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 Thursday Jan 24 there is Saunders House Committee meeting 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM LOCATION: Byers/Davidson Room. ALSO The Saunders House Stewardship Committee, meets at 10:30 am on the third Monday of every month confirm locations on the day
  • 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 type meetings–there was one scheduled at Dore & Whittier in December.
  • A Library Building committee meets at 4:00 pm on the fourth Monday of every month.
  • There are new board members and a new treasurer.

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”

Sawyer Free Library new proposed building plans & upcoming meetings

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 Thursday Jan 24 there is Saunders House Committee meeting 10:30 AM – 12:00 PM LOCATION: Byers/Davidson Room. ALSO The Saunders House Stewardship Committee, meets at 10:30 am on the third Monday of every month confirm locations on the day
  • 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 type meetings–there was one scheduled at Dore & Whittier in December.
  • A Library Building committee meets at 4:00 pm on the fourth Monday of every month.
  • There are new board members and a new treasurer.

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.

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 “Sawyer Free Library new proposed building plans & upcoming meetings”

Public Art happiness is … Renowned Williamstown Art Conservation Center caring for historic Gloucester murals!

Thanks to Mayor Romeo-Theken, city officials & departments and staff, residents, volunteers, archives and generous grant awards & donations, — Gloucester’s extant historic mural collection has begun a new chapter and is beginning to receive most fitting care at the illustrious Williamstown Art Conservation Center!

Williamstown Art Conservation teams commence work for Gloucester MA_on its historic mural many WPA era _20180510_© Catherine Ryan.jpg
WACC conservation teams on the ground in Gloucester, MA, 2018

 

Located on the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute campus, The Williamstown Art Conservation Center​ (WACC) is a non-profit institution that was established as the regional conservation center for New England by the US government back in 1977.

WACC_20180620_© catherine ryan.jpg
The Williamstown Art Conservation Center is located on the campus of the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachusetts. (architect Tadao Ando)

 

The summer 2017 issue of Art Conservator, WACC’s indispensable industry magazine, ​focused on the center’s 40th anniversary milestone and Director Tom Branchick. The back page prints the 2017 Center consortium members.

 

williamstown art conservation center member consortium 2017
Gloucester Massachusetts art collection stands with important American collections and just might be the first municipality on this list!~

You can peruse the issue here or follow the link to explore a complete digitized repository of current and past issues. The WACC website URL is: www.williamstownart.org

 

Conservators at the center assessed the condition  and performed necessary triage because of the invaluable support from the city’s Community Preservation Act (CPA). CPA funding and Williamstown Art Conservation Center’s stature are inspiring endorsements for broadcasting the project and compelling additional financial support. As money is raised, every mural will have its necessary care regimen completed. Donations in support of the mural care can be sent c/o the Auditor’s Office, City of Gloucester, 9 Dale Avenue, Gloucester, MA (note mural restoration). All murals will be displayed in Gloucester as soon as their care is completed.

Sneak peek then and now:

The former Eastern Avenue School (85 Eastern Avenue) was the site for the monumental mural, Schooldays, by Frederick L. Stoddard, from 1936.  This multi-panel triptych was painted 8 feet high and nearly 60 feet long despite an array of unusual architectural challenges. My hunch for its original location on the main floor was confirmed thanks to Barbara Tarr. I’m looking for interior photos of the school that show the mural installed. Over time the school walls were resurfaced, doors blocked, and an elevator installed. Based on my expertise, I recognized that a stand alone piece was misattributed and must have been dispersed, not as bad as the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz after the flying monkeys descend-… still it was dire and will be amazing to have it whole once again! Special thanks go to Gloucester’s Department of Public Works.

catherine ryan correct attribution and rediscovery for major and amazing frederick l stoddard gloucester ma 1936 mural © catherine ryan

 

 

 

 

58 Prospect Street adverse possession notice

 

 

COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS SUPERIOR COURT DEPARTMENT OF THE TRIAL COURT SUFFOLK, SS. Case No. 1884CV03213C Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston VS. Maura Healey, as she is the Attorney General of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Free City Library Association TO: Free City Library Association You are hereby notified that a complaint has been filed against you by the above named plaintiff. This complaint concerns a certain parcel of land with building(s) known as 58 Prospect Street, located in Gloucester, Essex County, and said Commonwealth. Plaintiff seeks a judgment declaring that it owns said property through adverse possession, extinguishing any rights that you may have had to said property through the deed from

Jeremiah J. Healy to Free City Library Association dated April 24, 1900

and recorded with the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds in Book 1607, Page 259, or for such further relief as the Court deems just and appropriate. This complaint may be examined at the Superior Court for Suffolk County, Boston, Massachusetts or a copy obtained from plaintiff’s attorney. If you intend to make any defense, you are hereby required to serve upon the plaintiff’s attorney, Kimberly Kroha, Esq., Baker, Braverman & Barbadoro, P.C. whose address is 300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 500, Quincy, MA 02169-0904 a responsive pleading to the complaint on or before the 31st day of January, 2019, the return day, hereof, and a copy thereof must be filed in the Suffolk Superior Court on or before said day. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. Unless otherwise provided by Rule 13(a), your answer must state as a counterclaim any claim which you may have against the plaintiff which arise out of the transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter of the plaintiff’s claim or you will thereafter be barred from making such claim in any other action. GT – 12,28, 1/4, 1/11/19

 

Motif Monday: Gloucester winter yellows (skies, ocean, sun and homes)

Motif Monday- a photo journal of December yellows, Gloucester, MA

Good Harbor Beach_20181223_winter yellows_ © c ryan

 

 

 

surf winter yellows_Long Beach_Gloucester MA_20181222 © c ryan

Gloucester Lobster Trap Tree – gather round

The lobster trap tree in downtown Gloucester at Main and Pleasant Streets basked in glorious early morning light and festooned with buoys hand painted by kids at Cape Ann Art Haven.

A welcome pause any time any vantage.

Gather round_lobster trap buoy tree morning light_Gloucester MA_vista to inner harbor from Main St_ 20181209_©c ryan

gather round_one Sunday morning lobster trap tree_Gloucester MA_ looking east end of Main Street downtown_20181209©c ryan Continue reading “Gloucester Lobster Trap Tree – gather round”

Weigh in! Sawyer Free Public library seeking ideas for next steps (since the summer 2018 thinkGloucester conversations) November 15th

Sawyer Free Library June 2018 center filled.jpg

The Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library is holding a public meeting  November 15, 6-8pm, seeking ideas about the library’s next steps.

In May and June 2018,  the library’s volunteer group, thinkGloucester, held a series of community meetings facilitated by Gloucester Conversations. People were invited “to join these open conversations to share ideas and input for the library’s five-year strategic plan.” I went to one of the meetings which was lightly attended with 12 participants beyond staff, board and facilitators. Further outreach included meetings off site in different wards as well as through social media and on line. Postcards were sent to every residence encouraging participation in an online survey. I’ll look for a link to a summary page of results from that feedback.  In the meantime, here’s a link to a message from the Board – Creating our Future an update on the building project, June 2018 

Sawyer Free meeting notice November 2018

More staff, books, better bathrooms, celebrate Saunders, children’s library, local art, archives!

Prior posts about proposed library plans Continue reading “Weigh in! Sawyer Free Public library seeking ideas for next steps (since the summer 2018 thinkGloucester conversations) November 15th”

Weigh in! Sawyer Free Public library seeking ideas for next steps (since the summer 2018 thinkGloucester conversations) November 15th

Sawyer Free Library June 2018 center filled.jpg

The Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Public Library is holding a public meeting  November 15, 6-8pm, seeking ideas about the library’s next steps.

In May and June 2018,  the library’s volunteer group, thinkGloucester, held a series of community meetings facilitated by Gloucester Conversations. People were invited “to join these open conversations to share ideas and input for the library’s five-year strategic plan.” I went to one of the meetings which was lightly attended with 12 participants beyond staff, board and facilitators. Further outreach included meetings off site in different wards as well as through social media and on line. Postcards were sent to every residence encouraging participation in an online survey. I’ll look for a link to a summary page of results from that feedback.  In the meantime, here’s a link to a message from the Board Creating our Future an update on the building project, June 2018 

Sawyer Free meeting notice November 2018

More staff, books, better bathrooms, celebrate Saunders, children’s library, local art, archives!

Prior posts about proposed library plans Continue reading “Weigh in! Sawyer Free Public library seeking ideas for next steps (since the summer 2018 thinkGloucester conversations) November 15th”

City Hall gleaming floors | DPW steadfast support for Gloucester’s culture

Spectacular City Hall, Gloucester’s cultural landmark and active municipal building, has nearly reached its 150th milestone at 9 Dale Avenue. Rising from the ashes, construction began in 1870 after the Gloucester fire of 1869 consumed its short-lived precursor. Gridley J.F. Bryant & Louis P. Rogers, leading architects at this time, were awarded the commission. Massive disaster response came two years later: the Great Boston Fire wiped out scores of Bryant designed buildings and the firm was awarded a significant percentage of its own rebuilds.

City Hall  was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973… which means the research and preparations leading up to that designation timed with its centennial birthday.Recently the expansive floors in Kyrouz Auditorium were buffed and polished and not for the first time.  150 years! Imagine all the footsteps and the generations of staff and volunteers that have cared for this building and community.

Credit DPW for their professionalism and kindness, and steadfast support for the city’s culture. Note their extra caution for protecting heritage from airborne material: mural and portraits were covered.

Before / After 

 

 

City Hall looks stunning always- BEFORE shots

 

 

during (these two photos shared with me)

 

 

after 

AFTER_looking out from stage after floor care Kyrouz Auditorium_City hall_Gloucester Mass ©c ryan20181017_164535.jpg

First solo museum exhibition for artist Marion Hall opens October 5th, 2018 Manchester Historical Museum

Marion Hall exhibition opening at Manchester Historical_20180929_©Catherine Ryan
Annoucement for Marion Hall solo exhibition opening October 5th, 2018 Manchester Historical Museum, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Ma. ©Catherine Ryan

 

The Manchester Historical Museum opens the first major solo museum exhibit of Manchester based artist, Marion Hall, October 5th, 2018 with an artist’s reception from 6:30-8:30PM.  The show features recent watercolors and will be on view through November 10. The museum is located at 10 Union Street, within the historic Trask House (1823), Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts.

About the artist and scenes from the artist’s studio Continue reading “First solo museum exhibition for artist Marion Hall opens October 5th, 2018 Manchester Historical Museum”

Timber! Iconic Edward Hopper vista in Gloucester, Massachusetts, easier to see thanks to tree removal at 316 Main Street

IMG_20180926_165954.jpg

TIMBER 316 Main Street _2018 Sept 26_1PM_one of more than 110 Gloucester Massachusetts houses vistas inspired artist Edward Hopper _1924 painting National Gallery of Art, DC ©Cather

HOPPER FANS TAKE NOTE

Haskell’s House, 316 Main Street, is one of more than 110 homes and vistas in Gloucester, Massachusetts, that inspired artist, Edward Hopper (1882-1967).

Gloucester merchant, public official (city councilor / state representative), and Master Mariner, Melvin Haskell (1848-1933), commissioned the house in 1884.

Hopper and artist, Jo Nivison (1883-1968), were married in 1924. They nicknamed the fancy house high atop the hill the Wedding Cake House. The famous drawing was originally purchased by American master painter, George Bellows (1882-1925), from a sensational Hopper solo exhibition held in the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery in 1924. The watercolor changed hands and was eventutally gifted to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, by Mr. and Mrs. Herbert A. Goldstone in 1996.  Hopper depicted the house in two other works, both side views from Prospect street rather than this view from Main Street.

The house was listed for sale at $830,000 throughout the spring and summer of 2018. Landscaping today involved major brush and tree removal. The result will be a scene closer to the one experienced by artists Edward Hopper and Jo Nivinson in the 1920s. The scenic locale is a power spot: down the block from the Crow’s Nest and across the street from Gloucester’s Inner Harbor, Beauport Hospitality’s Cruiseport and Seaport Grill venues, Cape Ann Whale Watch, and Gorton’s.

BEFORE 2011

 

 

BEFORE July 2018

316MAI~3
July 2018: 316 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, obscured by towering pines and heavy brush The 1884 house inspired Edward Hopper to paint a watercolor in 1924 that is now in the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Hopper painted more than 110 vistas in Gloucester, Ma. All photos ©Catherine Ryan

 

AFTER 2018

Tree and heavy brush removal underway September 26, 2018, 316 Main Street, Gloucester, Massachusetts, revealing a scenic vista closer to the one that inspired Edward Hopper back in 1924 ©Catherine Ryan

IMG_20180926_165807.jpg

Aymar, Jimmy, Edgar and Pedro were some of the adroit and brave tree climbing removal crew with ALZ Landscaping and Tree Service out of Lynn, Massachusetts. The unwieldy trees grew threateningly high.

EDWARD HOPPER all around GLOUCESTER MA

short video: Edward Hopper Haskell’s House in Gloucester Mass is easier to view after tree removal Sept 2018 © catherine Ryan

 

Continue reading “Timber! Iconic Edward Hopper vista in Gloucester, Massachusetts, easier to see thanks to tree removal at 316 Main Street”

You can bid on 1909 Taft presidential memorabilia created for Gloucester: Canterbury Pilgrims Pageant and historic house fundraiser at Stage Fort Park welcomed thousands!

August 4, 1909, Gloucester Day brought an audience of 20,000 to Stage Fort Park in Gloucester, Massachusetts. The 1909 pageant of “The Canterbury Pilgrims” by Percy Wallace Mackaye was touted as the “greatest open air performance ever attempted in the country”.

Stage Fort Park was the magnet which attracted thousands of people at the close of the grand afternoon parade yesterday, the procession in that direction, commencing early and continuing all through the evening, until between the hours of 7 and 8 o’clock, there was a continuous mass of moving color along both sides of the boulevard, with the middle of the street almost covered with the swifter moving carriages and automobiles. This scene was most inspiring, giving one something upon which to build an imagination for the greater display to come, when the play and pageant were presented for their consideration. The vast amphitheatre, with its great stage, were soon filled, the latter by nearly 20,000 spectators, in the boxes, on the seats and in automobiles, while the wings of the latter were filled with (thousands of) players.”

William H Taft (1857 – 1930), the 27th President of the United States from 1909-13, planned to be in attendance, thanks to host, John Hays Hammond, Sr.,  his boyhood friend and college classmate at Yale. The Mayor of Gloucester at the time of the 1909 pageant was Hon. Henry H. Parsons. Artist Eric Pape (b.Oct 17, 1870 San Francisco – d.Novembre 7, 1938), Master of the Pageant, directed the Canterbury performance. He was the lead design for Gloucester’s enormous bronze plaque and granite bas-relief commemorating the Founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony set in tablet rock at Stage Fort Park and dedicated in 1907.

1909 Gloucester MA Canterbury Pilgrim Pageant Medal with PRESIDENT WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT photo

Few days left to bid! Link to more photos of the collectible and sale found here: sale on capeanntiques, ebay seller

July 30, 1909 Gloucester Day Badge – Unique Design to Commemorate Event

“The Gloucester Day badges  have arrived and are certainly worthy of the occasion. The special gold badge to be presented to the president is fo the same design as the others. It consists of a bar, backed by anchor stock, with the cables running along each side, and in the center a miniature of President Taft, flanked by the dates 1623-1909. Suspended from this bar by two chains is the embossed shield, the central figure of which is a Georges handline fisherman, riding at anchor under bare poles. On either side, clinging griffin-like to the inner circle dividing th ose parts is the inscription, “Gloucester, mass. Settled 1623. Incorporated, 1642” and beneath this is a representation of the Roger Conant house, with the word “built” on one side and the date “1623” on the other, and the inscription, “Roger Conant House,”  beneath.”

“May be worn as badges or watch fobs…Design selected after keen competition.” They were pre sold for 50 cents.

coverage about 1909 pageant Stage Fort Park Gloucester Ma

John Hays Hammond Sr with Taft family from his autobiography.jpg
John Hays Hammond Sr. 2nd row with Taft family and driver
August 4 Gloucester Day Edition detail
Pageant benefit to possibly rebuild Roger Conant House at Stage Fort Park

 

Continue reading “You can bid on 1909 Taft presidential memorabilia created for Gloucester: Canterbury Pilgrims Pageant and historic house fundraiser at Stage Fort Park welcomed thousands!”

Blooms and buildings- finding sunflowers at every turn downtown Gloucester, Mass.

Enjoying all these sunny sunflowers swaying downtown. Can you spot them all? Hint- Main Street and Pleasant Street (Patti Amaral’s garden stretch); on the West End of Main Street at legendary storefront Bananas; Washington and Granite Streets nearby Mother of Grace; and Centennial nearly bookended at both Washington and Western Avenue.

 

Sunflowers at every turn _ Main Street and Pleasant _ downtown Gloucester Mass©c ryan 2018 Aug 30. GIFSunflowers at every turn _ Main Street and Pleasant _ this one thanks Patti Amaral_ downtown Gloucester Mass©c ryan 2018 Aug 30 (2)

 

 

 

151 East Main Street Gloucester Mass. | formerly East Gloucester Methodist Episcopal Church

Then (when there was a tower) and now 151 – 153 East Main

East Gloucester Methodist Episcopal Church_151 East Main Street_Gloucester Mass before tower removed
151-153 East Main Street, Gloucester, Massaschusetts, showing tower now gone (photo private collection)  The East Gloucester Methodist Episcopal Church (the fifth in Gloucester) was organized September 23, 1885                     

 

151 East Main Street Gloucester Mass_corner of Church and East Main June 28 2018 ©c ryan Continue reading “151 East Main Street Gloucester Mass. | formerly East Gloucester Methodist Episcopal Church”

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