Long Beach riprap cleared of sand now
Sandstorm on beach sent us to the back of the Long Beach cottages. Strong winds continue.
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:
- 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.
- Cleaning, treatment and repainting of the Parrot Rifle Cannon.
- 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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
Cadets from the Junior ROTC program at Gloucester High School volunteer for 3 hour shifts at Shaw’s on Eastern Avenue.
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)
So far- Gloucester DPW is just a fraction of the way into this project. They’ll tackle sections at a time.
Gloucester DPW repaired the stone wall at Goose Cove (also hit)
Nearby another DPW crew completed much needed roadside overgrowth clearing on Bennett Street up towards Dennison Street
Before (Google Street view) / After
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.
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.
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
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.
Sunny sunflowers and Backyard Growers beds ready for the first day of school at Veterans’ Memorial Elementary School
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)
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
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
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
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.
Great article by Billy Baker front page Boston Globe July 20, 2019 here
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:
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.
The costs and application should be public before it’s forwarded to the state. Chairman Jonathan Pope said he’d forward the pricing.
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
“By October we’ll be back on schedule. Yes, MSBA has seen the schedule and is pleased.”
Reminder! Community meeting July 25 6:30 PM
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”