Tag Archives: Community Development

Art and planning: save the dates creative Placemaking, Smart Cities, Sustainable cities, cultural districts, Smartgrowth

small sample of arts and planning save the dates:

February 15th, 2017:

Massachusetts Commonwealth Awards at the State House hosted by the MCC

February 23, 2017:

Placemaking workshop hosted by MA Smartgrowth and A Better City

MA Smartgrowth is hiring

Join our #SmartGrowth team and apply to our open position, Director of Local Leadership! More info here: http://ow.ly/bvwh307LgRG  #mapoli

March 16, 2017:

Cultural districts regional convening (Beverly) MCC

March 21, 2017:

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Northeast meeting will be March 21st, location and agenda is not posted yet. MassMoves “Help bring 21st century transportation to Massachusetts, part of Commonwealth conversations” https://malegislature.gov/cc

March 25, 2017

Mass Land Conservation Conference Worcester
Scaling Up: Meeting New Challenges
Convened by the Massachusetts Land Trust Coalition

May 3, 2017

worldwide conference comes to the US for the first time.

http://smartcitiesnyc.com/

May 5, 2017 – third annual National Consortium for Creative Placemaking Leadership summit

May 18, 2017

MA Smartgrowth annual conference Worcester, MA. I want it to come to Gloucester Beauport Hotel next year. See Smartgrowth Amercia Dangerous by Design 2016 report for MA state ranking

June 20, 2017

Have ideas for Boston Mobility Summit hosted by Microsoft with the support of the Barr Foundation apply to attend there’s only 120 international mobility leaders to be selected

August 1, 2017

Deadline! The Massachusetts Office on Disability is holding a call for art through August 1 for a juried art exhibition with the theme of “Breaking Barriers.”

FEBRUARY 2018

Hey Gloucester — let’s come up with a list of possible projects needed in Gloucester and pick one that art and culture can help be part of and apply together for next year’s application! MA connections in the video:  Javier was born and raised in Holliston. Art and Culture to strengthen social, economic fabric in communities. ArtPlace grants: For more information see the video NCPF Announcement 2017 from ArtPlace America on Vimeo.

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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Read more

GloucesterCast 121 St Paddy’s Day 2015 With Guest Toby Pett and Host Joey Ciaramitaro #GloucesterMA

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GloucesterCast 121 St Paddy’s Day 2015 With Guest Toby Pett and Host Joey Ciaramitaro

Topics Include: Guest Toby Pett and Host Joey Ciaramitaro, Snow Melt, Vacation At The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, All Inclusive Today vs All Inclusive 15 Years Ago, Riviera Maya vs Cancun, Thanks Super K and @HRHRivieraMaya, Yoga Is Where It’s At, St Joseph’s Day Props To All The Families Who Have Kept Up The Traditions, St Paddy’s Day At The Rhumb Line, Tom O’Brien’s Baru, Mike Lindberg, Earl Foote Video, Favorite Greasy Pole Walk Video, Cacciatore’s Blowing Up Toby’s Phone While We Tape The Podcast, Cacciatore’s Opening Date Pushed Forward For Final City Permitting Sign Offs Not Opening This Saturday the 21st!!!, Boston Seafood Show, Gloucester MA Community Development, Fishermen’s Wives, Gloucester MA Fisheries Commission and Mark Ring Does Us Proud, New St Paddy’s Day GMG Sticker A Huge Hit Shout Out To The People Who Sent In SASE For Their Free Stickers, Loss Of FOB Bruce Bonham, Pulling Back On The Selfie Stick Post, Mexico Day One…, Missing Regulars Kim Smith Due To Illness and Donna Ardizzoni, Happy Kim Smith’s Daughter Liv Didn’t Plan Her Wedding During Fiesta, Electric Companies Now Fear The Efficiency of Solar Energy, Brian O’Connor Says His Solar Install Is Going To Pay Him, Vince Wilfork and Revis Leaving, Question: Will Tom Brady End His Career a Patriot?, Derek Sandersen’s Book, Foreign Affairs My New Favorite Local Restaurant, Duckworth’s, Blue Ox, Ithaki, Franklin, Passports, The Studio, Seaport Grille, The Lobster Pool, What Is The Staus Of Madfish Grille?

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Come Back Kid! chance to win a $500 complimentary overnight stay in Gloucester

Hi Joey,

GMG readers, Gloucester is looking for feedback for our local businesses.

Any FOBs that have visited Gloucester and want to help, please take a brief online survey

GMG readers who have any trade with the visitor-based economy, please have a look and share it with your customers, business travelers, and guests (especially any that travel and stay overnight).

Bonus prize! Respondents (prior visitors) who complete the survey will be entered to win a complimentary overnight stay in Gloucester with value of $500.

Per ordinance and under the direction of Community Development’s Tom Daniel and Carol Thistle, the City of Gloucester has established a tourism commission and engaged Open the Door (not to be confused with wonderful The Open Door) to gather as much information as possible for a new Five-Year Marketing Plan. One of the next steps includes casting a net far and wide for feedback from Gloucester visitors. Queue this on-line survey!

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/5V9H7YV

Please note that the deadline is in two weeks–no later than December 5, 2014. Good luck!

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Editor’s note-

I find it funny on question 11 where they ask-

*How did you get your information on Gloucester? (Check all that apply)

That Good Morning Gloucester is not listed when we probably get more web traffic than all of the other listed sites combined.

If you do indeed feel that GMG is your source of Gloucester info for events then feel free to fill us in in the “other” option on question 11.

MONDAY SEPTEMBER 29th: Reimagining Railroad 3rd Public Meeting

Cat Ryan submits-

Gloucester Community Development Department and the state’s Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Monday September 29, 2014

City Hall, Kyrouz Auditorium, 7pm

Hey Joey,

Please come for a presentation including recommendations about possible zoning and planning THIS COMING MONDAY September 29, 2014, from 6PM-8PM at Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall. As a reminder, this series is devoted to Gloucester’s railroad station and surrounding areas. The first meeting was held back in March, and the 2nd in June.

While we’re at it: sample walking-distance comparables from train station to beach.

· Manchester: train station to singing beach .6miles

· Gloucester: train station to Pavilion Beach .6miles (either Washington or down Dale to Fort past Chamber) Man at Wheel .45 miles

· Gloucester: train station to Stage Fort (2 beaches) .9 miles

o Gloucester: train station to Good Harbor 2.5 miles (45 minutes walking ); Gloucester parking lot spot to beach spot .3 miles!

· Rockport: train station to Rockport Beach .6 miles

· Ipswich: Cranes Beach 5.5 miles

Contact

Eric Halvorsen ehalvorsen@mapc.org www.mapc.org

Tom Daniel TDaniel@gloucester-ma.gov, Gloucester Community Development Director

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Reimagining Railroad and Maplewood and … MEETING #2

Cat Ryan submits-

Reimagining Railroad and Maplewood and … MEETING #2

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Gloucester Community Development / Metropolitan Planning Area Council

Hey Joey,

Back in March, the City of Gloucester’s Community Development partnered with the Metropolitan Planning Area Council (MAPC) to host the first in a series of 3 discussions about Gloucester’s railroad station and the surrounding area.  As a reminder, these interactive meetings have an extra special focus on the Railroad and Maplewood Avenue and train station area. Our input will inform the process, and there’s funding lined up.

Residents, commuters, bikers, pedestrian walking—what do you think?

Please come for some preliminary findings and recommendations at the second meeting THIS COMING MONDAY June 23, 2014, from 6PM-8PM at Kyrouz Auditorium in City Hall.

For the Railroad discussions, send in ideas and comments and/or sign up for updates on any future meetings with:

Eric Halvorsen ehalvorsen@mapc.org

Gregg Cademartori gcademartori@gloucester-ma.gov

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Reimagining Railroad Meeting at City Hall

Reimagining Railroad and Maplewood and …

Gloucester Community Development / Metropolitan Planning Area Council

Catt Ryan submits-

Hey Joey,

Last night, Community Development partnered with the Metropolitan Planning Area Council (MAPC) to host the first in a series of discussions about Gloucester’s railroad station and the surrounding area.  Along with all the other robust planning that is ever constant, this interactive meeting was an extra special focus on what transit oriented attention and development might mean for Gloucester. Gloucester Planning Director, Gregg Cademartori, gave a great introduction.

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Eric Halvorsen introduced the team from MAPC, which helps town generally within the wide swath of I-95. I met Eric last fall  at a MA Smart Growth event he was part of. It featured Fred Kent of Project for Public Space and one of our site walks that day considered spaces and transit areas at Harvard. Halvorsen explained that there are 280 or so transit stops in Massachusetts. He enthusiastically gushed, “They are precious and finite”– and therefore merit our attention. These transit hubs account for 5% of the geography of the state, and cover 37% of the jobs. The state considers Gloucester’s railroad station as an ‘urban gateway’, one of 10 types of transit stop categories they’ve identified in MA.  Salem, Beverly and Haverhill are other examples of this urban gateway category.

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The evening ended with three tables of break out discussions. Topics swirled, and questions prompted responses and exchanges. Connections to other areas downtown were mentioned, Gloucester’s past, and the railroad station area as a gateway. We wondered together what people thought it might be like soon and many, many years from now.  Creative ideas and similar words and phrases oscillated throughout Kyrouz like air-popped kernels: emphasis on sidewalks, signage, streets (Washington Street, Maplewood, Prospect, Railroad Avenue, Dale and Pleasant), seniors, bike rentals, safety, young families, terms such as “soft and hardscaping”, public space, shade, paving one side (like the HarborWalk), green energy, beach buggies, maker spaces, lighting, artists and other professionals, trees,  wayfinding, future businesses, pedicabs, mixed use, residences, single stories, design, the stores folks value now, the Jeff Weaver mural, the supermarket, Dunkin Donuts, the restaurants.

Community Development and MAPC will share results from these conversations and offer their take, research and observation. Our input will inform the process,  and there’s funding queued up.

There will be two more public meetings and they’re sure to be interesting … make sure you come if you can for the next ones, and for any that Community Development organizes.

For the Railroad discussions, send in ideas and comments and/or sign up for updates on any future meetings with:

Eric Halvorsen ehalvorsen@mapc.org

Gregg Cademartori gcademartori@gloucester-ma.gov

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6pm tomorrow night City Hall focus on downtown

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the game’s afoot: fun with urban planning

Hi Joey,

Ok. So Downtown. I know, Joey, you want more block parties among other stuff! What else everyone?? What’s on the table for you? Cycling? Parking? Arts?  Jobs?

We really hope there will be a good turn-out for tomorrow’s 6PM public meeting at City Hall to discuss thoughts on downtown. All of downtown. It’ll be a good chance for everybody to knock about what they like downtown, what they think could be better, and to listen to others’ views.

Busy? The next 2 meetings will be on August 20 and September 17.

Hate to speak in public? That’s ok, too. If you have a comment, question, idea, impression…bring it, send it! Even if it’s a repeat (squeaky wheel…just sayin’) Everyone can email anytime and have voice.

Email Tom Daniel, Community Development: TDaniel@gloucester-ma.gov

No city plan is an ultimate fixed anchor.  At any window in time, planning involves simultaneous sweeping aerials along with pockets of hyper focus. Responsible cities explore multiple scenarios and need to be adaptable and resilient– and try. Cities by nature are in flux. Gloucester tries! It has heart.

We’re lucky that Gloucester has had years of a dedicated and talented community development department including folks like Tom Daniel—the current Community Development Director who is orchestrating these evenings– and former Community Development Directors Sarah Garcia (now Harbor Planning Director), Dale Brown, and others, along with responsive teams including Marie Demick, Gregg Cademartori, Matt Coogan, Steve Winslow and so many more. Thanks so much for doing this work.

More info?

GDT editorial today http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x35808383/Editorial-Time-to-speak-up-regarding-city-downtowns-future

Mayor’s column http://www.gloucestertimes.com/opinion/x35807469/The-Mayors-Desk-Input-needed-for-downtowns-future

Lenny Linquata’s letter  http://www.gloucestertimes.com/letters/x2113333240/Letter-Private-sector-must-take-lead-on-waterfront-economy

www.ghwalk.org

www.glouceterharbortown.org

http://glostablockparty.com/downtown

www.gloucesterdowntownassociation.org

CFTA hosts introduction meeting with Gloucester arts group and Gloucester ‘s new Community Development Director Tom Daniel

Catherine Ryan submits-

Hi Joey,

Tom Daniel is the Community Development Director for the City of Gloucester . His work is focused on continuing to support the vibrancy of Gloucester with its diverse economy and numerous amenities.

Since the arts are such an important component of Gloucester and community development, on April 4, 2013, the Gloucester Committee for the Arts hosted an open introduction meeting with Tom Daniel for a lunchtime meet and greet. Committee for the Arts Chair, Judith Hoglander, felt that this meeting would provide us with an opportunity to get to know Tom, and for him to better understand the importance of arts in Gloucester . It was wonderful!  Many who attended wore more than one hat,  so to speak, and have been engaged in several volunteer activities around town for many years. We are a lucky community. Among the folks present were artist Beth Williams, Cape Ann Artisans; Director of Cape Ann Museum Ronda Faloon; Ruth Mordecai, Artist and Director Goetemann Residency Program Director; Brenda Malloy, artist and Rocky Neck Art Colony; Jo Ann Castano, Arts Gloucester; Matthew Swift, Trident Gallery (to open soon on Main St.); Anne Robinson, seARTS and Cape Ann TV; Suzanne Gilbert, North Shore Arts Association; Susan Erony, artist, educator, Gloucester Writer’s Center; Marty Morgan, artist; Carol Gray, Director Sawyer Free; and members of the Committee for the Arts- Judith Hoglander, Dale Brown, Marcia Hart, Catherine Ryan and new member and artist Sinikka Nogelo.

We are so grateful that Gloucester Lyceum & Sawyer Free Library offered the Friend’s Room space for this gathering. We learned that Tom is originally from central MA, and that he loves arts and culture, and how both are conduits to broadly experiencing our community. He shared examples of his advocacy for the arts throughout his career with examples from Minneapolis , MN , and most recently Salem , MA . We look forward to more discussions.