Tag Archives: Blynman Bridge

evanescent pink fog

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7pm from where I was standing at the cut bridge and Stacy Boulevard (Western Avenue), 9/20/16

The weather had me stop and the special had us stay. Not a bad vista waiting for our ‘two for Tuesday’ buy-one-get-one-free pizzas from  Poseidon’s after a Magnolia soccer practice.

Stacy Boulevard construction update: historic Blynman the Cut Bridge

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Gordon Parks. May 1943. “Memorial services for fishermen lost at sea. Citizens gathered on teh banks near the sea.” photograph, Library of Congress FSA collection

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Two hundred feet of canal gravity wall is being reconstructed, extending from the bridge tender’s house around where you see visible in the photographs. This section of sea wall was dry laid granite block. The ebb and flow of tides and wakes took an inevitable toll, pulling debris material–like migrating soil— out from behind the wall. Over time the blocks settled, sidewalks sagged, and ruptures framed views into hollow voids 15 feet deep. Weakened considerably, areas were cordoned off until funding (Seaport Advisory and Executive Office of Environmental Affairs) was secured. The bridge tender’s house is abandoned which is why there is a temporary structure across the street. The state will be rebuilding that at a later date; the control house and the bridge are MassDOT purview and “likely a number of years out until a final plan is done.”

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Edward Hopper. Blynman Bridge. 1923. watercolor. Whitney Museum of American Art. See Edward Hopper All Around Gloucester ©Catherine Ryan

 

The new sea wall is the “mack daddy of building construction” befitting such an iconic locale. DPW is reusing the same gorgeous rugged blocks and materials, but now there’s footing where there never was any. The historic granite face is tied to reinforced steel. There’s a concrete core wall. Mike Hale Director of Gloucester’s Department of Public Works said the City is mindful of retaining the aesthetics and history, pronouncing any new stone “modular, lego-like” build an anathema to the site and residents.

Thanks to DPW for forwarding these details with labeled drawings explaining the infrastructure behind what’s visible:

 

 

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Gordon Parks Gloucester photos Memorial Day 1943

Cat Ryan submits-

FSA/OWI photograph in the Library of Congress

Gordon Parks Gloucester photos Memorial Day 1943-

Gordon Parks, Gloucester Massachusetts. Memorial services for fishermen lost at sea.

Citizens gathered on the banks near the sea, May 1943.

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More Gordon Parks 1943 Memorial Day pictures click here

Beautiful Industry- Blynman Bridge

Note to boaters-  If you think it’s gonna be close, don’t chance it and try to sneak under.  I got a feeling it’s just not gonna be worth it to slam into one of those huge I beams head on with your vessel.  It will be ugly not to mention costly to repair and you’ll look like a complete tool to all the people looking over the railings to check out the pretty boats passing through.

Beautiful Industry- Blynman Canal Bridgehouse Controls

It’s unreal that this control panel is close to a hundred years old and still gets the job done.  I bet if it was replaced by some new equipment that the new equipment would break down every 5 years or so and have to be replaced.   They just don’t make stuff like they used to.

Blynman Canal Bridgehouse, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

Who was Blynman?

Blynman Schoolhouse

Blynman Schoolhouse

The Blynman Bridge and the Blynman School were named for Rev. Richard Blynman, the first minister of the town. The History of the Town of Gloucester, written by John James Babson in 1860, has the interesting background of the bridge and Cape Ann in general. I’m going back to read more.

Blynman Canal Bridgehouse Span Position Indicator

Blynman Canal Bridgehouse, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

This is on the huge old control board at the Cut Bridge.  Video will be coming up in a couple hours.   I’ll be releasing the pictures from inside the Control House all week long.

Blynman Canal Bridgehouse

Mike Lindberg sent in a suggestion that he would like to see the inside of the Blynman Bridge Control House.

Blynman Canal Bridgehouse, originally uploaded by captjoe06.

That was a fantastic idea!  How many of us have driven past the Cut Bridge Control House all our lives but never been privy to the inside equipment and people that run it.
Check out how old and beautiful that control board is. Classic!
I had a “Wizard of Oz” moment after stepping inside for my interview and forthcoming video series with Steve Lake- “The Wizard” who was kind enough to let me in and show us around.

You asked- GMG Delivers Baby!

Look for the first part of the video series tomorrow morning.

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