Apply now for Summer 2019 Internships at Maritime #GloucesterMA

Maritime Gloucester news from Sarah Oaks

Snow is on the ground here in Gloucester but it is time to start planning for summer 2019. We are thrilled to announce we are now accepting applications for the upcoming season’s internship program. Please forward (and post and share) the following link to all the college and high school students who may be interested in Maritime Gloucester this summer.

Maritime Gloucester Summer internship program

Maritime Gloucester 23 Harbor Loop Gloucester, MA 01930 978/281-0470

View from Maritime Gloucester and Coast Guard- Mayors Challenge_20160902_Gloucester Mass_©catherine ryanMaritime Gloucester_20170901_© catherine ryan.jpg

 

 

GloucesterCast 323 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Cat Ryan, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 2/20/19


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GloucesterCast 323 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Cat Ryan, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 2/20/19

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Topics Include:

Dieting is not fun when your life revolves around food.

Favorite Olive Oil Challenge

Costco vs BJs

Passport photos and travel habits. What kind of traveler are you? Link to info re passport photos: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/passports/requirements/photos.html

Last chance to see travel exhibition Once Upon a Contest – Cape Ann Reads at Cape Ann Museum (CAM)

Vacation week Programming at Sawyer Free and Cape Ann Art Haven and special offers at Cape Ann Lanes and Cape Ann Marina

Two Bald Eagles at Niles Pond

Hector The Black Vulture being seen at Niles Pond

Three Young Swans at Niles Pond

Plover Ordinance meeting recap from Kim Smith

Common Milkweed and Marsh Milkweed recognized as best for Monarch Butterflies

Super Moon Full Snow Moon

Adventureman update 21 marathons to go- Perspective- he’s trying to enjoy every bit of it, says he’ll be sad when he is done.

Shop with a view

We snapped a wiper scraping snow off our car windshield. I headed downtown to Consumer Auto Parts, Whistle Stop Way, Gloucester, Mass. for replacements. They were happy to re-attach them if I ran into trouble which was nice to hear. I especially enjoyed the view of St. Ann’s framed through the window at nearly the approximate orientation of vistas depicted in Gloucester works by artist, Edward Hopper.

Shop with a View_ easy to find in Gloucester Mass_Consumer Auto Parts Whistle Stop Way_20190219_© catherine ryan.jpg

EDWARD HOPPER_railroad gates_private collection_Gloucester MA©catherine ryan

interior auto parts store_Gloucester MA_20190219_© catherine ryan.jpg
interior view – Stocked and stacked and helpful

#GloucesterMA Public Art – last chance to Instagram temporary mural at Cape Ann Museum

 

portrait of Bonnie L Sylvester_ inspecting her public mural in process_Cape Ann Museum_ _20181214_© catherine ryan.jpg

Once Upon a Contest – Selections from Cape Ann Reads travel exhibition closes at Cape Ann Museum February 24, 2019. The radiant show has stopped people in their tracks to sit and read awhile. The show celebrates children’s picture books by local authors and artists. A temporary mural by Bonnie L. Sylvester has generated photos and selfies and will be painted over after the show closes.

below: installation and in progress views, Bonnie L. Sylvester painting temporary mural for Once Upon a Contest at Cape Ann Museum Gloucester Ma. 

“As part of the original creative design and concept for the Once Upon a Contest travel exhibition, artist Bonnie L. Sylvester was invited to create a public mural in three parts. After two years steeped in preparing final illustrations for the Cape Ann Reads Medal Book, The Tree in Dock Square written by Jean Woodbury and illustrated by Sylvester, the two week process for this Cape Ann tableau involved sketching key elements and applying layers of custom mixed paint for a walk in installation effect. This temporary wall mural is a first for the artist and the Cape Ann Museum.” 

Bonnie L Sylvester painting temporary mural installatin at Cape Ann Museum for Once Upon A Contest exhibition © Catherine Ryan.gif

Portrait of Bonnie L Sylvester painting temporary mural at Cape Ann Museum Gloucester MA_20181213_© Catherine Ryan.jpg

From Morning Glory to Yella | Together at City Hall finalizing restaurant transition (targeting May 1 2019 opening!)

Nancy Cooney and her daughter Grace were at City Hall to support plans for Danielle and Carlo Berdahn’s new Mediterranean bistro, Yella, opening May 1, 2019 in the former Morning Glory space on Stacy Boulevard. The Zoning Board approved some deck work at their waterfront dining site. Grace spoke about how hard her mom works, the bitter sweet closing, and the plans and excitement of these impressive new owners. The Berdahns made the decision easier for her mom to transition to a well-earned retirement and for customers to welcome a new eatery. The family wishes them well and long success in Gloucester, too.

Nancy Clooney daughter Grace, Nancy Clooney Morning Glory_Danielle Berdahn Yella_ together at City Hall formalize transition _20190214_Gloucester Ma © catherine ryan
Grace, Nancy,Danielle

 

Artist, writer, sommelier- PAIGE FARRELL | RELATIONSHIPS photography exhibit at Jane Deering Gallery #GloucesterMA

Don’t miss evocative pairings Paige Farrell solo exhibition

PFarrell . Untitled 2018 . Archival pigment print . 8x10 inches IMG_9404

 

PFarrell . Untitled 2018 . Archival pigment print . 10x8 inches IMG_2656

 

The exhibition Paige Farrell | Relationships will be at Jane Deering Gallery, 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester MA through February 27th with a reception on Saturday February 23rd from 4:00-6:30pm. Farrell (writer, sommelier, and wine consultant) reveals the relationship between the world of two arts — the art of photography and the art of the grape. Her monthly wine column appears in Northshore Magazine, and she writes for The SOMM Journal, Boston Wine School, Winestone, and Reservoir and Wollaston Wine & Spirits. Farrell will be traveling to Valencia, Spain in March as the official wine correspondent for the Boston press, then to the Champagne region in France. Farrell holds a BA in French from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with studies at Paris-Sorbonne University, Paris, France and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Presently, she is a Diploma Candidate with the prestigious Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET). Gallery hours: Saturday and Sunday 12noon-5:00pm and by appointment at farrellpaige@gmail.com

Special February school vacation week family workshops at Cape Ann Museum!

Courtney Richardson shares Cape Ann Museum Once Upon a Contest February 2019 Vacation Fun!

Cape Ann Museum February school vacation 2019 special Once Upon a Contest Cape Ann Reads programming.jpg

print out and share the flyer!- Cape Ann Museum February Vacation 2019 Flyer

 

Once Upon a Contest February Vacation Fun at Cape Ann Museum!.jpg

Once Upon a Contest: February Vacation Fun! Special family workshops with local children’s book illustrators and authors

GLOUCESTER, Mass. (February 8, 2019) – The Cape Ann Museum is pleased to present special February Vacation week programming from Tuesday, February 19 to Friday, February 22, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Cape Ann Museum. Each unique session will feature one of the illustrators from the Once Upon a Contest: Selections from Cape Ann Reads special exhibition. Daily registration is required, $15/member family; $25 nonmember family. To register call Courtney Richardson at 978-283-0455 or email courtneyrichardson@capeannmuseum.org.

Families are invited to sign up for all 4 workshops! Meet the fine artists, read a story, explore media & methodologies, create art & stories and enjoy a light snack! Each day is different:

Tuesday February 19:  Fun with Figures and Find Franklin the Cat: illustration in marker and ink with Leslie Galacar, illustrator of  the award winning “Where in the World is Catherine Abigail,” written by Michael LaPenna

Wednesday February 20:  Make story headbands with “Small Elephant” Cape Ann Reads award winning book illustrator Betty Allenbrook Wiberg, written by Kirsten Allenbrook Wiberg

Thursday February 21:  Create nocturnal paintings on colored paper like “Henrietta’s Moon Egg,” a Cape Ann Reads Gulliver award winning book written and illustrated by Claire Wyzenbeek 

Friday February 22: Cape Ann houses of illustration – paper collage with Alexia (“Lexi”) Parker – Bring a picture of your house! Lexi’s illustrated projects include Cape Ann Reads Gulliver Books “Bike’s Big Adventure”  and “Pumpkin Carving”; also Crabs the Lobster, a volume of Poetry, and a historic coloring book for the town of Essex.

Continue reading “Special February school vacation week family workshops at Cape Ann Museum!”

Quite a DPW project! heavy equipment brought in for Long Beach seawall repairs

heavy equipment_Long Beach_ Cape Ann Motor Inn_walkway winter 2019 repairs on beach side_20190208_Gloucester Rockport Mass© Catherine Ryan a

Dog walkers and surfers crossed paths with Kevin and Gary from K & R Construction and Rockport Department of Public Works (DPW) on site setting up a new phase for Long Beach seawall repairs. Two roughly 500 feet lengths of rip rap extending out 15-18 feet (tapered) will be built up beginning just past the first stairs near red cottage 20 Long Beach. Sand will be added later as part of this phase. A steel road plate path was set in at the Gloucester Mass staging entrance so equipment won’t get stuck. Last year smaller forklifts and dump trucks shuttled boulders for patch rip rap.

 

Slow and steady– truck is LOADED (and another sets up straight away)

 

Patricia Wellenkamp trunk show at goodlinens studio #GloucesterMA

Patricia Wellenkamp jewelry trunk show at goodlinens studio 130 Main Street, Gloucester Saturday, February 9th 12 – 2 pm

Stamping, etching, engraving, hammering and rolling in order to create a variety of textures on mixed metal (silver, copper, brass, gold fill and gold leaf), metal-smith Patricia Wellenkamp strives for elegance and wearability in all of her designs. Her cuffs, rings, earrings, necklaces, pins and cuff links will be on display and for sale in goodlinens’ workshop, with Patricia there to answer questions.

Patricia Wellenkamp trunk show at goodlinens flyer

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’s 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’s 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’s 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

 

 

Winter repair is coming | new holes, cracks, and breaks along Long Beach seawall

separation_20190203_ Long Beach walkway Gloucester Rockport Mass© catherine ryan

Michael Cronin writes about upcoming seawall repairs_Gloucester Daily Times front page feb 2 2019

Town Begins to shore up Long Beach seawall, by Michael Cronin, Gloucester Daily Times

 

Long Beach view from Gloucester Mass side_BEFORE winter seawall repairs_more beach for staging this side of beach_20190203_© catherine ryan
JANUARY 2019 (BEFORE REPAIRS) Long Beach looking from Gloucester Mass side to Rockport- this edge of the beach has more tide to stage construction from. Construction crews will contend with tides as they did last year.

Plenty of prior GMG posts (search “Long Beach seawall”); here are a few:

REPAIRING LONG BEACH ROCKPORT MASS AFTER STORM DAMAGE|BUSY NEW ENGLAND DPW CREWS April 2018

Seawall damage coverage GMG post May 25, 2018

FILL RAKE AND ROLL- NEXT STEPS IN THE LONG BEACH SEAWALL STORM REPAIR June 2018

GloucesterCast 320 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Lara Lepioka, Kim Smith and Joy Ciaramitaro Taped 1/28/19

GloucesterCastSquare

GloucesterCast 320 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Lara Lepioka , Kim Smith and Joy Ciaramitaro Taped 1/28/19

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When you subscribe you need to verify your email address so they know we’re not sending you spam and that you want to receive the podcast or GMG in your email. So once you subscribe check your email for that verification. If you don’t see it, check your spam folder in your email acct so you can verify that you’d like to get them via email subscription.

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Topics Include:

Backyard Growers to unveil three-year vision for a healthier Gloucester www.backyardgrowers.org

Backyard Growers New employee- James Harrison

Adventureman update. On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AdventuremanJamieMcDonald/ 
Now in North Carolina. He is looking forward to his time here in Gloucester Massachusetts!

Here’s the Adventureman LIVE tracker: https://z6z.co/adventureman

35 marathons to go. Right, TOGETHER, let’s do this!

Feather and Wedge Did Not Disappoint- Perfect Spot For Valentine’s Day, Click here for the Valentine’s Day menu and to make a reservation Call 978-999-5917

LRC tournament recap

Golden Sparrow Returns

Briarbarn Inn Website- https://www.briarbarninn.com/

Art Haven Buoy Auction Recap

Cape Ann Museum Virginia Lee Burton Little House Exhibit

 

Saves a trip to the mall | RadioShack at Abacus Computer & The MacDaddy 238 Main Street #GloucesterMA

We needed a mouse. Today. No problem! Abacus Computer & The MacDaddy renovated December 2018 to add in a RadioShack partnership to their brick and mortar PC and Apple computer retail and repair shop at 238 Main Street, Gloucester, Mass. I hadn’t noticed the new sign till today.

 

GloucesterCast 318 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Chris McCarthy, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 1/23/19

GloucesterCastSquare

GloucesterCast 318 With Jim and Pat Dalpiaz, Chris McCarthy, Kim Smith and Joey Ciaramitaro Taped 1/23/19

podcasticon1

When you subscribe you need to verify your email address so they know we’re not sending you spam and that you want to receive the podcast or GMG in your email. So once you subscribe check your email for that verification. If you don’t see it, check your spam folder in your email acct so you can verify that you’d like to get them via email subscription.

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Topics Include:

Pat and Jimmy Brought treat from Cape Ann Coffee

PSA -Ice On Your Car needs to be removed.

Poop Tea- Smooth Move

Tonno had more art stolen from the bathroom $100 reward

Bowling Alley looking to get approval for brewpub on premises.

Cape Ann Brewing Mug Club

LRC Tournament Sat Jan 26 at Elks sponsored by Bridge Cape Ann: https://www.facebook.com/BridgeCapeAnn to benefit Elks Scholarship fund.

Design of Mine 50% off sale on Facebook Live Thurs Jan 26 7 PM

Marie Kondo show on Netflix impacting local donations to Second Glance etc.
“Tidying Up with Marie Kondo”

Muffy White Style and Organizing

Adventureman update

Go-to game food? Superbowl has become party event.

Virgilios Eggplant Supreme

George’s Coffee Shop Anadama Burger

The Winter Robins Have Have Returned https://wp.me/pa6CS-26aL

Kim is Advocating for Piping Plovers https://wp.me/pa6CS-26dE

Art Haven Buoy Auction is Friday night 5PM

Sawyer Free Library

Look for for Kim’s pictures from Briar Barn Inn

Wingaersheek Beach winter whites #GloucesterMA

Scenes from Wingaersheek Beach, Gloucester, Massachusetts, an icy wonderland after first winter storm 2019

color off but still wingaersheek beach gloucester mass_gif_after first winter storm 2019 © catherine ryan

Seth Moulton in Gloucester Mass MLK Celebration Event then coast Guard next

Moulton’s 4th stop today for MLK Day. He said they’re all busy despite a late night for Pat’s fans 😉! He spoke about Lewis, Civil Rights, Freedom Riders, and more before the awesome  music next on the program.

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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”

In the news: as #GloucesterMA Annisquam River Bridge readies for MBTA rebuild – is there time for design?

I don’t suggest that the treacherous bridge needs to be “preserved” or want to impede progress. However, I believe there is still time to repeat my pleas (since 2012). Great design impacts future investment. Is there a small way that the design can tip its hat to Edward Hopper, Gloucester, and New England for this landmark and beacon for Cape Ann, this cherished vista across the Great Marsh?

See GMG POST September 9, 2017 for design nod aesthetic suggestions (rather than structural) The budget is good!  “Does the MBTA new design for the Annisquam River Bridge look like a prison tower to you?” 

Here’s how the bridge and new condos looked November 9, 2018 (double click to enlarge photos from the wordpress mosaic format)

 

 

January 8, 2019 article by Ray Lamont Gloucester Daily project. “READYING FOR REBUILD”

the design plans illustrated are the same as published previously

gloucester daily times ray lamont coverage new annisquam commuter bridge january 2019

catherine-ryan-identifying-edward-hopper-annisquam-river-bridge.jpg

 

Flash Freeze stage | the Ice Storm cometh for the first winter storm 2019 #GloucesterMA

Do you have the same window treatment / view?! Flash Freeze sheets on any surface glazing commenced about noon on January 20, 2019, Gloucester, Mass.

 

 

 

It’s nasty out there. Safe wishes for those in need and all the helpers.

And #PowerforthePatriots…

Massachusetts Emergency Management Agencies power outage tracking MEMA map showed 541 outages at 11:40AM and has gone down and back up again –though not topping that number.