no matter municipal amendments overrides zoning.” *known as Municipal Dover amendments

Question: Do the plans require more staff? Do the plans require more janitors?

Answer: staffing will likely be the same operationally. A new building will cost less to run and may require less staff by design. (Wait– more staff has been requested and is there proof to support those claims. More building can cost more…)

Question-Does presentation of plans 3&4 mean that tearing down Monell is off the table?

Answer. No. This process will take 3 or 4 more years and we’ll work with the architectural firm through each option in detail. Furthermore the building committee and architects stressed that a renovation would most likely be more money so the options presented tonight may be a moot point. Approaches of adaptive reuse (like options 3 & 4 presented at this meeting) “may be significantly more money!”

Question- where are deliveries, storage, trash and behind the scenes work accounted for in the plans? (I’d add where are archives, digitization crowd source options, etc).

Answer – the plans aren’t granular at this stage.

Question-Is the feasibility¬†study due in May or June?What exactly are we fundraising for if the plans aren’t decided? What will be the demonstration for donors?

Answer- We do have to begin fundraising. (A fundraising firm has been contracted.) The building is estimated to cost more than 30 million based on the timeline.

 

 

Further questions

Where has the art gone? Can we bring the art back?

How will Saunders House be integrated and featured?

Are there any women on the new building committee? Do any of the members have children under 18 years of age? under 14 years of age? Have any of them had experience with managing an architectural build of this scale, one that’s open to the public and boasts enviable assets including historical properties, archives and collections, green space, and specific security concerns?

Where has the emphasis on books and literacy gone? Have the Trustees, committees and architects seen Once Upon a Contest selections from Cape Ann Reads initiative? Cape Ann Reads was co-founded by Library Director Deborah Kelsey. It’s my understanding that the trustees are driving this new build.

The most frequented and photographed library spaces at the Boston Public Library and New York Public Library continue to be the classic reading rooms. Retired New England patriots player and new children’s book author and program developer Martellus Bennett was inspired by the classic wrap around library as depicted in Beauty in the Beast, and Harry Potter fans of all ages admire its enviable repository environs.¬†Is there something to learn from the Cape Ann Museum proposal for a new building targeting one year and under 5 million? Can a design competition be opened up, requiring build out completion in less than two years and under 5 million? Can immediate expansion and attention to bathrooms, renovation and expansion of children’s services, new staff hires, and maximizing lovely Saunders happen ASAP? What are the possibilities for any beneath ground (or beneath parking lot) solutions or connections as with the underground walkway between the National Gallery buildings?

You can peruse the library new building plan options offered on the architect’s website (when the staircase was on the south side). The architect is keen on pillow seating options on a wide staircase (dated High Line-esque without any presentation spot or view).

Matt Oudens selling Gloucester build on his site now

old plans
first options, big statement building with big staircase with pillows

Since 2013 How much money has been spent

  • on marketing
  • on the Saunders House
  • on the main building
  • on the new building pursuit

 

 

Retired police officers hired to help at Sawyer Free Library | Public meeting January 30 for proposed new building

Sawyer Free Library Gloucester Mass_20181207_©catherine ryan.jpg

 

The next meeting about the proposed new library building will be held this week on Wednesday¬†January 30, 2019 from 4:00 PM ‚Äď 6:00 PM.¬†Then monthly: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019. Confirm the meeting location whether¬†Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders.

In the news today:

“Retired Officers to Police City Library” by Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times, January 29, 2019¬†Click here to read the front page article

front page todays GDT newspaper_ Sawyer Free Library retired police officers_20190129_© c ryan.jpg

Upcoming meetings: Sawyer Free Library new building plans

Monnell architect_Gloucester Lyceum and Sawyer Free Public Library_Gloucester MA_20181128_104037 ©c ryan.jpg

photo caption: Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free public library from Dale Avenue (beautiful Monnell and Saunders building)

UPCOMING MEETINGS

  • ON Monday Jan 28 there is¬†Saunders House Committee meeting¬†10:30 AM – 12:00 PM LOCATION: Byers/Davidson Room according to the library’s calendar. Additionally,¬†The Saunders House Stewardship Committee, meets at 10:30 am on the third Monday of every month; confirm locations on the day. January 2019 was moved to January 14th because it would have fallen on Martin Luther King day.

Saunders.jpg

  • ON Wed Jan 30 there is¬†Library (new) Building Committee meeting¬†4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Then monthly: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings–there was one scheduled at Dore & Whittier in December.

 

For your review – summary and scenes from the November 15, 2018 public meeting and recent headlines:

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (1).jpgphoto caption: Central Grammar apartments (left), City Hall (back), Sawyer Free library (right)

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (2)
photo caption: at the start of the 11/15/18 Library new building meeting – eight to ten tables set up, and mood boards on stands

 

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (4)
photo caption: Brad Dore introduces the design team November 2018 (eight including him) Matt Oudens raising hand in this photo presented his designs at the 2017 meeting

Sawyer Free Library moves forward on new building plans_another phase to Dore Whittier consultants_20181115_© c ryan (3)

Approximately fifty attendees –including¬†the library board and staff plus eight consultants from the firm, Dore & Whittier Project Management and Architecture— convened on the main floor of Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library on November 15, 2018. Individuals from the Historical commission, Action Inc, Saunders House, Gloucester Green, a local middle school teacher, a Varian employee, library members and 3 teenagers were present.

I believe the light attendance was due to a feeling of repetition. The public meeting was billed as an opportunity to provide feedback to the library yet again.¬†It turns out that the gathering was a required step in the next phase of the library building plans and as such was presented to be starting from square one. No matter how one tries to paint it, it’s not square one. “This is just a necessary step,” the consultants explained. “”It doesn’t matter.”

Since 2013, the library has facilitated and hired consultants to help with public forums related to the building and future plans. (Public and committee meetings, agendas, minutes, and strategic planning are requirements for grants and funding, not to mention big pursuits like new buildings or restoration). It is disconcerting that years of prior and extensive staff and public feedback are not aggregated and readied by the library board nor contracted consultants–especially as several in attendance were present at the January 11, 2017 meeting attended by 150+ that sent the building plans back to the drawing board.

contentious Jan 11 2017 meeting Sawyer Free.jpg
photo caption: Jan 11 2017 crowd  (paintings on view like the Lanes  since moved)

 

That contentious January 2017 meeting was preceded by the corporators* meeting two weeks prior where feedback recommended recording and sharing public comments for transparency and efficiency and many of the same concerns were expressed.

*I am a library corporator and can attest that project updates have not been shared (albeit annual meetings) Corporators are a devoted library audience and might help.

clerk recorder
photo caption: The official recorder for committee and municipal meetings in City Hall is a great model. 

 

In between the timing of that big 2017 meeting and this small 2018 one, the library pursued forums via ThinkGloucester facilitated by Gloucester Conversations for its strategic planning. At those forums, the library indicated that¬† results would be shared in the fall of 2018. I was not the only one expecting those results linked on the homepage and printed out for the November 15th meeting. They weren’t. Following the meeting, a board member kindly shared the findings: Sawyer Free Library thinkGloucester Project Report_final 2018

State funding support for library buildings is guided by the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners ( MBLC). In part because of the state’s toolkit funding process, the November 2018 meeting became a fresh start and first step, Phase 1. I was told that the architects and designers needed to hear feedback “first hand” which is reasonable until you establish that yes in fact most of them had been at that most well attended public meeting to date mentioned above (2017), and have been engaged by the library and worked with the library committees for years. Although that money is disassociated as part of the MBLC toolkit next phase, each purchase order (PO) for marketing/public relations (PR) and phases towards new building plans can affect the library’s bottom line, and take years. ¬†When I find them, I will link to the library’s letter of intent, a list of costs for consulting to date (phases or not), building related work, marketing completed since 2013, and for the fine art removed.

In 2013 top concerns included new bathrooms, more staff, the Saunders building, art & archives, and the HVAC systems. Here we are six years later: I can say there has been no change in the bathrooms. The library needs more staff. Voices to preserve the John and Dorothy Rando memorial garden have arisen. The teenagers at the November meeting hoped for new lighting. Perhaps that’s an easy renovation. After six years, the library may have saved some money and developed outreach by conducting a local design competition, fixing the bathroom, and hiring staff. We may have move forward together to MBLC instead of what feels like a never ending “stage one”.

MBLC supports new builds that adhere to a best practice formula and adjusts as no two libraries or communities are exactly the same. For instance, specific additional square footage from a current footprint, varied “programmable” spaces, adequate parking and public input are guidelines.¬†I would suggest that money be spent on clerks/recorders for the public meetings and the library should insist on that from their consultants (whether Dore &Whittier or not). I would hope that new input at every stage continues to be updated and evaluated.¬†Why is the focus on “green” LEED not parsing the MBLC parking spaces requirements? The Boston Public Library did away with them–we should expect no less. Some rural or smaller communities may need larger library builds and new visions to create a statement cultural public gathering spot where there hasn’t been one. (Although I think that’s unlikely in MA.) Our extant library has a variety of gathering spaces. And Gloucester is blessed with an abundance of large, special public spaces that work in concert with the library. City Hall, Cape Ann Museum, Temple Ahavat Achim, the YMCA, and the Gloucester Meetinghouse UU Church are essentially library abutters and can pack hundreds.¬† The Legion, Rose Baker Senior Center and Maritime Gloucester are short blocks away. The library can move events to off-site locations when and if it’s mutually rewarding. Mostly it does OK in house. Gloucester’s population hovers 30,000 which is the same as it was at the time of the last expansion. Does our population require more space?¬†According to sources in the paper and the meeting, the building plans remain many years out.¬†¬†The Massachusetts funding model has decreased and according to¬†the MBLC press release issued Nov 2018, “The longer a community goes without being able to start its project, the higher the construction costs will be.”¬†At what point do the costs outweigh options like renting if building lifespans are warrantied to a few decades expectancy? If the process requires construction this costly, perhaps the state can reimburse communities more money, quicker, and/or develop other models?

You can read a range of reactions to the library’s November 15, 2018 meeting in an article by Ray Lamont in the Gloucester Daily Times:¬†Sawyer Free Library plans still unclear, ¬†November 19, 2018

Ray Lamont article above the fold_library building plans update_Gloucester Daily Times_20181120_©c ryan

 

And a follow up article Library debate: to raze or expand. Decisions needed before state funding kicks in, by Ray Lamont, Gloucester Daily Times, November 29, 2018

Gloucester Daily Times Nov 29 2018 Library debate to raze or expand by Ray Lamont.jpg

 

Dore & Whittier was awarded the 197 million Newton North high school design and build, and multiple MBLC and MSBA contracts for the City of Gloucester. Here is a link to the complete project list published on their website (and photos below).¬†You’ll need to go back and forth among the awarded category projects to separate work by town. (For instance, West Parish is listed but does not indicate “Gloucester” and the library work does not appear). The state sites don’t aggregate all phases either. The Massachusetts school PO status from March 2018 lists 3 awards: the East Gloucester Elementary School study, the GHS roof repair and the West Parish build.

 

 

 

at the back of Sawyer Free pano_20170129_©c ryan

 

The current website does not have a “button” or menu selection for new building plans. You can select from the calendar to see some of the meetings announced. You can select About to explore more about the board committees and some minutes and agendas. Some meetings are linked into the City of Gloucester calendar, too.

website Jan 21 2019.jpg

Round up of new library building coverage prior to November 2018: Continue reading “Upcoming meetings: Sawyer Free Library new building plans”

Down the lane: Fitz Henry Lane art shuffled from Gloucester Sawyer Free library to Cape Ann Museum

You may have noticed that the Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library is sporting noticebly thinned out collections, and it’s not just the books. Three Fitz Henry Lane paintings were moved across the street to the Cape Ann Museum: Gloucester Harbor (gifted to the Library by Judith M Todd);¬†Sawyer Homestead Freshwater Cove, Gloucester;¬†and Coasting Schooner off Boon Harbor, ME. Additionally, a portrait of Sawyer and a Bertha Menzler Payton painting are no longer on view.

BEFORE AND AFTER

Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library installation views- BEFORE (Lanes installed) / AFTER (Lanes removed)

Installation view two FITZ HENRY LANE paintings GLOUCESTER HARBOR left and SAWYER HOMESTEAD right at Sawyer Free Public Library ©C Ryan IMG_183127
Past the crowd, on the far walls installation view showing pair of Fitz Henry Lane paintings (Gloucester Harbor on the left and Sawyer Homestead Freshwater Cove on the right). A Carlton T Chapman painting is under the clock. Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library
Installation view two Gruppe paintings former site of two Fitz Henry Lane paintings at Sawyer Free Public Library ©C Ryan_111423
Gloucester, MA. Gloucester Lycecum & Sawyer Free Public Library December 2017 pair of Emile A Gruppe paintings installed (formerly site of two Fitz Henry Lane paintings)

 

You can click on the photos to read captions. The photo pair below show Lane Coasting Schooner replaced with a painting from the Addision Gilbert Hospital collection, a portrait of Sawyer and his wife

 

Library vs Museum

Lane painting installation views comparing Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library vs Cape Ann Museum

More photos from both collections

 

Cape Ann Museum is just across the street and it’s the world’s most vital Lane collection. Still, I wish the paintings could remain at the library. I lament my industry’s inability, all of us, actually– to find a way to make stewardship affordable for repositories just like this one.¬†I’ve been thinking about the pros and cons of making copies for the library. When access to originals is difficult or impossible, copies can be a boon. For example the Madonna atop Our Lady of Good Voyage is a replica. The original is held at the Cape Ann Museum and affords close observation that was impossible from the street. The copy preserves the impact of the site. Two dimensional¬† poster reproductions and painted copies are rarely more. Mostly, I advocate for originals. Here, original art was replaced with original art.

The gifts were for the library and Gloucester, in varying degrees of partnership with the library since Sawyer’s private endowment upon his death in 1889.¬†The provenance paperwork for the Lanes can be deciphered differently depending upon context.

The Lanes leaving the library made me think about the James Prendergast Library collection deaccession, for operating funds and a new vision, rather than a relocation just across a city square. That library is located in Jamestown New York. The board consigned 44 paintings to two auction houses for November 2017 sales. The update is that several works did not find purchasers, failing to meet presale estimates. The board rejected lowball offers following the public sales, and the art remains with the auction houses to be sold in future to-be-determined sales.¬†The New York Attorney General office denied a purchase offer that would have held the art in Jamestown, ruling instead for public auction.¬† A makerspace was crafted from three extant rooms where a children’s computer coding Scratch class was offered at the time of the sales. Jamestown had cut annual funding for its library by $300,000. (see prior GMG posts November 20 2017 and auction results)

I was hoping the Lanes might be featured prominently and safely with any interior buildout proposals at Sawyer Free library, like this installation at the Currier (which was a temporary build out for a museum exhibition), and the library’s other works. The Matz gallery is pretty perfect for changing exhibits of local artists.

Installation view ALBERT BIERSTADT The Emerald Pool Currier Museum of Art Mount Washington exhibit January 2017 © c ryan.jpg

 

“Spacious and beautiful” Sawyer Free Library a must see in 1885 travel guide | 123rd annual meeting tonight!

library 1906IMG_20170317_101159

Sawyer spacious and beautiful then and now. “What is the future we want?”

ANNUAL MEETING: tonight, June 12, 7pm,¬†from SFL board letter:¬†“…As we step back from our original plan for a new building, we need to make crucial decisions about the library’s future…”

from the tourist guide description 1885

“SAWYER FREE LIBRARY¬†

At the corner of Dale avenue and Middle street, a few yards from the City Hall, is the spacious and beautiful “Sawyer Free Library” building. These attractive grounds were purchased by Samuel E. Sawyer, Esq., for the purpose of establishing a permanent home for the library, in February of last year. of Mr. William A. Pew, for the sum of $20,000. The grounds of this noble mansion are extensive and well laid out, and Mr. Sawyer has spent large sums of money in fitting up the place for the purposes of what it is now used. The large rooms and stately halls are carpeted and elegantly furnished.

The walls are adorned with over one hundred and fifty rare and valuable paintings and pictures, collected during Mr. Sawyer’s visits to foreign cities and in this country.

The generous donor has done everything that could be done to make the home of the library that bears his name convenient and beautiful. When the library was dedicated in July, 1884, a large assembly of our best citizens were present, together with several persons from abroad. Mr. Sawyer then presented to the trustees the deed of the entire property, comprising nearly 30,000 square feet of land, and thereby made it a perpetual gift to the citizens of Gloucester. The building was erected in 1764, and is consequently over 120 years old, though during that time it has been somewhat altered and improved by several owners. Mr. Pew built the fine tower upon it and the verandas around the first story, and also the “porte cochere.” He laid out the grounds with considerable taste, and protected them with the fine walls of dressed granite and iron gateways. Mr. Sawyer’s improvements have embellished this valuable estate in many respects, and to-day it is one of the finest sites within our city. The rooms are open daily, afternoon and evening (except Tuesdays), from 2-5 and 7-9- Thursdays, in evening only.

The library owns about 65,000 volumes.”

-from In and Around Cape Ann: A Handbook of Gloucester, Mass., and Its Immediate Vicinity. For the Wheelman Tourist and the Summer Visitor by John S. Webber, Jr with eleven illustrations. Gloucester, Mass: Printed at the Cape Ann Advertiser Office, 1885. in the collection of the Library of Congress

“Brook Bank” Sawyer’s summer home and Sawyer’s Hill (heading to Magnolia)

Samuel Sawyer Brook Bank Sawyers Hill

Sawyer Free Library Annual Meeting June 12

PANO_20170222_171947 (1)SAVE THE DATE

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ANNUAL MEETING June 12 7pm

from SFL board letter:

“…As we step back from our original plan for a new building, we need to make crucial decisions about the library’s future.

“How and where will we provide the services Gloucester deserves and the space to deliver them?”

“How can we provide a truly excellent 21st century facility available to the diverse sectors of the community, with first rate digital capacities, flexible spaces for educational and community gatherings, maker spaces and co-working areas?

“How can we best ensure the comfort, safety, and health of library users…”

  

1 week closure at Sawyer Free Library starts Monday June 5

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photo: SFL parking lot foreground and City Hall- ADA compliance work to be completed inside and construction in the parking lot

Information about the closure week from the library:

“The Library will be CLOSED the week of Monday, June 5 through Saturday, June 10 for renovations associated with ADA compliance.¬†Materials may be returned during this time, however, we encourage you to return them when we reopen as the parking lot will also be under construction and there will be minimal staffing. ¬†Due dates and fines will be adjusted and waived for materials during this time period. ¬†Items may also be returned and checked in at other libraries within the NOBLE system.¬†Please plan to pickup any holds or museum passes before we close on Saturday, June 3 at 1pm.” ¬† ¬† ¬†

 Save the dates

June 12 Annual meeting proposed building changes

June 15 Poetry without Paper annual awards ceremony and poetry reading