Gloucester City Hall – Brand New

Gloucester City Hall, circa1875 Alice M. Curtis/©Fredrik D. Bodin
I made this print of City Hall from one of my oldest negatives. It was shot from a high vantage point on Middle Street. Dale Avenue is in the lower left, and Pleasant Street is on the right. The Civil War Statue, erected in 1879, now in the front center, is not yet there. Boston architects Gridley J.F. Bryant and Louis P. Rogers designed the building, which was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. One thing I learned while writing this is the four towers on City Hall’s corners are ventilation shafts. Questions for Cape Ann Museum’s Photo Archivist Fred Buck: Can you add to this (shooting location, surrounding buildings, etc.), and do you have anything older?
Printed from the original 5×7 inch glass negative in my darkroom. Image #9157-251 Note: The black objects in the sky are missing parts of the negative.
Fred Bodin
The Infamous Fred Buck Replies-

well, sure. yours is probably a copy neg (5×7 is way too big) of one of several stereograph images of city hall (each side albumen plate 3×4 and joined on a piece of clear glass to print the stereo card) taken by erastus g. rollins about 1872 from the tower of the unitarian church on middle st. to the left of the building is franklin square. on the right is the nice circular drive fronting warren st. cape ann museum has rollins’s original glass negs of these views in their archive (without homie poop all over them) as well as the stereo cards printed by rollins and succeeding owners of the plates. we also have bryant and rogers’ original plans of the building. c’mon down!

fred buck, photoarchivist, cape ann museum.

p.s. don’t think alice m. curtis was taking photos in the 1870s.

3 comments

  • This is so beautiful. Age has added the whimsy of a fantasy tornado, like The Wizard Of Oz.

    Like

  • Looks like it might have been shot from the top of the Saunders House, the 1764 part of the Sawyer Free Library. At about that time the Saunders House had been done over in the Victorian style and had a large octagon tower over the Middle Street entrance, so it was even higher than the Federalist style building we have returned to in the more recent restorations.
    Pru Fish would know.

    Like

  • well, sure. yours is probably a copy neg (5×7 is way too big) of one of several stereograph images of city hall (each side albumen plate 3×4 and joined on a piece of clear glass to print the stereo card) taken by erastus g. rollins about 1872 from the tower of the unitarian church on middle st. to the left of the building is franklin square. on the right is the nice circular drive fronting warren st. cape ann museum has rollins’s original glass negs of these views in their archive (without homie poop all over them) as well as the stereo cards printed by rollins and succeeding owners of the plates. we also have bryant and rogers’ original plans of the building. c’mon down!

    fred buck, photoarchivist, cape ann museum.

    p.s. don’t think alice m. curtis was taking photos in the 1870s.

    Like

Leaving a comment rewards the author of this post- add to the discussion here-

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s