Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27

Sawyer Free Library Gloucester Massachusetts_20190306_© catherine ryan

Keep What Works at the Library – Keep What Works at the Library”, Martha Bowen letter to the editor, Gloucester Daily Times, March 23, 2019

Keep What Works at the Library LTE by Martha Bowen Gloucester Daily Times_March 23 2019.jpg

UPCOMING MEETINGS THIS WEEK

  • ON Tuesday       March 26, 2019 Library Trustees meeting from 5:30-7:30PM
  • ON Wednesday March 27, 2019 there is a Library (new) Building Committee meeting from 4pm – 6pm. The monthly meetings sometimes follow the traditional schedule of meeting on the last Wednesday of each month at 4:00 pm, and sometimes they have been/will be combined with Trustee meetings, etc. Do confirm ahead: 01/30/2019, 02/27/2019 02/26/2019, 03/27/2019, 04/24/2019 LOCATION: confirm SFL location if Friend Room or one of two rooms upstairs/downstairs in Saunders. There may be other informal ad hoc meetings.

Since the last meeting February 26, 2019

 

City Hall from Sawyer Free Gloucester MA_20190306_© catherine ryan

library event page March 25 2019
website 3/25/19

Continue reading “Sawyer Free Library new building presentation March 27”

Installation views of Geoffrey Bayliss Harvest series- art show opens Nov 17 Jane Deering Gallery

The Art of Geoffrey Bayliss OPENING RECEPTION SATURDAY NOVEMBER 17th FROM 1-4PM

Fun Saturday downtown- The artist’s Harvest series opens at Jane Deering Gallery at Pleasant Street and Middle Street, on the same day as CAFM’s Harvest market and the Sargent House’s 2018 Middle Street Harvest Festival.

from Jane Deering Gallery-

Jane Deering Gallery is pleased to present The Art of Geoffrey Bayliss, November 10-December 10 with an Open Reception Saturday November 17th from 1:00-4:00pm at 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester. The artist’s latest work — two suites of unique linocut prints — will be on view in the exhibition titled Harvest.  Blue Harvest, a series of 13 prints in beautiful color, and the companion series, Red Harvest, achieve a range of complexity emblematic of the reductive technique. Accompanying the new prints is a flock of highly inventive papier-mâché birds, fresh from the studio and ready for new destinations. These delightful objects are the result of explorations in papier-mâché by Bayliss and artist/printmaker Coco Berkman with whom Bayliss continues to study. The artist has generously offered to donate his proceeds from the sale of these works-in-progress to The Open Door/Cape Ann Food Pantry.

Bayliss, a native of Gloucester, holds a BA in architecture from Columbia University. He has studied with artist Celia Eldridge, sculptor John Bozarth, printmaker Coco Berkman, and artist Charlotte Roberts.  His work is held in numerous private collections in the US.  This is the artist’s 3rd solo show with Jane Deering Gallery. The gallery will be open Saturday & Sunday 1-4pm, November 10 – December 10, and by chance or appointment at 917-902-4359, info@janedeeringgallery.com, 19 Pleasant Street, Gloucester, MA. 01930.

 

Classic Cars on the Green Oct 13

Gloucester Meetinghouse Invitational, October 13th, car show to benefit Meetinghouse renovation

The opening event in the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation’s 2018-19 Concert & Lecture Series is a vintage car show, to be held on the green at the corner of Church and Middle Street from 10:00am to 2:00pm on Saturday, October 13th.  The event is free to the public but a $5 donation per adult is requested.

A set of over 30 very special classic cars will be on display!

This event will be the first annual classic car show displaying vintage or significant cars owned by North Shore collectors to benefit the ongoing restoration of the historic 1806 Meetinghouse as a civic hub, entertainment venue and community center by the Gloucester Meetinghouse Foundation.

It’s a competition! Vote for your favorites!

The audience will judge the cars in 9 categories, including Best in Show. The event will conclude with trophies given to the winners in an awards ceremony.
PRIZE CATEGORIES
1 FIRST PRIZE Best in Show, the People’s Choice
2 ELEGANCE The most elegant car
3 LUXURY The car with the most luxurious interior
4 GRAND TOURING The best road-trip car
5 SPORT The best racing car
6 OSTENTATIOUS The showiest car
7 PRACTICAL The most useful vehicle
8 BEAUTIFUL The car with the best styled exterior
9 DELIGHTFUL The most fun to drive

Hourly tours of the Meetinghouse

will include a performance on the historic 1893 Hutchings pipe organ. Food and beverages will be available. A Dixieland band, ‘John’s Giddy Gang,’ will perform on the Meetinghouse steps.

Car owners are asked to pre-register at info@gloucestermeeinghouse.com with a suggested contribution of $25. For more information please see:  www.gloucestermeetinghouse.org

gmf Car Show 2018, FINAL POSTER

Pike’s 61 Middle Street then and now

historic photograph Middle Street home before Pikes funeral home Gloucester Mass reproduced in Photographic History of Gloucester Vol 3 published 1978.jpg

 

Pike Newhall Funeral Home Middle Street Gloucester Mass_20180820_©c ryan.jpg

61 Middle Street Pike Newhall Funeral Home 

Advertisement in 1902 Polk directory lists Pike business address on Washington Street prior to Middle Street relocation; the business was founded in 1900. 61 Middle formerly Winchester Inn

Before Pike moved to Middle street Gloucester Mass - 1902 Polk city directory advertisement.jpg

Then and Now: where Middle Street meets Riggs Street Gloucester, Mass.

Photographic History of Gloucester Mass Volume 3 published 1978 from photographic collections of Caroline Benham_Gaspar J Lafata_Martin J Horgan Jr_ photo collection James B. Behnam

photo above: “Here is the second of the three gambrel roof houses in this section of Middle Street. Riggs Street is on the left and in the rear of the first gambrel roof house is Babson’s Field which was used as sites for some of the houses moved from Western Avenue in 1922-23′-’24 when Stacy Blvd. was constructed.” from  History of Gloucester Vol. 3, published 1978, featuring photographs from James B. Benham collection and from Gaspar J. Lafata and Martin J. Horgan Jr. 

Riggs Street at Middle Street Gloucester Mass _20180820_©c ryan

 

 

TODAY: 3pm Annisquam Church with Michael O’Leary; GPS spring concert chorus 4pm at Gloucester UU; and 5pm Eastern Point Lit House Faulkner at Duckworth’s!

3pm

ANNISQUAM VILLAGE CHURCH CONCERT SERIES, 820 Washington Street, Gloucester, MA. Sunday, May 21 at 3 PM  “Music from the Misty Isles”
O’Carolan Etcetera (Anglo – Irish Ensemble) & Celtic Balladeer, Michael O’Leary

4pm

Spring Concert at Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church, 10 Church Street, Gloucester, MA

omaley chorus spring chorus

5pm

Eastern Point Lit House The Lit House Book Club

Email easternpointlithouse@gmail.com with questions (not Duckworth’s :))

All Book Club events begin at 5 PM. Duckworth’s Bistrot is located at 197 East Main St., Gloucester, MA 01930 * Ticket priceincludes wine/beer, fresh, seasonal appetizers, and a great discussion. Local bookstores: The Bookstore of Gloucester and Toad Hall Books in Rockport. Eastern Point Lit House, Dogtown Book Shop and Main Street Art & Antiques may have vintage editions.

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Earth day every day- off the mark by Mark Parisi

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Mark Parisi’s off the mark comic panel has been published since 1987. Parisi has been nominated for the National Cartoonists Society Best Newspaper panel 4x and won twice (2009 and 20012). He grew up in Gloucester. We bought the desk calendar at The Weathervane.

Earth Day Volunteer Today– link to Donna Ardizonni’s reminder about the Great Gloucester Cleanup.

Treat yourself tonight to the art of music on Middle Street: Joonho Park’s all-Bach organ double concert. The doors open at 7PM at the Gloucester Unitarian Universalist Church; following intermission and a stroll, the recital continues at St. John’s Episcopal Church!

Next week Cape Ann Sustainability Fair and Gloucester Pride Stride.

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Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives

“No finer place for sure, downtown.”

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“Fate of historic buildings uncertain” Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Jan 3 2017

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.

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Cape Ann Museum, December 2017

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.

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Dale Avenue c.1910
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City Hall, December 2017
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The site of possible razing and paving

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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.

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Awesome design  on this 1973 brochure for the fundraising campaign for the Sawyer Free library– led by the Joe Garland (cover). See photos of complete pamphlet
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See “Preserving our Civic Center,” great letter to the editor by Prudence Fish, Gloucester Daily Times, December 23, 2016

Working together

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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 

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City Looks to Prioritize its Needs, Gloucester Daily Times, Ray Lamont, Dec. 19, 2016

There are several looming questions, evaluations, and decisions.

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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 collages51

that would be wonderful.  It’s not just Gloucester.

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Continue reading “Proposed building plans Sawyer Free Library, City Hall…Whoa! In the news plus the 1973 appeal led by Joseph Garland, universal access, and archives”

GloucesterCast 12/26/14 With Toby Pett, Kim Smith, Nichole Schrafft and Host Joey Ciaramitaro #GloucesterMA

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GloucesterCast 12/26/14 With Toby Pett, Kim Smith, Nichole Schrafft and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

Topics Include: Taping with The Blue Yeti, Guests Toby Pett, Kim Smith, Nichole Schrafft, Host Joey Ciaramitaro, Hockey Moms, D Small and His Kwanza Bowtie, Food Coma At Sista Felicias, Middle Street Is A Cool Place To Live, Christmas Rundown, Shout Out To Joe Marcantonio For Holiday Seafood, 7lb Banza In Three Days, Turkey For Christmas?,  Canada Goose Arctic Program Jackets, Relative Bargains, Restoration Hardware Robe, Ray Borque Wears His Canada Goose Jacket, Grit Pod Hockey Bag, Marmot Outerwear, Kim’s Camera, Rocky Neck Plunge Oakes Cove Beach, Bertha’s, Open Door Food Pantry, Joey’s Problem With Ugly Sweater Contests, The Phrase “Jump The Shark”, Giblees, Coogi Sweaters, North Shore Shopping Center and Liberty Tree Mall For The Holidays In The Old Days, Nichole Schrafft Holiday Vacation To-Do Picks, Joey Is A Grumpy Hungry Bear, Talbot Rink, Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary, North Shore Kid, Check Out The Clam Post- Texting An Elf, Do You Think The Clamistas Use Online Collaborative Tools?, Joey’s Zero Success Rate In  Getting GMG Contributors To Use Online Collaborative Tools, Global Shark Tracker, Ukulele Christmas Sin-A-Long, Foreign Affairs Is Closed Til Some Time In February, Dinner Dealer Deck, Duckworth Bistrot Closed For January, New Year’s Plans, Rockport Rockin New Year’s Eve, Don’t Forget To Subscribe To The Podcast Here For A Chance To With the Cape Pond Ice Mug Generously Donated By Donna Ardizzoni

podcasticon1GMG Podacst #110 Joey Toby -2 ©Kim Smith 2014

Video- Middle Street from Henry Ferrini

There is a "Middle Street" in the middle of most cities and towns in America. This Middle Street is in America’s oldest fishing port, Gloucester, Massachusetts. It’s crowded with churches, municipal buildings and funeral parlors. The street is a conduit into the life of the city. Traveling over wharves, through religious festivals and into the movies transmuting a personal story into a Gloucester story. Middle Street is a chowder of sounds, gestures, syllables, looks and fleeting moments, a nature walk through Gloucester, Massachusetts with Willie Alexander and Henry Ferrini.
Winner: Somerville Film Festival-Best of Festival, 1995.

Gloucester At Dawn, Corner Of Middle and Pleasant Street

I wonder what the economic climate was like when this building was built.   Buildings like this just aren’t constructed regularly in our day, I guess because it is cost prohibitive.  Do you think it came down to economics or just a sense of pride when the people who built this building designed and had it built?