Information on the “The Gloucester Guide” website. Good Harbor Beach when it was a working harbor.
Category Archives: Gloucester History
Repairs Gone Wrong – botched cleaning on City Hall Honor Roll plaques require corrective restoration
And the qualified help that’s needed is underway!
What do you do when your home repair goes very wrong? Upon evaluation, sometimes you just have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes. In the fall of 2014 memorial honor roll plaques in City Hall received some cleaning. The monuments were due some attention. Over time the names were no longer legible and the surfaces were grimy defeating their noble purpose. Gloucester’s outstanding City Archives and the Cape Ann Office of Veterans Services were and are able to help with research for those who can’t come in person or see them clearly.
photo caption: BEFORE photograph of one of four WW1 honor rolls in the rotunda City Hall, ca.2014
The 2014 project was not handled by the city nor administered through its committee for the arts, of which I am a member. Funds were raised privately to work on the plaques. Though well intentioned, those restoration efforts were botched (and costly at the time, so I’m told.) The names were made more visible, but the plaques were damaged and results are scratched, streaked and blotchy.
A small annual budget (FY2018 $4000) that’s set aside for care of City arts and culture and monuments as part of its mission must now be redirected to fix the fix. Yes, “Sometimes you have to hire a new contractor to remedy mistakes,” frustrating, but necessary. Perhaps the 2014 group will reimburse this cost.
Throughout 2018, you may see specialists from Skylight Studios repairing plaques within City Hall through the Committee for the Arts on behalf of the City. (Gloucester residents may recall that Skylight Studios was hired by the Commonwealth to restore the bronze doors of the Abram Piat Andrew Bridge; the doors were temporarily displayed at Cape Ann Museum before being reinstalled.)
The detailed work on the City Hall plaques will be completed in brief, focused intervals. One plaque in the rotunda will be restored last, because it’s a great opportunity to show before and after examples of contemporary restoration projects- the good, the bad and the quality. As the plaques are repaired, the detail of the raised carving and borders and most importantly the names of so many veterans will become easier and easier to read and remember.
Gloucester Ma Veterans Honor Rolls and Monuments
*author note- this post is listing interior Honor Rolls within City Hall; it’s not a complete list for all tributes in Gloucester
GROUND FLOOR, CITY HALL
Spanish American War- “Men of Gloucester who served in the War with Spain volunteers all 1898-1902. Gloucester ‘s men, serving on land and sea won for their city the honor of giving to her country the largest per capita of men in this war. Erected by the City of Gloucester 1930.”
World War I Honor Rolls (rotunda and upstairs)
World Ward II Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Korean Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office)
Vietnam Honor Roll (outside clerk’s office; Brian Hamilton 1980 painting of fisherman)
just outside Kyrouz Auditorium, FIRST FLOOR, CITY HALL
“Civil War (1861 1865)This tablet records the service of Company G 8th Regiment MVM in the Civil War; and War with Spain (1898 1899) occupation of Cuba; and World War 1917 1919″ Corrective repairs are underway on this trio Honor Roll. Waxy build up added in 2014 is being removed all over, and names in a small lower right corner have been attended.
The multi story memorial to Gloucester fishermen lost at sea was a major public art project led, designed and hand painted by Norma Cuneo, with Irma Wheeler and Ellen Ferrin in 1978, a beautiful shrine lighted by day by two tall windows. Mark Newton, then city clerk-historian, and Jerry Cook were lead researchers; the team eventually compiled a card index that could be accessed by the public along with checking this massive lost at sea mural. Research incorporated historic materials like The Fishermen’s Memorial and Record Book, by George H. Procter, published by Procter Bros. in 1873, printed matter, family archives, and newspapers. Volunteers and historians amend the sources and statistics over time. The sense of the power of a name and life is inspiring. The response and need to a tangible, accessible record was tremendous. Their work was the basis for the cenotaph installed in 2000 by the Fisherman at the Wheel memorial on Stacy Boulevard, a sacred place and pilgrimage site accessible day and night.
EXCLUSIVE DRONE VIDEO: THE F/V ANNE ROWE CAUGHT ON THE ROCKS BY EASTERN POINT LIGHTHOUSE. UPDATED WITH RESCUE FOOTAGE
Also Check Out Kim Smith’s up Close Photos from Daybreak This Morning-
UPDATE: Rescue Footage From Kim Smith-
<em>For a few moments she was on her side and I think I could hear my heartbeat. She righted herself, was towed away from the rocks, and headed home by her own power. </em>
Also It was 2011 that The Miss Fern Went Hard aground In The same Spot-
UHMM ABOUT THE MISS FERN, THE FIRST BOAT TO LAND A TUNA IN THE 2014 BLUEFIN BLOWOUT? IT WAS UP ON THE ROCKS OFF EASTERN POINT SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
PAUL MANSHIP #GloucesterMA historic artist home and studio milestone! STARFIELD property purchased and in the news
Read Gail McCarthy article “Local group buys, plans art residency for sculptors’ estate” from the Gloucester Daily Times.
American artist Paul Manship (1885–1966) was internationally renowned since the 1920s. He maintained multiple homes and studios: two in the Unites States (New York and Gloucester, MA); Paris; London; and three in Italy. This very special purchase–the only one in the world of a Manship property– Starfield, in the Lanesville section of Gloucester, MA, was made possible by the incredible generosity of the Manship heirs, YOU- Gloucester and MA residents (City of Gloucester & the Commonwealth of MA monies were allocated to this initiative), foundations, businesses and private donations. Congratulations to Rebecca Reynolds and all involved. Early supporters included: the City of Gloucester; Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund (MassDevelopment in collaboration with the Massachusetts Cultural Council); the Boston Foundation; Essex County Community Foundation; McDonagh Family Foundation; Stella and Charles Guttman Foundation; National Trust for Historic Preservation; Massachusetts Cultural Council; New England Biolabs Foundation; and Essex National Heritage.
Now that the property is purchased, there will be ongoing fundraising to maintain the property and its mission.
If ever there was a forever endowment match sought, this prestigious Manship opportunity would be one to grab!
Follow this link to see rare, original art by Paul Manship, John Manship and Margaret Cassidy that was recently made available FOR SALE to help raise money for this endeavor. Join to support the cause by donating on line through the website, Manship Artists Residency and Studios (MARS). Eventually the historic property will be open to the public and community, and will support working artists.
There are more than 15,000 historic house museums across the county, and just a few that were artists’ home and studios. One of the most influential is the Pollock-Krasner house in East Hampton, Long Island, established in 1988. A welcome recent addition is the Winslow Homer property in Portland, ME. Here’s hoping the Manship estate is a member on this Historic Artists’ Homes & Studios (HAHS) map soon. Currently, the Massachusetts sites include Daniel Chester French’s Chesterwood in Stockbridge, and the Frelinghuysen Morris home in Lenox.
Check out Eoin’s Blog 18 Haven here for more beautiful vintage Cape Ann photos and stories on the life of Ken and Elizabeth Vincent.
Sam Novello sits and reminisces about the family successful fishing business and Gloucester History.
Poster for next week’s opening
Contact Kathie Gilson to volunteer!
Edward F. “Hoppy” is the son of the late Edward B. Hopkins, the last person to be born on Ten Pound Island. His grandfather Edward H. Hopkins was the Lighthouse keeper during the 1920’s.
“Hoppy” operates Ed’s Oil Burner Service. Forty Years servicing Gloucester and surrounding area.
1938 no-nonsense classroom film New England Fishermen shows Gloucester, schooner, steam, and diesel trawlers
At the dawn of talkies, ERPI (Electrical Research Products Inc) sought to “bring the world to the classrooms” via 16mm A/V equipment and a catalog of films. ERPI was a subsidiary of AT&T and a forerunner of Encyclopedia Britannica Films.
They produced GLOUCESTER FISHERMEN (under 9 min) in 1938 with backing from Clark University. The film’s narrator was James Brill. There was also a 1938 film titled Shell-Fishing.
from the A/V Geeks archive youtube channel
Here’s James Brill narrating and before the camera in the 1946 film: FROM DEMOCRACY TO DESPOTISM, 1946, Encyclopedia Britannica Films.
Contractor: Newport, Nashua, NH, Brian McCabe is the Project Manager
Status: in progress
Progress April 2017: nearing finish line
Project start (historic): pre 1900
Modern project start: 1999
Funding Awarded: 2013
- from State: $5,600,000 Seaport Advisory Council
- from City: $1,120,000 + contingencies
- Funding in place: 2015
- Gloucester seawall grants over the last 18 years include: Cripple cove/ Robinsons landing; small sea wall by beacon marine and pirates lane; fort square; Stacy (Stage Fort through Blynman); plus emergency work on Blynman collapse
Bid Open and contract amount: 2/24/15 approx $7 million
Contract completion: on schedule, estimated spring 2017
Locations: Stacy Boulevard and Blynman
Priority: Top Level! Unique and exceptional project– Mayor’s Office considers seawall boulevard a priority necessity, for safety, a centuries infrastructure project with immeasurable quality of life benefits for residents and visitors and essential to economy
Temporary work site chain link fence: Required. The chain link fence is installed by the contractor to protect the work zone and define it better.
Tender house at Blynman and bridge: These are State not city/DPW purview. The new bridge house is temporary (thankfully). The entire bridge needs to be replaced and when it is a new tender’s house will be constructed. I will write more about the bridge house and Blynman in other posts.
Local jobs– scroll below
photo above: fencing subcontractor on a beautiful work site readying for railing. Railing required diamond coring like old granite quarrying. Stacy Boulevard December 2016.
photo caption: Railing! 2000 feet of new galvanized railing. (The replaced railing was not galvanized. DPW replaces railing: it’s simply a matter of funding.)
photo caption: Alex Karp – GZA Field Engineer Boulevard construction. The GZA company acquired (David) Vine Associates. GZA is the design engineer for the boulevard project. David Smith at GZA (formerly Vine) has worked with Gloucester since 1999.
photo caption: Gloucester’s DPW construction along the Boulevard
photo caption: CAP STONE! It’s more than decorative. It has two exposed sides that need to be trimmed to look perfect. Mike Hale, Boulevard construction, November (of course note beard) 2016
photo caption: Stacy Boulevard contruction capstone and harbor
photo CAPtion!: Stacy Boulevard dazzling dizzying scope of ocean and capstone as far as the eye can see
photo caption: Mike Hale with Brian McCabe, Project Manager, Newport construction, November 2016, Gloucester Boulevard
Along with the Mayor’s office and current administration, Gloucester’s DPW and Newport Construction work with subcontractors including local ones such as:
GZA – national with corporate headquarters in Norwood, MA – Engineering
Gloucester Transit Mix Concrete, Gloucester, MA, – huge part of project!
Cape Ann Stone, Rockport, MA, Bruce Johnson (owner) – granite
MBT Electricians, Gloucester, MA – electrical and lighting
Essex County Landscaping, Gloucester, MA, J D Aspesi (owner) – irrigation and sod
Anne Gilardi Johnson – additional new gardens, site and landscape design for the Boulevard (building upon the successful Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial)– Johnson , a Gloucester native and multi award winning landscape architect, was commissioned by the Fishermen’s Wive Memorial board back in 2000 to design the landscape for Morgan Faulds Pike bronze sculpture, dedicated August 2001. “A series of design plans, and finally a study model, was produced as part of an interactive process between the designer, sculptor, and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association.” Johnson is a member of the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (largest chapter of the national organization), “known for her design of urban spaces including parks, playgrounds, memorials and streetscapes in Boston,” Worcester, and Gloucester. Her award winning designs include Boston’s (James) Hayes and Childe Hassam Parks in the South End. Generous Gardeners is planting the new beds on the Boulevard: thousands of tulip and daffodil bulbs were planted by many volunteers last fall to bloom this spring!
some prior posts:
April 2017 nearing the finish line Part 1- Walk this way: Gloucester’s stately Stacy Boulevard public works project is breathtaking and one for the ages! Part 1
September 12 2016- Stacy Boulevard construction update: historic Blynman the Cut Bridge project scope plans and engineering details
Secretary John Kerry reconnected with Mayor Romeo-Theken before he took to the podium to address more than 300 guests attending the Essex National Heritage 20th Anniversary gala at the Peabody Essex Museum. They go way back. Essex National Heritage was designated in 1996 with key support from John Kerry and Ted Kennedy.
Here’s a star, Emily Levin from Essex National Heritage. Everyone who hosts programs over Essex National Heritage fabulous annual Trails & Sails enjoys working with Emily.
The temporary Essex National Heritage illumination is projected above the Halo sculpture by Anish Kapoor.
ANNOUNCING THE TRAILBLAZERS
4000 votes helped select a few Trailblazer nominees for a special champagne toast representing their mission and all the wonderful cultural resources across 34 towns. Kim Smith was in good company! We toasted the following 2017 Essex National Heritage Area Trailblazers:
1)PRESERVING THIS SPECIAL REGION
1st place | Essex County Greenbelt Association
2nd place | Ipswich River Watershed Association
3rd place | The Cabot
2)CONNECTING PEOPLE TO PLACE
1st place | The Trustees of Reservations
2nd place | Mass Audubon
3rd place |Essex Agricultural Society
3)BUILDING & GROWING OUR FUTURE
1st place — Peabody Essex Museum
2nd place — YMCA of the North Shore
3rd place — Valley View Farm
4)ADVANCING OUR EDUCATIONAL MISSION
1st place (tie) | Lowell’s Boat Shop and The House of Seven Gables
2nd place | Maritime Gloucester
3rd place | Essex Shipbuilding Museum
Nice detail: the second festive beverage for the reception featured the trio of colors in the Essex National Heritage logo.
Gloucester organizations and partners were featured in the slide loop including: City Hall for Community Preservation, Discover Gloucester, Lannon, Rocky Neck, Schooner Adventure, HarborWalk, Cape Ann Museum.
from Essex National Heritage printed matter:
Gloucester’s boulevard public works construction Part 3: compare high res plans from 1922 and 1923 with today
Here are the original 1922 and 1923 plans from the Gloucester DPW archives for close inspection:
The Gloucester Daily Times published a construction status for the Western Avenue Project on June 5, 1923. Necessary delays were explained and some of the work would not be ready for Gloucester’s tercentenary celebration. The column indicates that the bridge house would be moved across the street–which didn’t happen then, but is happening in 2017– and mentions the state’s involvement.
“Work on Sea Wall Completed”- June 5 1923 update
Work on the construction of the new Western avenue seawall as far as the state is concerned, is practically completed and the lighters which for several months past have afforded great interest in many spectators have been withdrawn from the job…
On the western end of the park, the wall which held up the little park known as Marine Park is being capped with a four-foot cement topping, to bring it level to and joined with the new wall just completed from that point easterly toward Morgan’s store.
Although hopes had been held out that the entire boulevard could be completed in time for the celebration, doubts are expressed now if this can be brought to a conclusion because of the large amount of work to be done, such as filling in behind the wall just erected, and the laying out of the street. Before the street can be laid out, time must be allowed for the settling of the rock filling, thousands of tons of which are to be dumped behind the wall, and this, it is now believed by those in charge, will not be ready for surfacing until spring (1924) at the least.
The bridge-house and the small shed alongside of it are scheduled to be moved to the other side of the street so that an unobstructed view of the boulevard from The Tavern to…“
- Stacy Boulevard Construction update: what’s been done as of August 10, 2016 about 80% to the finish line seawall restored, sidewalks constructed, etc
Boulevard Public Works stunner | Gloucester is an early client for the Harvard and Olmsted trained landscape designer Thomas Warren Sears. His 1908 photos are a must see! Part 2
The Gloucester Daily Times published this image in 1923 with the photo caption: “Now Under Construction on the Southern Side of Western Avenue, this Project When Completed Will Give Gloucester one of the Finest Approaches of Any City on the Atlantic Seaboard.” The meticulously hand drawn credit within the drawing itself caught my eye as much as the drawing: “Proposed Treatment of Waterfront, Gloucester, Mass. Thomas W. Sears Landscape Architect, Providence RI”. Thomas W. Sears was a remarkable 20th Century landscape designer. The modern Boulevard work completed in 2014-17 gracefully carries out and returns to the original dreams for the Western Avenue highway and park that are more than a century in the making.
photo caption: Boulevard construction progress © Catherine Ryan, December 2016
Thomas Warren Sears (1880-1966) preliminary designs for Gloucester’s future Boulevard
Thomas Warren Sears was born in 1880 in Brookline, Massachusetts, and grew up in this modest family abode at the corner of Beacon and Charles Street. This black and white house portrait was shot in 1897.
Here’s a Google street view photo for comparison today.
After being ousted from the New York City parks department, the ‘father of American landscape design’, Frederick Law Olmsted (1822-1903), launched his business a ten minute walk from the Sears family home. The headquarters at 99 Warren Street was named “Fairsted” and was in operation until 1979 when it was declared a National Historic Site and transferred to the National Parks.
photo caption: Frederick Law Olmsted Fairsted © Jack Boucher, Library of Congress collection
Sears worked for the Olmsted Brothers immediately after receiving two degrees from Harvard– his BA in 1903 and his BS in 1906. (There may have been an earlier Brookline connection.) Rather quickly Sears left to set up his own firm: first in Providence, RI, when he did work for Gloucester’s Boulevard, and not long after in Philadelphia. In 1911 he gave a talk for the Proceedings of the Engineers’ Club of Philadelphia 28 (April 1911):147-158., “The Functions of the Landscape Architect in Connection with the Improvement of a City” available online as part of an urban planning anthology compiled by John W. Reps, Professor Emeritus, Cornell University. I wonder if he shared his Gloucester photographs as part of his talk?
“There are two main approaches to cities: (1) On water by boat, and (2) on land by railroad. Along both of these lines of approach land should be taken for public use, and for very different reasons. Take first the use of water fronts: Unless some provision is made for the public, the whole water front, whether it be river or harbor, may be usurped by commercial enterprise and the public deprived of ever seeing the water except when aboard a boat. In certain cases, as in New York, where the water front must of necessity be utilised for dockage, a combination of commercial and public use may be successfully employed. There the docks are owned by the city and leased by the steamship companies; in this way their appearance can be controlled. At present it is planned to build on the tops of these docks huge recreation parks which may be used by the public.”- 1911 Thomas W. Sears
Mike Hale’s contemporary perspective shares a similar philosophy with Sears:
“An effort has been made in this paper to show clearly that landscape architecture is utilitarian quite as much as esthetic; that whatever one is designing, whether it be a city plan or any of the elements in a city, the design should be governed by use as much as beauty.” – 1911 Thomas W. Sears
By 1917 Sears was commissioned regularly and had a long, full career including notable designs for the Reynolda estate now part of Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and the wildly influential outdoor amphitheater for Swarthmore College, the Scott Outdoor Auditorium. His work in Gloucester is rarely mentioned.
Since the Gloucester drawing was marked ‘Providence’, I knew the drawing was done long before the 1923 construction. I tentatively dated the schematic ca.1910. Thankfully Thomas Warren Sears was a photographer, too. Turns out that this image is a Sears’ photograph of a lovely Sears’ design. The glass negative is dated 1908 which squares with his professional career timeline.
ALL NEW LED LIGHTS
One of the modern design elements is the welcome ornamentation of lights. They feel like they were always here because line is such an essential part of design and they add the vertical visual interest. When I saw the new light bases I thought of the line of trees in the Sears drawing. I love the mix of natural and formal design in his rendering, but am equally gobsmacked by the sweeping open vista. Both are sensitive approaches and part of the context of the Boulevard’s build.
photo caption: animation emphasizing new lights, late November 2016, ©c. ryan
BEFORE THE BOULEVARD- Sears photos
Thomas Warren Sears photographed Western Avenue for his preparatory work. See the homes along the beach that were later removed for the construction of the Boulevard; distant vistas to the Surfside Hotel (built after Pavilion burned) and Stage Fort park; and Western Avenue street scenes looking east and west before the road was widened.
More photos and Gloucester designs:
Walk this way: Gloucester’s stately Stacy Boulevard public works project is breathtaking and one for the ages! Part 1
This view will be changing imminently! Today’s Motif Monday is the work on the Boulevard.
The marvelous engineering and construction for the boulevard is a HUGE story. In all the collective excitement to walk this way, let’s remember to take a moment to acknowledge this feat.
Mike Hale, Gloucester’s Director of Public Services, was hired in July of 1999, the very same year that this ambitious boulevard infrastructure planning and funding search began for this project. It was funded in 2014. That means the current project timeline spanned 4 Mayors, administration, staff and city councils. The construction has been exceptionally well managed and I predict it will be or should be nationally recognized with awards. I have been documenting the progress and in the coming days will post several tributes, contemporary views, historic photos and background to rev up anticipation and respect.
Coincidentally, April 16, 2017 will mark the 94th anniversary of an important piece of the boulevard’s construction.
On that day in history, Gloucester’s city council approved the purchase of two lots, the Grant and Low properties:
“Whereas it is the desire of the board of park commissioners of the city of Gloucester to take in fee by purchase or otherwise certain land in said Gloucester lying between Western Avenue and the sea,
“And whereas, the said board has estimated the expenses of acquiring the same to be $8000,
“It is hereby ordered that the sum of $8000 be and hereby is appropriated from the $90,000 Western Avenue act of 1922 to the board of park commissioners as provided by law for the purpose of acquiring and laying out as a public park such land as the said board of park commissioners consider desirable therefore, being the land as shown on a plan entitled ‘Proposed taking for highway and park purposes, Gloucester, Mass, dated April 16, 1923, John H. Griffin, City Engineer,’ having reference to that portion as shown on said plan as is proposed to be taken for park purposes.” I’ve added the bold emphasis to note the big vision of Western Avenue as a public park and extension of Stage Fort in 1923.
The significant original investment was tangible and long lasting, hallmarks of any successful public works project. Did the Boulevard improve the quality of life in Gloucester? It wasn’t easy. Houses and roads were moved.
Photo caption: “A VIEW NOW OF THE PAST. Most of us are familiar with the Above View. it Shows the Dwellings which Once Lined the Western Avenue Waterfront Before Work was Started Constructing the New Boulevard.”
These photographs were published in August 1923 and retrieved from the Gloucester Daily Times microfiche reel at Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library.
The caption below describes Kent Circle “where grand stand has been erected for the review of the parades” for Gloucester’s tercentenary celebration.
Awaiting full access in 2017 is a mere blip of an inconvenience when considering how fundamental the Boulevard is for Gloucester. Its benefits are priceless.
Tomorrow’s post BRINGING PLANS TO LIFE
- this one April 3, 2017
- September 12 2016 Stacy Boulevard Construction update including scope plans
- Stacy Boulevard Construction update: what’s been done as of August 10, 2016 about 80% to the finish line seawall restored, sidewalks constructed, etc Blyman side coming
Calling on all the good men and women of our great towns, yes all of you!!
INFO: 7pm April 4th, Rockport Police Station
This day March 23rd, I celebrate my arrival in Gloucester in 1954 from Lajes do Pico Azores.
Many thanks to my parents Anibal and Adelina for all their scarifies bringing our family to this great country.
Photo of my parents as God Parents during a christening in 1969.
BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND! Women’s Equality Cape Ann (WECANN) official t-shirt. Staying active and alert! #wecann #gloucesterma
Buy one or buy ten and help support desperately needed scholarships!
CLICK BELOW TO GET YOURS TODAY!!
Jessica Marie says “YES YOU CAN, YES WECANN!”