Holiday Delights promotion created by Lisa Smith, with Gary Ng photos.
“No finer place for sure, downtown.”
Seeing double? Yes, you’re supposed to. The Sawyer Free Library addition was designed to mirror Cape Ann Museum as a balanced and nuanced architectural symmetry in deference to City Hall, and catalyst for a graceful center.
Sawyer Free Library has announced a public meeting January 11th for discussions of a new building. (See the flyer at the end of this post.)
City Hall may have some upcoming construction on the Dale Avenue side as well.
Both projects are largely in the name of accessibility of a physical nature. Can they be cost effective, worthy of our history and culture, protect our significant buildings, and address current and future needs? The following are some of the issues, local coverage, links to resources, and archival material for your interest.
HANDICAP PARKING SPACES BY CITY HALL- Do we have enough?
Although there are several new handicap parking spaces along Dale Avenue by City Hall, carving out the landscape on the left for more spots is in the cards because of grant money. Why? Several people told me that Dale Avenue parking spaces are hazardous for anyone exiting on the street. Although I do not want to minimize any pressing needs, I still ask, “Really?” Have we become so car dependent we would rather a thoroughfare here than the elegant streetscape we have (once a tree lined walk from the train station.) I was also told that it will increase visitation counts. It is an unfair advantage that historic sites with access to more funding (Monticello, Smithsonian, Colonial Williamsburg, and more) are better equipped to face these seemingly no-win situations. But there are creative retrofitting options for Gloucester, too. Universal design is about balance, not chasing funding sources at the expense of preservation and beauty, nor backwards planning.
NEW LIBRARY 2016. And 1973.
Before the current 2015-16 library outreach, the library hosted extensive visioning sessions throughout 2013. I went to a couple, and I was invited to take part in a focus group (on schools and the library.) A completely new library and jettisoning of the historic Saunders library building was not an expressed community value. What were some common discussion points? A strategy for digitization of historic archives and newspapers, more staff, more hours of operation (Sundays), better bathrooms, parking issues, air conditioning, electrical work, maintenance, security, maximizing technology/ content access with schools, ditto Cape Ann TV, and attendance (see this great video from Lisa Smith by kids for kids ) were some goals that were mentioned.
So it was a surprise to see the unveiling of new architectural renderings that did not showcase the Saunders house. It’s like the White House not featuring the White House. I think the Saunders house should be key and central to any building overhaul, not tossed aside. Providing universal access should preserve the intended awe factors if there are any, FOR EVERYBODY–such as the architectural details, proportion, welcoming entrance and unique heritage of a historic building. In this proposal, with Saunders severed there is zero physical access to the main event. What a missed opportunity. And for a library. What do you think?
Today’s paper mentioned that the Saunders house could be used for other purposes instead of the library. Why can’t that be the case and the library maintain its #1 asset? The downtown cultural district (which is not going forward in the same capacity) and other organizations could use the library meeting spaces. Do we really need to conjure up another stand alone endeavor?
Back in 1973, the Trustees of the Library began a fund drive for the new library addition; the city of Gloucester paid 2/3. As the Library’s General Chairman, Joe Garland led that campaign. Not surprising, the text of the brochure is a good read! The architect was Donald F. Monnell. (In 1971 Monnell was quoted in the papers speaking about the attributes of Central Grammar. One likes him more and more.) The population served was 27,000–nearly what it is today.
2016 Planning term and movement- “Scaling Up”
A quip about the concept of Scaling UP that I remember from a conference this past September at Peabody Essex Museum and hosted by Essex National Heritage was to “think about the farm not just a barn”; in this case a downtown, or an entire city and region. I like thinking this way in general–architecture and planning, art, and schools. But this conference pushed me to add overlays beyond my areas of expertise or focus like wildlife and waterways. Gloucester, Cape Ann, Massachusetts–there’s so much! Mayor Romeo Theken is committed to working together and feels that planning is important and broad. One example, see Gloucester Daily Times Dec 19, 2016 Officials: City to Prioritize Its (competing) Needs
There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.
Every era has choices. The prior library expansion plans began well before 1972. Possibilities swirled as they do now. (Back then, Central Grammar was also in the news, may or may not have been razed, and possible uses favored senior housing, commercial development, an annex to City Hall, and a courthouse police station.) Today there are competing building needs and uses floated for properties as diverse as: the Cape Ann YMCA on Middle Street, the post office on Dale, the Gloucester Fire Department, police headquarters, St. Ann’s, and the elementary schools–and that’s just to name a few. Let’s celebrate enviable architectural strengths, and not fuss with buildings that should be venerated, unless it’s to help them be accessible and healthy. Let’s get the balance right.
HISTORY MAKING PLEA- Archives for all
The prohibitive costs of best practice historic preservation (ADA compliant, temperature and humidity controls, security, sustainability, in house scanning/OCR/audio transcription, etc) is impossible for all the worthy collections in town, and pits them as foes when vying for funds. Let’s flip that impediment on its head and make Gloucester a model for the state. Its treasures would be available worldwide if they were truly accessible –digitized.Two words may help accomplish this goal and free up cash for individual operations: shared overhead. It’s one hope I continue to stress–the need to share necessary resources for a state-of-the-art research and warehouse repository. This universal hub should be large enough to encompass any holdings not on view. There could be a smaller downtown central site combined with a larger off site location, such as at Blackburn. The list of sharing institutions could include and is by no means exhaustive: our municipal archives that date back to 1642; Cape Ann Museum; Sawyer Free Library; North Shore Art Association; Beauport; Hammond Castle; the Legion; Amvets and other social clubs; Sargent House; several places of worship; Gloucester Daily Times; Annisquam historical building collections; Lanesville; Magnolia’s historic collections; artists/writers estates; Veterans office; our schools; Isabel Babson Memorial Library, and perhaps businesses such as Cape Pond Ice and Gortons. The library plans don’t appear to retrofit their site(s) for this goal.
If incentives and policy supported neighborhood character over less generic construction
that would be wonderful. It’s not just Gloucester.
Lisa Smith of Cape Ann TV won a national award for her report on Gloucester’s Giant Lobster Trap Tree and Menorah which will soon be linked on the Gloucester HarborWalk marker #32 for the temple.
The new building was designed by Maryann Thompson. Learn more about her design.
She was part of a fantastic symposium at Cape Ann Museum this year. I’ll add that link, too.
WOW AND DOUBLE WOW!!! Check out this special edition of the Superintendent’s Corner as Dr. Richard Safier, Alex Corbett, and Telena Imel take us on a tour of the new West Parish Elementary School. This video was created by Lisa Smith and Becky Tober for Cape Ann TV.
The West Parish Elementary School open house for the West Parish community is on Thursday, August 25th. The entire Gloucester community is invited to tour the school on Sunday, August 28th.
Featuring chefs Niaz Dorry from the Northwest Marine Alliance, Mark Delaney from Common Crow, and David Gauvin from Addison Gilbert hospital.
Wonderful new video from Lisa Smith and Becky Tober, Gloucester’s Giant Lobster Trap Christmas Tree and Menorah ~ Celebrating the Holidays Gloucester Style featuring David Brooks, Jim Dowd, Avery McNiff, Jill Wach, our Joey, and many more!!
Lisa Smith from Cape Ann TV submits:
Congratulations to Lisa Smith, celebrating tens years of her dedicated service to the Cape Ann Community. Lisa has not only been the producer, director, and content creator for thousands of hours of Cape Ann community service through her work at Cape Ann TV, she has also taught countless members how to use the station’s recording equipment and how to edit. Thank you Lisa for all that you do for our community.
Happy to beat the traffic, I caught the end of the celebration and was able to get this quick snapshot before the remaining guests headed home.
Please join us in celebrating Lisa Smith’s 10 Year Work Anniversary!
Lisa continues to be the heart and soul of Cape Ann TV and deserves some recognition for a decade of hard work!
Come celebrate Lisa with us on:
Friday, October 16th from 4-6p.m.
Please RSVP to Becky at firstname.lastname@example.org
Perhaps you are planning a wedding or special event in the coming months. Our daughter Liv Hauck and Matt O’Rourke, married on June 20th, wanted to share about the talented people who helped make their dream wedding come true. From caterers Dan Allen and Andy Maitland to Esther Mathieu Photography, everyone involved did an outstanding job. We wish to express our most heartfelt thanks to all and thought the best way to say a big thank you to each was to provide contact information and a brief description about their businesses.
Invitation by Shaina Gregory
First and foremost, our tremendous thanks and appreciation goes to Dan Allen Catering. He, along with partner Andy Maitland (Maitland Mountain Farm), prepared an exquisite menu using the most freshest and sweetest ingredients from local farms and fisheries. The theme was New England clambake meets county dinner, based around everyone’s favorite main courses—Ken Duckworth’s sublime recipe for lobster risotto and a wonderfully delicious buttermilk fried chicken. Captain Joe and Sons provided the lobster and the fresh vegetables came from Maitland Mountain Farm, as well as from Appleton Farms. Even the honey butter for the cornbread came from Dan’s own beehives! We were all raving about how delicious and unique were the hors d’oeuvres, which included such tantalizing tidbits as open-faced braised rib sliders, smoked tomato roasted corn arancini, and salmon canapés with mascarpone, capers, and fresh dill. Accompaniment dishes were devoured as equally as were the main courses and hors d’oeuvres—traditional clam chowder, farm fresh succotash, and homemade pickled vegetable—to name only a few.
Son Alex’s Heaping Helping
Dan’s assistant Mary made the divinely delicious desserts—raspberry tarts, brown butter chocolate chip cookies, brownie layers—the list goes on and on!
Dan and Andy were an absolute dream to work with. I know you will be hearing more about their catered events in the near future. Dan is in the process of launching his website and in the meantime, he may be reached at 978-491-9493 or email@example.com.
Esther Mathieu is simply the most talented life style photographer in our region. Liv first became interested in Esther’s work from her Instagram account and we all fell in love with her luminous imagery. And she is a total sweetheart to work with! The photos are a treasure and we’ll be pouring over all, thanking Esther for capturing Liv and Matt’s wedding day with such grace and beauty. Contact Esther at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our deepest thanks to Lisa Smith who was our fabulous videographer. Lisa is a producer at Cape Ann TV and is also a dear friend. We so appreciate her time and talent. Lisa was discreet; you would hardly know that she was present. We’ll be looking at the footage in the coming days and can hardly wait to see. Lisa can be reached at: email@example.com.
Like a dream, the enchanting music floating throughout the evening was by none other than Cape Ann’s own beautiful songstress Renee Dupuis and the fabulously talented Joe Cardoza and Nathan Cohen. From the sweetly romantic, “Dream a Little Dream of Me,” to which the bride and groom danced their first dance, to one of the bridesmaid’s favorites, “These Boots Are Made For Walkin,” there isn’t a song Renee, Joe, and Nathan could not play, and play beautifully. Could we have been more fortunate than to have these extraordinary talents performing at Liv and Matt’s wedding? Click Renee, Joe, and Nathan to learn more about their current projects. To book the trio, contact Renee at: reneedupuismusic.gmail.com
Melissa Glorieux of Aster B. Flowers created the exquisite bride’s bouquet, bridesmaid bouquets, and table arrangements. Not only were the flowers full and lush and perfect, they are all locally grown at her farm in Essex! Aster. B grows her flowers using organic practices only. Read more about Melissa and her sustainable farm here: Aster B. Flowers.
The very talented Maria Cracchiolo from Caffe Sicilia made the seashore inspired wedding cake as well as the perfectly coordinating 65th anniversary cake for Liv’s grandparents. Delicious and delightful (both cakes), Maria is a pleasure to work with. She also made the cannolis we served at Friday night’s celebration and they too, were devoured by all! Maria can be reached at: 978-283-7345.Emily Reed did a stunning job styling the bride and bridesmaid’s hairdos. Each girl’s hair was perfectly suited to her personality and each was so happy with her work. It was a delight to see their expressions after she had created her magic. Emily can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks to Virgilio’s Italian Bakery for catering the party the night before the wedding—the sandwiches, antipasto, and entrees were a tremendous hit. And Nancy Virgilio helped us order just the right amount so that there would be sandwiches enough for late night snacking! Call 978-283-5295 for information abut Virgilio’s catering menu
Kathleen Erickson, owner of Savour Wine and Cheese, was instrumental in choosing the wines and Prosecco. We informed her of the menu and of our budget for both the reception and Friday night’s celebration and she knew just what to recommend. Thank you Kathleen for the wonderful selections; they were simply perfect.
Fun and imaginative, the invitation set the tone of the wedding weekend from the get go. Liv and Matt designed the invite and worked with Shaina to refine the look. Contact Shaina at: email@example.com.
Gloucester Rental Center did an excellent job and we found nearly all of our event needs there: Gloucester Rental Center.
Last, but not in the least, we wish to thank Stan Wohlfarth of Stan’s Classic Service for the vintage VW limo service. Everyone loved that bus! Stan may be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTOS BY ESTHER MATHIEU*
Shaina Gregory Invitation
*With the exception of invitation scans and the group photo of the wedding party.
Photos of the guests and wedding party to come after Liv and Matt return from Thailand.
Beautifully filmed and edited Lisa and Becky, and great job with the interview Meghan! Thanks so much for sharing.
Come see the Beeman School students perform Aladdin. The show features the 4th and 5th grade students and is directed by Heidi Dalin. Show times are Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday, April 14, 15 and 16, at 7 pm.
Lisa Smith from Cape Ann TV sent along this video preview ~
Thanks Lisa for sharing. I love it; short and sweet and reminds me of Goodnight Moon!
This just in from Lisa Smith:
Keep Warm, stay inside this MLK weekend and watch “Holiday Delights” on Cape Ann TV Channel 12. This latest version of the Gloucester Stage perennial favorite Christmas play was filmed with three cameras last month. It features over 30 young actors from the Gloucester Stage Youth Acting Workshop and tells the story of a Gloucester girl who finds the true meaning of Christmas on Christmas Eve. The program airs Saturday, January 17 at 9 am and 5 pm; Sunday, January 18 at 8 am; and Monday, January 19 at 9 am and 6 pm. See complete Cape Ann TV Schedule here.
Cape Ann TV Video Production Class- Monday, August 18 at 6:30 to 9:00 pm.
The class is taught by Jim Capillo and covers how to use the field equipment.
Lisa Smith writes ~ Did you know that the facilities and equipment at Cape Ann TV are available to all Cape Ann residents? All you need to do is to become a member and pay a yearly membership fee of $20. We also provide the training, no experience necessary. To sign up for the class or for more information about Cape Ann TV call: 978-281-2443 or email email@example.com. website: http://www.capeanntv.org
Lisa Smith from Cape Ann TV submits this short film she made about James Calderwood, the artist of the Fishnet mural on Parson’s Street. Thank you Lisa for sharing!
Brought to you by Gloucester Stage Co Youth Actor’s Workshop and Lisa Smith.