expect a little bit of traffic on RT 127 as Days Pond wall and sidewalk get some Gloucester DPW love

Gloucester MA DPW Days Pond stone work Dec 2018 (3)

 

Another Gloucester DPW project began last week along RT 127, near Wolf Hill, at Days Pond. The fence and wall have been damaged over the years from simple wear and tear, and even automobile accidents. “A recent one took it from more than just an eyesore to potentially dangerous,” Mike Hale explained. The wall is being replaced and raised. The crew will be there a couple of weeks this December to complete all that is doable in winter, and return in the spring to finish the job. Since the crew began the pond has frozen over and thawed. Note the stone work.

City Hall gleaming floors | DPW steadfast support for Gloucester’s culture

Spectacular City Hall, Gloucester’s cultural landmark and active municipal building, has nearly reached its 150th milestone at 9 Dale Avenue. Rising from the ashes, construction began in 1870 after the Gloucester fire of 1869 consumed its short-lived precursor. Gridley J.F. Bryant & Louis P. Rogers, leading architects at this time, were awarded the commission. Massive disaster response came two years later: the Great Boston Fire wiped out scores of Bryant designed buildings and the firm was awarded a significant percentage of its own rebuilds.

City Hall  was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973… which means the research and preparations leading up to that designation timed with its centennial birthday.Recently the expansive floors in Kyrouz Auditorium were buffed and polished and not for the first time.  150 years! Imagine all the footsteps and the generations of staff and volunteers that have cared for this building and community.

Credit DPW for their professionalism and kindness, and steadfast support for the city’s culture. Note their extra caution for protecting heritage from airborne material: mural and portraits were covered.

Before / After 

 

 

City Hall looks stunning always- BEFORE shots

 

 

during (these two photos shared with me)

 

 

after 

AFTER_looking out from stage after floor care Kyrouz Auditorium_City hall_Gloucester Mass ©c ryan20181017_164535.jpg

Massive and beautiful Ken Gore painting repaired and returned to City Hall

Information labels were applied to City Hall walls with an epoxy that is ill advised near art. In early spring a label for this Ken Gore painting migrated to its surface and pulled away a small patch of paint.  Elizabeth Mehlin, an expert painting restorer in Ipswich, Massachusetts, repaired the accidental damage. She was able to tease out pulverized pieces of the paint stuck to remnant epoxy and match the loss so beautifully the fix is indiscernible. The painting is large and heavy. I suspect that its original custom frame was likely carved by multi media artist and Montserrat teacher, Alfred Czerepak (1928 – 1986). Gloucester’s Department of Public Works are such great stewards of the city’s art and history!

BEFORE painting surface damaged_ by epoxy from wall  label_ brought to restorer E Mehlin_©Catherine Ryan.jpg
Before repair – and remnant epoxy

DPW rescue_Mike Hale KEN GORE back to City Hall after conservato repair necessary due to ill choice for wall label_ nasty epoxy migrated to painting surface_20180907_©c ryan.jpg

Mike Hale and Bobby return KEN GORE painting to City Hall after slight repair necessary due to ill choice for wall label_ nasty epoxy migrated to painting surface_20180907_©c ryan.jpg

 

 

 

Gloucester Ma Public Works_reinstalling  restored KEN GORE painting to City Hall_Gloucester Mass_20180907_©c ryan.jpg
To the rescue as usual. Fantastic Deparment of Public Works – Mike Hale, Bobby Gross, Phil Curcuru, Mike Tarantino –  the return of the repaired Gore painting

KENNETH (KEN) GORE
(American, b.Oct 2 1911 Elvira, Illinois -1990 d. Gloucester)
Ken Gore visited Gloucester for the first time in 1948 and settled into a home and studio within a year. Eventually he purchased 186 East Main Street where he resided and maintained a studio and gallery. (Today it’s Lynzariums, aka the Plant Shack, across from Beacon Marine Basin in East Gloucester.)  Gore was a student and art professor at the  Detroit Meisinger Art School. He served as president of both Rockport and North Shore Art Associations and for the Cape Ann Festival of the Arts. He performed regularly with the Cape Ann Symphony. He taught regularly. Apparently his personality was as joyous and musical as his painting: his art students and friends considered him “one of the nicest mans they’d ever met.” I’ve heard that his plein air road trips and truck “studio” were quite a sight.  I would love to see a picture of him on location by his truck. I do love seeing Jeff Weaver and his signature truck around town.

186 East Main Gloucester Ma_ 2018 September 14_former home gallery and studio of artist Ken Gore_©Catherine Ryan (1).jpg
186 East Main Street, Gloucester, was former home, studio and gallery of artist Ken Gore

Cape Ann Festival of the Arts detail map of artists locations

Snazzy access breaks along Thatcher Road guard rail replacement | Gloucester DPW road work progressing

Construction along Thatcher road and its new marsh walkway to Good Harbor Beach continues. The guard rail replacement is underway with a wood element coming soon. The access breaks caught my eye.

Thatcher road construction Snazzy access breaks_Gloucester Mass_20181004_©Catherine Ryan.jpg

in the news: update on stands at New Balance Newell Stadium

Gloucester Daily Times article by Ray Lamont

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“Hale said the Woburn-based firmof Heimlich Landscaping and constracting which installed the stands and track in 2013, is heading up the repair work wiht inkind design assistance from CDM Smith of Boston…

“It was safe, and it would have been safe. It just looked bad–it looked old when it was still new. But this administration wants to be sure to fix it. We want this to be good product, and a good long-term investment.”

See amazing 1901 historic photos from Bruce Roberts: Gloucester crews worked on Haskell’s dam

City of Gloucester officials are working towards a Phase 3 for the Haskell Pond Dam reconstruction which I wrote about last week (Part 1). I included information about the original monumental build. In response, Bruce Roberts was kind enough to share these amazing photographs of the impressive crews at the Haskell Pond construction site 1901. Bonus: they were annotated by his grandfather in 1958.  West Gloucester families may recognize a surname or two, maybe a family resemblance. Please help ID if you can.

Bruce Roberts explains: “My grandfather, Edward F. Roberts, identified the individuals back in 1958.  There are some folks he didn’t recognize, since he would have been pretty young when these images were taken.  The first picture has the most identified individuals. One thing that has always been remarkable to me in the second image is how much Chester Andrews, my g-grandfather, resembled my father, Eugene Roberts, at that age.”

 HASKELL’S POND CONSTRUCTION ca.1901-02 – (Individuals ID’d by Edward Roberts in 1958)

Clearing Haskells pond late 1901 © courtesy historic photo collection Bruce Roberts

Photo 1, Dec 1901 (in snow): “Wood Choppers at Haskell’s Pond, December 1901”
Front Row, L-R: 1. Otis Lufkin, 2. Matt Poland, 3. Loren (sp?) Harris, 4. Melvin Wilkins, 5. Jim White

Back Row: 1.Asa Sargent, 2. unknown, 3. Ed Lufkin, 4. James Chadbourne, 5. Joseph Abbott, 6. unknown, 7. Joshua Roberts, 8 & 9. unknown

Clearing Haskells pond late 1901 © courtesy historic photo from collection Bruce Roberts

Photo 2 (late 1901 or early 1902):

Front, L-R: 1. Loren Harris, 2 & 3. unknown, 4. Asa Sargent

Center, w/ white shirt: Eps Walter Haskell

3rd row: (Right side, behind Asa Sargent, in light coat): Chester Andrews

(2nd to left from Chester Andrews): Fred Jeffs

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (4)

read more:

Continue reading “See amazing 1901 historic photos from Bruce Roberts: Gloucester crews worked on Haskell’s dam”

Great Public Works then and now | Haskell’s Pond Dam 2018 reconstruction with 1902 construction plans & wild origin story #GloucesterMA

Last month I was fortunate to glimpse the impressive Haskell’s Pond Dam reconstruction orchestrated by Gloucester’s Department of Public Works (DPW). Protecting and managing water utilities can be easy to take for granted. “This not so sleepy dam by Rt. 128 continues to deliver almost 30% of the city’s water,” exclaimed Larry Durkin, City Environmental Engineer. He explained that years ago the DPW team began assessing the city’s water infrastructure and compliance requirements including what would happen during an event storm. Haskell’s Pond Dam needed attention: The reconstruction was projected to cost 2 million (based on the preliminary plans and the recent Babson Reservoir repair). Phase I and II  were contracted out to SumCo Eco Contracting and the estimates were correct. The project cost two million and the work is largely completed thanks to grants and loans from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and the Commonwealth’s Dam and Seawall Program.  DPW Director, Mike Hale, and Larry Durkin concur: “They are fabulous to work with.” Discovery was anticipated. While drilling it was determined that the Haskell Pond Dam was indeed not structurally stable, and a MAJOR fix would be required to bring the dam into compliance. The DPW team is working with the state to fund the critical work of Phase 3.

Until then, take time to enjoy its history. While checking out the 2018  progress, I pulled stories and stats from the Haskell’s Pond Dam original build In 1902. As with today, the dam work was regarded  a model project. State assistance and contracted elements were required then, too. The numerous links among these two century projects are a fascinating delve and described below. The evolving breaking news in 1902 kicked off with a bang, surprising lawsuits (next stop for one could be Supreme Court), and deft leadership. Readers and history buffs will recognize names. (Tarr ancestors were involved; were yours?)

panorama and contemporary photos – Like a mini Walden pond- Haskell’s Pond during Dam reconstruction Gloucester, MA ©c ryan July 7, 2018.  

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (1)

FAST STATS 2018 Phase 1 & 2 – $1,928,000

Scope for Phase 1 & 2: Construction of a new concrete spillway chute, concrete repairs, clearing of trees and unwanted vegetation and valve replacement at an earthen embankment dam within the City’s active water supply system, and more (A prior $175,000 grant from the state’s Dam and Seawall Program was awarded to support “engineering, permitting and the development of construction documents”  which established scope for Phase 1)

2018 July 2 Haskells Pond Dam reconstruction Gloucester Massachusetts Department of Public Works directing SumCo_ photograph ©c ryan (7)

Contractor: SumCo Eco Contracting,
Status: largely completed
Mayor: Mayor Romeo Theken
DPW Director: Mike Hale
City Environmental Engineer: Lawrence A. Durkin, P.E.
Project start (historic): 1902
Modern project start: 2013-18; RFP for Phase I issued: March 15, 2017
Total project cost: estimated to be $7 million
Funding Awarded to date: $1,925,000 

  • from State: $1,925,000 – The City has done very well with Grants and Loans from the MA Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs (EEA), and its Dam and Seawall Program, Mike Hale and Larry Durkin concur. “They are fabulous to work with.”
No EEA Grant Loan Comment
1 Design  & permitting grant FY 2016 $175,000 Completed 6/30/16
2 Haskell Phase 1 Construction Grant FY 2017 $500,000 Closed 6/30/17 and City reimbursed
3 Haskell Phase 1 Construction Loan FY 2018 $500,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
4 Haskell Phase 2 Construction Grant FY 2018 (Applied to Phase 1 change orders) $500,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
5 Additional FY 2018 EEA, funds applied to Phase 1 change orders $250,000 Submission by DPW to EEA 7/26/18 for reimbursement
6 Haskell Phase 2 Full FY 2019 Grant, to be applied to Phase 3 $500,000 to be realized if Phase 3 goes forward in FY 2019
7 EEA Total to date $1,925,000 $500,000

Phase 3:  Some future phase was anticipated, though obviously impossible to nail down until Phase 1 & 2 were completed. The reconstruction was based on discovery put into works five or more years ago as Durkin and DPW team assessed city’s watersheds. The dam has been deemed unstable and will require a major fix to be compliant. According to Durkin, the scope for Phase 3 will include “a secant concrete wall to be drilled and concrete along the dam crest for its entire length, cored in the bedrock beneath dam for structural stability and a concrete parapet wall tied into the secant wall that provides the necessary containment for the maximum storm as defined by the state” and some exicting ancillary projects I’ll write more about in a future update. Phase 3 is estimated to cost 5 million and DPW is working on grants with the state to ensure that it happens.

Location(s): West Gloucester
Priority:  Mayor Romeo Theken’s Office-City consider water highest priority – this one continues to provide 1/3 of the city’s water

Before / After

before photos courtesy DPW ca.2014  /  after photos ©c ryan 2018

 

 

ORIGINAL 1902 PLANS AND PROPOSAL

Plate 14 West Gloucester showing Haskell's Pond_from Gloucester MA Dept Public Works archives

Reviewing the ordeal that was constructing the dam– one hundred and six years ago –is a fascinating read, and helped me appreciate the major job it’s been in 2018. The original dam construction was contentious and hence the top news story of 1902 and years prior. While researching its beginnings, I was struck by just how many areas of concern and themes of city governance from 1902 remain relevant in 2018. Here’s a short list: the financial condition of the city (“revaluation”), suitable allocations, considering work on Rogers Street, water costs, heroic solo sails, possible steel bridge over Annisquam, Burnham Field play ground, pros and cons of tourism, disagreement over what is considered sound development, new theater on Main Street, announcing state grants, eminent domain, boundary lines, Gloucester Fresh, cut bridge in bad condition, aiming to keep work in town when possible, Stage Fort Park tributes, environmentally friendly innovations,  sustainability, access and oodles of local politics-  Office of Mayor and City Council, city staff, committees, and commissions.

The excerpts below pertain to Haskell’s pond dam from 1902 Gloucester Daily Times  archives that I pulled from reels at Sawyer Free and transcribed for easy access.  Plans and maps are courtesy of Mike Hale and the Department Public Work team. Links to high resolution versions are provided at the end of the post.

January 4, 1902 – MAYOR FRENCH LOSES: Aldermen Vote to Exonerate Water Commissioners

Continue reading “Great Public Works then and now | Haskell’s Pond Dam 2018 reconstruction with 1902 construction plans & wild origin story #GloucesterMA”

sweet ducklings navigate the current at the Cut alongside Gloucester DPW lovely storm repairs

It has been a long time since I’ve brought a tiny boat through the Cut from the Annisquam side (alert and praying I wouldn’t slam into the walls or another boat as the waters rush and pull).  How were ducks faring? They were  amusing and difficult to count for a few stolen moments on this glorious summer day. They’d dive to eat what I’m not sure, and pop up, sometimes a bit too far back. Once they were under so long I found myself crossing to the other side of the bridge to see if they were dragged back or catching a ride. Not a chance.

I found the completed winter storm repairs at the Cut equally beautiful and distracting.

Nice job Gloucester Department of Public Works (DPW)!

DPW completes winter storm repairs at Blynman The Cut _Department of Public Works _Gloucester MA _20180713_photo © c ryan (2)

VID (38 seconds) ducklings negotiate current at the Cut (wait for the cluster to pop up)

 

 

July 13 2018 – Gloucester Department of Public Works has completed winter storm repairs 

 

 

March 2017 (winter storm damage) Continue reading “sweet ducklings navigate the current at the Cut alongside Gloucester DPW lovely storm repairs”

Great DPW crew at Good Harbor Beach parking lot 

Gloucester MASS Good Harbor Beach lot attendants DPW staff wonderful_20180610_©c ryan

PATIENT city staff doing their job- Joe Lucido and Kenny Ryan (not pictured),  Brennah S, Dick Kelley, Wayne White, and John Harris all gave a shout out to GMG this morning.

piping plover chick update from this morning-

Day 4 Good Harbor Beach Gloucester Mass piping plover volunteers ©c ryan.jpg

Awesome City DPW work on Maplewood

What’s happening on Maplewood? Much of it is underground. Orchestrated crews are working on a huge project in a neighborhood that has been neglected for some time.

FAST STATS

Status: in progress

The work includes 4000 feet road resurfacing (July) and nearly 5000 feet of new sidewalk (both sides). DPW is working to make improvements to utilities as well: all new water services, a series of valves and some drain work. “National Grid is also replacing some aging gas mains and services.” 
Progress June 2017: nearing finish line
Project start: partial sidewalk begun last year
Funding Awarded: FY2017-18

  • from State: Balance of about $600,000K Chapter 90 funds
  • from City: $100,000K from CDBG and Community Development

Contract completion: part of City’s annual paving bid and on schedule.
Locations: downtown Maplewood Avenue. This work dovetails with larger water work “bid and awarded to Granese of Salem. They worked on the right hand side of Washington Street all spring (Riverside, Gloucester Ave, Whittemore and now moving to Grove and Derby see photo today) cleaning and lining water mains.”
Priority: Top Level! Mayor’s Office considers infrastructure and safety improvements a priority and walkability adding into quality of life benefits for residents, visitors and economy.
Upcoming streetscape work– Middle Street

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GAS LINES

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DRAINS

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WATER

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Do you put your trash out by 7am? DPW news

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I like the aesthetic of the 3d metal letters on the DPW at Poplar

Rose Lopiccolo of DPW says that the trash hauler may not do the routes in the same order so we may notice route and timing changes with neighborhood trash pick ups.

Rose writes:

“Our new hauler, JRM began September 1. Just a friendly reminder that all trash and recycling, by City Ordinance(Sec 9-2), needs to be curb-side no later than 7:00 AM. We cannot guarantee that the new hauler will do the routes in the same order as the previous hauler. If animals are an issue in your area it is recommended that you use a trash barrel to contain your purple bag. If your trash or recycling was missed please call JRM at 800-323-4285, or the DPW at 978-281-9785. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding during this transition.”