Sam Novello asks GMG: What Happened to the Cannons at Stage Fort Park?

ca.1870

Stage Fort Park Gloucester MA when Fort Conant spruced up after Civil War_from historic photo pre 1900.jpg

cannon embrasure at stage fort park Gloucester Massachusetts_20191009_ cannons removed for restoration ©c ryan

 

 

Sam Novello asks GMG, “Joe, what happened to the cannons at Stage Fort Park—— two are gone?” 

The cannon(s) are undergoing restoration (cleaning, chemical treatment and re-painting). In 2018, the CPA Committee awarded $22,705 of an estimated $46,000 to the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee to refurbish the Parrot Rifle Cannon for work scheduled to commence spring 2020. The project is led by the Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee. The grant application project summary indicates the scope of work as follows:

  1. The fabrication of an aluminum “historic-rendering of a carriage for the Parrot Rifle Cannon as part of a multi-year project to restore the Fort area of Stage Fort Park.
  2. Cleaning, treatment and repainting of the Parrot Rifle Cannon.
  3. Machining or “sleeving” of the Parrot Rifle Cannon to create a narrow lined bore capable of firing a small charge report.

“Our final goal is to restore the Fort area as a historic feature of the Park and its importance to our local military history.* Repairs and restoration of this site are long overdue. The ramparts are overgrown with vegetation**. The cannon barrels are suffering due to neglect. The barrels are subject to trash, dirt and debris. We hope to preserve this site for future generations. The cleaning, capping and painting of the cannon will protect the barrel against future damage. We have proposed an annual stipend in the city budget of $2000 for maintenance of the Fort as well as a security plan for the Fort which would include lighting and security cameras. *Our ultimate goals include a visitor education center with historic references to the Fort and its history. It is expected that the entire Stage Fort Park will be used as a centerpiece of the city’s 400th anniversary celebrations.”

 

– Stage Fort Park Advisory Committee CPA application excerpt, photo from packet and phasing goals

Read the full application here: 2019 CPA Application SFP Parrot Rifle Cannon Carriage

*There is no finalized plan for this area overall. See photographs then/now below. There is a history of Fort use and restoration for  historic battles as well as city celebrations honoring this legacy and the kind souls who volunteered to do so. I’m not sure if the 187th Infantry Brigade was paid for the work they did in 1973, which I’m assuming was the last big overhaul. The CPA grant is just about the work on the cannons. The Historical Commission wrote a letter of support stressing replica accuracy using period materials (wood and metal)

**The area is overgrown at the moment because of various DPW work on the boulevard and future plans. (When I photographed the area annually it’s cleared.)

Stage Fort is the oldest fort in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

2019

view over cannons at Stage fort_view of Gloucester Harbor_ Ten Pound Island_Gloucester Massachusetts_20191009_ ©c ryan
October 2019 cannons removed for restoration from site design 1973 by 187th Infantry Brigade

ca.1870

Stage Fort Park Gloucester MA when Fort Conant spruced up after Civil War_from historic photo pre 1900.jpg
“Fort Conant”, post Civil War – pre 1900 site of ramparts before land set aside as Stage Fort Park. Four cannons were mounted during the Civil War

 

temporary visibility_20191009_cannons stage fort gloucester ma ©c ryan.jpg

 

1973

As part of the city’s 350th celebration prep, the cannon site area (earthworks, entrance area, powder magazine, and gun embrasures) was restored by an engineer brigade from Wollaston. The design intent turned the clock back to how the fort would have been built out in the 1700s. Julian Hatch, the chairman of the 350th, had been director of public works for the city. The project was decades in the wishing and sensitively designed at long last.

1930

In 1930, the Fort was spruced up from its formal design post Civil and Spanish war.  Fisherman’s Field Stage Fort information plaques were commissioned and unveiled.

Printable PDF of the plaque translation here 

fishermans-field-transcription.jpg

Read more about historic battles and Gloucester Stage Fort Park in this trivia quiz designed by Shaun Goulart, GHS history teacher in this prior GMG post

1921

1920 Frank Cox Stage Fort Frank Cox

copy of Frank L. Cox fine art photograph (pre dates 1921) he used to illustrate his pocket Gloucester guide “The Gloucester Book”, and sell prints

ca.1870

historic stereoview woman on fort conant stage fort park after civil war.jpg

 

The wreck of the lobster traps – Long Beach after the storm

Tangled lobster trap clots washed ashore after this week’s nor’easter, landing on the Rockport side of Long Beach between fire break #3 and the bridge to Cape Hedge. “Looks like a shipwreck,” people remarked.

 

The sand was stripped away from the riprap but the seawall is fine. The high tides did not swamp the wall or reach the street.

high tide did not reach street _20191013_©c ryan.jpgafter the storm_sand stripped back from riprap_20191013_Long Beach ©c ryan.jpg

Please support GHS JROTC! cadets at Shaws on Eastern Avenue

Cadets from the Junior ROTC program at Gloucester High School volunteer for 3 hour shifts at Shaw’s on Eastern Avenue. 

Willow _Emmanuel_GHS JROTC cadets fundraising and community outreach _ Shaws Eastern Avenue Gloucester MA_20191012 © c ryan.jpg
GHS JROTC 10/12/19 – L to R Willow, Emmanuel (3 hour volunteer shifts at Shaws Eastern Avenue to support the program)
generous local businesses let community groups fundraise_this one support GHS JROTC _20191012_©c ryan.jpg
generous local businesses let community groups fundraise– this one at Shaw’s for GHS JROTC. Generous customers, too! The jars were filling up!

Lobster Cove: Gloucester DPW rebuilding stone wall along Washington Street / 127 (and brush clearing at Bennett)

Brett Chelsea and John_Gloucester DPW stone wall repair Lobster Cove_ Washington Street_Rt 127_20191009_© c Ryan.jpg
Brett, John, Chelsea – DPW crew covers their masonry work in progress on the stone wall by Lobster Cove October 9, 2019, ahead of a forecast nor’easter, Gloucester, Mass.

CAUTION- slow down!

Gloucester DPW crews are restoring the old stone fence along Washington Street/Rt 127 between the Annisquam footbridge and Annisquam Church. They are filling and resetting capstone and top stone along its length and attending to areas of greater disrepair. The fence on this route has been hit by cars more than once. Estimates for contracting the work went far outside the department’s budget. Thankfully, Gloucester DPW is up to the city maintenance of a traditional public works build.  They began the job last week (see below)

BEFORE (and one in process/mortar)

 

AFTER

So far- Gloucester DPW is just a fraction of the way into this project. They’ll tackle sections at a time.

Gloucester DPW repairing capstone and topstone by Lobster Cove Gloucester MA_20191009_©c ryan (2)

Gloucester DPW repairing capstone and topstone by Lobster Cove Gloucester MA_20191009_©c ryan (1)

Goose Cove

Gloucester DPW repaired the stone wall at Goose Cove (also hit)

Gloucester DPW stone wall repairs Goose Cove Bridge _20191009_© c ryan.jpg

Nearby another DPW crew completed much needed roadside overgrowth clearing on Bennett Street up towards Dennison Street

Before (Google Street view) / After

 

Motif Monday: 3 Long Beach cottages off season construction

Side by side photographs: BEFORE (April 2017) / DURING CONSTRUCTION on the 8s (October 2019)  Stay tuned for After.

88 Long Beach

temporary barrier at 88 Long Beach front row cottage property_ former structure cleared_October 7 2019 photograph©c ryan

68 Long Beach

Behind 28 Long Beach

construction behind 28 Long Beach front row cottage_Oct 2019 photograph©c ryan

 

 

123 Eastern Avenue former Gulf Station

The temporary fence is down and clearing underway at 123 Eastern Avenue, formerly the Twin Stop Gulf station, convenience shop, and memorable Happy Taco food truck landing spot. Wonder what’s coming next? The site was rejected for development as a potential marijuana shop because of square footage requirements. There is quite a bit of property available for rent at the abutting shopping area properties.

New color fresh coat of paint 370 Main Street Action Inc

2019 Action Inc 370 Main Street Gloucester MA _20191006_new exterior paint © c ryan
October 2019

370 Main Street adds into the blue  architectural character downtown Gloucester 

photos: 2019 AFTER above;  and BEFORE 2017 and 2015 below. Jason Burroughs repurposed the Action Inc mural incorporating Cole Herbst’s original commission that had faded. This sunny location is hard on paint.

 

Cape Ann Lanes enhancing classic candlepin bowling space in #GloucesterMA

A big redesign at Cape Ann Lanes is underway. It’s looking great. $25 for an hour is an excellent option for a group of teens. P.S. Until the dining option is completed, they have local menus on hand for ordering pick up or delivery. Snacks and beverages are available on site.

Cape Ann Lanes website: https://www.capeannlanes.com/

photos: September 2019 AFTER |  2016/2018 below to compare 

Cape Ann Lanes reno underway_20190907_©c ryan (2).jpg

Cape Ann Lanes reno underway_20190907_©c ryan (1)

2016/2018

 

 

1623 Studios Cape Ann TV building out on Pleasant Street

Change is coming to the streetscape beneath the stunning oriels.

There’s work in progress underway at 11 Pleasant Street downtown Gloucester: 1623 Studios (Cape Ann TV) is building out in the former Cape Ann Art Haven Hive space. I interviewed the station director, Erich Archer, back in 2016 (here) and recall him expressing some street presence downtown as one goal among many. The space on the right of the entrance at 11 Pleasant Street (7 Pleasant Street ,formerly Ruby Wolf) is available to rent.

1623 Studios Cape Ann Tv former Hive space Pleasant downtown Gloucester MA
1623 Studios (Cape Ann TV) taking it to the streets

 

Back to school beauty: East Gloucester Elementary

DPW year round endeavors, Backyard Growers beds, and EGS PTO grounds help East Gloucester elementary be back to school ready. Neighbors, too! In August, three generations tackled the turnabout center island.

Before / After

 

Grocery parcel pick up & easy on line shopping launching September 2019 at Stop & Shop #GloucesterMA

New heights – Click and Connect coming soon!

Stop & Shop 6 Thatcher Road, Gloucester, MA 01930 is adding a parcel pick up area just inside the threshold. Upon entering the store, pick up customers will turn left. Stop & Shop staff said they’re targeting September 9th for the soft launch of this new option to buy on line and then pick up and the week following as the official opening.

Coming full circle? This addition brought forth some Massachusetts memories. Does anybody else remember the grocery chain with the curbside conveyor belt? Staff packed the groceries into bags and boxes, and customers brought their car around (station wagon for us)

2019 Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim #GloucesterMA is a two day festival this year!

 

Sarah Robbins Evans on the right with Barbara Blais watching 40th Anniversary Celebrate Clean Harbor Swim_Evans co founder both swam it many years _20180811_©c ryan Gloucester Mass
2018

From the race press: save the date — it’s  a great, family friendly spectator sport event!

“CELEBRATE THE CLEAN HARBOR OPEN WATER SWIMMING FESTIVAL will be held  August 17 and 18, 2019.

Starting off  the festival will be the  Clean Harbor Kids Swim on Saturday, a 500 meter swim along the shore of Niles Beach for 8-12 year olds. Held since 2015, this is a wonderful way to introduce kids to the sport of Open Water Swimming.

Also on Saturday will be the 1.2 Mile Celebrate the Clean Harbor Swim

NEW EVENT

For 2019, we are continuing a second day to the event, creating the festival. We will be holding the  10 mile Clean Harbor Relay event on Sunday, August 18th. This event will be held on a 1.0 mile course, very similar to Saturday’s event.  We suggest teams of 5, and swimming through the rotation two times.  Your team may have more or less than 5 swimmers. We believe the more the merrier. There will be a 6.5 hour limit. This will be a fun atmosphere, so bring a beach chair/blanket, snacks, some sunscreen and shade, and have a great time hanging out on the beach between your swims with your closest swimming friends. “

Proceeds raised target Maritime Gloucester and Fishermen Wives Club

Motif Monday: Signs of Summer Long Beach cottages

SANDY VIEW front row cottage names _Long Beach Gloucester Rockport Massachusetts_summer 2019 © c ryan

 

What’s in a name? For these front row cottages it’s the charm of Long Beach all the way. What would you use?

 

 

Compare with April 2017 see 74 Long Beach front row cottages in less than a minute  slowed down version “Coastal Living: Long Beach walk combines ocean view, front row cottages and beach” here

 

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.

IMG_20190721_064719.jpg

 

Dore & Whittier School consolidation plans & costs heading to MSBA August 1, 2019

 

On July 18, 2019 the architectural firm, Dore & Whittier, was slated to reveal associated rough costs on new school(s) buildings– such as construction costs, swing space costs, and eligible reimbursables– with the School Building Committee. (See summary of City Council requests July 9, 2019 here.) The meetings are public. Associated costs were not transparent for the public. Instead a dollar sign rating system was illlustrated pictorially, like so:

Slide 9 comparative costs 14 options_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (11)

Why were rough estimate details cut from the presentation? A few reasons were provided, namely “MSBA does not look kindly” on public disclosure because

  • The MSBA aims to have the best possible build based on educational needs and goals rather than cost. Publishing amounts can taint the bidding or decision making.
  • The public may be too attached to numbers they hear and/or be confused because of the (lengthy) timeline. By the time shovels hit the dirt the final bids will be different.

Other districts post all associated costs, why not Gloucester? Why are the design/build firms awarded these contracts charged with bidding out the cost evaluations on projects, especially ones greater than 5 million?  Why assume this process is the only way to go about it?

Michele Rogers with Dore & Whittier announced that there were “no surprises” following review of the cost estimate comparisons. “Eliminations were easy; the most expensive were eliminated.” She concluded that this presentation was the second and final per their contract for services related to this Feasibility Study Phase. [This one feasibility study phase contract total cost is: $569,075  ($284,296 for the feasibility study and $275,704 for the future schematic design. One environmental study add on is $9075). Requests for a breakdown of all studies and plans related to new schools–at least since 2012– have gone unanswered by the school committee and architectural firm.]

The next step is to compile and deliver submission to the MSBA, the state agency tasked with reviewing Gloucester’s application for new schools.

Q. Next steps? “Submittal allows us to do geotechnical site evaluation and other necessary investigations (like traffic and environmental studies), and more design. Submittal helps us narrow down and leave behind areas we won’t bother with as we know…We’ll need to tighten the building design and handle specialized pieces. We’ll proceed from 9 options to 6 very quickly. ”

Q. What is the submission? “It’s a thick binder, maybe 10- inches thick, with all our reports to date, the educational program narrative, the space summaries approved earlier, etc.” Will the MSBA require a presentation? “No. The MSBA will review the binders within a two week turn around; then we have a two week turn around to respond.” Dunn commented to make sure the City see that. The MSBA will decide on November 13th or November 20th whether to make a recommendation to allow this proposal to proceed to the next phase: schematic  design. “Or they’ll push back and request more information.” The MSBA “will not require more work on many options as the scoring was so low. They’ll be concentrating on the top 3 or 4 options.”

Tom Ellis was present related to a staff change; Roger who managed the design phase is moving out of state so the team for Gloucester will need to be reorganized. They met with MSBA July 17, 2019 to discuss this change. (Was someone from the city at the meeting?) Chris Tremblay will be assisting. “MSBA doesn’t like surprises,” Ellis remarked.

Who does?

The costs and application should be public before it’s forwarded to the state. Chairman Jonathan Pope said he’d forward the pricing.

Presentation

Double click on pictures to enlarge the slides for the “East Gloucester Elementary School Building Committee 7.18.19″. Color coding continues as in yellow = East Gloucester; Blue = Vets; and Green = Green Street area.

And the winner (high scoring) is…

one location at Vets and both at Green

slide 13_scoring finalists_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (16)
slide 13- scoring on final 9 for state

 

REVISED SCHEDULE

“By October we’ll be back on schedule. Yes, MSBA has seen the schedule and is pleased.”

slide 16 _TIMELINE NOW_East Gloucester consolidation costs by Dore & Whittier and School Committee July 18 2019 Gloucester MA (1)
slide 16 revised timeline expectations

 

Reminder! Community meeting July 25 6:30 PM

Fraternity Club Gloucester, Ma

Fraternity Club.jpg

How did we get here?

Catch up posts, documents, links related to Gloucester’s school committee new school buildings/consolidation process: Continue reading “Dore & Whittier School consolidation plans & costs heading to MSBA August 1, 2019”