Tag Archives: East Gloucester

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!

 

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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.

 

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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.

1897 Thomas William Sears the Sears family home Brookline corner of Beacon and charles streets

Here’s a Google street view photo for comparison today.

google earth brookline sears family home

 

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.

 

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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.

 

thomas Warren Sears rendering and photograph aag title a perspective drawing for the area along what is now stacy boulevard

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.

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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.

 

Thomas Warren Sears seawall and park area1908 Thomas Warren Sears looking west along the seawall

Thomas warren Sears glass negative houses along the beach later removed for the creation of Stacy Boulevard

More photos and Gloucester designs:

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Artist Carol Kriekis hand painted Gloucester designs

Thanks to the Holiday Delights Youth Acting Program at Gloucester Stage, I had the lucky chance to spend some time with artist Carol Kriekis. I thought her home and studio were a perfect reflection of her warmth and style, elegant and layered like an Aesthetic Movement interior. Kriekis works in different media, mostly grounded in representation. I saw series inspired by nature and renderings of flowers.

Recently she’s transformed her classic ‘Glosta’ and other Gloucester designs into oval stickers, each with some hand flourish.   The potential for art everywhere around us — stickers, hand painted–  that had me thinking about aestheticism, too. img_20161211_192842-2

Commission design for clients:

Photograph below shows some new branding design. There’s something coming this spring for Caffe Sicilia…No reveals, yet.

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HOME SWEET HOME

Loving every minute of a snowbound afternoon

Home sweet home ❣

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It's a hot cocoa kind of day ❄️❄️❄️

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There are at least 550 different varieties of amaryllis. This cheery one is called Amaryllis hippeastrum 'Clown.'

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DRAGGER SHIPWRECK OFF NILES BEACH GLOUCESTER

We hope the old FV Blue Ocean is salvageable after breaking mooring in the gale force winds late last night. The Blue Ocean is a wooden converted Eastern rig side dragger. The ship was built in 1952 and is owned by Michael Ragusa of Gloucester. Beach clean-up is well underway and as reported in the Gloucester Times, the boat does not pose an environmental threat because there was no fuel or oil on board. Photos from this morning at high tide and then again at low tide this afternoon. gloucester-shipwreck-fv-blue-ocean-1-copyright-kim-smithgloucester-shipwreck-fv-blue-ocean-6-copyright-kim-smith

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Shipwreck at Niles Beach

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For more photos of the Blue Ocean see Paul Frontiero’s post from 2014

UNVEILING OF THE EAST GLOUCESTER QUILT!

juni-van-dyke-cape-ann-museum-the-neighborhood-quilt-project-pete-kovner-c2a9kim-smith-2016Pete Kovner at the Cape Ann Museum exhibit

Monday, the 17th, at 2:00pm, Juni and her amazing quilt makers will be unveiling the East Gloucester Quilt, number fifteen, their last and final piece. The simple ceremony honoring those who helped in its creation will take place at the Rose Baker Senior Center. The public is welcome to attend. I am looking forward to the Big Reveal! juni-van-dyke-cape-ann-museum-the-neighborhood-quilt-project-detail-c2a9kim-smith-2016Greasy Pole detail

CHERRY BLOSSOM CASCADE EAST GLOUCESTER

Glorious Spring!

Cherry Blossom Cascade Kim SmithCherry Blossom Plum Stree East Gloucester Kim SmithPlum Street East Gloucester

Beautiful "Snow Goose" cherry tree with bee

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Note to gardeners: Are you having problems with winter moths? Trees in the Rose Family (Rosaceae), cherry trees, plum trees, peach trees, and apple trees, for example, are especially devastated by the larval stage of these voracious eaters. There is no perfect solution. The worst thing to do is to spray your trees with chemical pesticides and herbicides because that will kill the good insects (bees, butterflies, and other beneficials) and not fully destroy the bad.

After blooming, spray horticultural oil on the branches, foliage, and trunk. This won’t totally wipe out the winter moths (nothing does), but it will act as a deterrent. Apply the horticultural oil about once every month or two, through January, as the adult moths deposit their eggs in the chinks of bark during the winter months.

DON’T MISS THE FINAL PERFORMANCE OF THE TEMPEST!!! #eastgloucesterelementary

Amazing! #tempestworld #eastgloucesterelementary #gloucesterma

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The East Gloucester fifth grade class play is one in which the younger grade students look forward to participating, beginning in their earliest elementary years. This year’s play, William Shakespeare’s The Tempest, directed by Dawn Sarrouf, does not disappoint, and is simply beyond outstanding. Every minute is filled with action packed stellar performances by the fifth grade students, exquisite costumes, imaginative lighting and special effects, and all playing to a rhythmical back stage drum beat.

Don’t miss the final performance on Monday, April 4th at 6pm at the East Gloucester School auditorium.

Don't miss this! #eastgloucesterelementary #tempestworld Tuesday night final show

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Friends, family, and fans

FullSizeRender (52)Marissa and Kathy

FullSizeRender (51)Martine and Maria

FullSizeRender (54)Lotus and Jason

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EASTER SUNSET GLOUCESTER

Easter Sunset Gloucester Harbor. 

Last night’s saturated sunset from East Gloucester was arresting, becoming even more so after the sun set. The colors on the water momentarily reflected the voluptuous hues of the twilight sky, when very quickly the horizon turned glowing coral-pink-peach before extinguishing itself in purple.

Gloucester Harbor Smiths Cove sunset Kim Smith

The violet-orange on the water’s glass-like surface in the foreground looked as though it had been applied by paint.

Gloucester Harbor UU Church sunset Kim Smith

Gloucester’s Unitarian Universalist Church beautiful steeple

City Hall Gloucester Harbor Sunset

City Hall

 

EAST GLOUCESTER SNOWY DAY DUSK

Snow Day in the Hood!

The smell of yummy things cooking emanating from Duckworth's is so enticing!

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Duckworth's looks so pretty on a snowy evening!

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Beacon Marine Basin

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One Pirates Lane

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DON’T FORGET TO VOTE!

Treely Dowd getting out the vote! Polls close at 8pm tonight.

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LIVE FROM EAST GLOUCESTER!

Love our East Gloucester Gang!

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Mandy aka Geoff!

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Pilar!

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Mandy, Dawn, and Michelle!

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SEE MORE PHOTOS HERE Read more

Please Help Our East Gloucester Friend and Neighbor Ginny Harris

Ginny was in a life-threatening bike accident. She will be unable to work for awhile as her recovery will be long. She is a super hard working mom with two children. Please contribute whatever you can to help Ginny and her family. With thanks and gratitude.

Here is the link: YOU CARING

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EAST GLOUCESTER ROCKY NECK SEWER WORK

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Sewer work

Smith Cove line rehab slated to begin in April

Dear Friends:

I have received the following communication from DPW Director Mike Hale concerning upcoming sewer work in the Smith Cove/Rocky Neck area.

   March 23, 2015

Phase III CSO Control Plan – Project 5: Water and Sewer Rehabilitation

Re: Notice of Pending Sewer Rehabilitation, Smith Cove Sewer Easement

Dear Residents and Businesses:

As you are aware, the City of Gloucester is currently completing a water and sewer rehabilitation project in the East Main Street and Rocky Neck neighborhoods to improve the service and reliability of the municipal wastewater collection and water distribution systems. The sewer rehabilitation component of the project involves cleaning the existing sewer pipes and installing a cured-in-place pipe (CIPP) liner from existing manholes in the street to avoid excavation and minimize disturbance.

The next phase of work will include sewer rehabilitation of the sewer pipe crossing under Smith Cove from Rocky Neck Avenue within the City sewer easement limits of work area shown on the attached plan. The schedule for the rehabilitation work within the sewer easement crossing Smith Cove has not yet been finalized, but is anticipated to occur in April of 2015. The proposed Smith Cove sewer rehabilitation will also involve installation of CIPP liner from existing manholes so excavation and disturbance within the easement will be minimized.

Planned Work
Temporary Force Main (#229/R to #285 East Main Street and #5, #9 Rocky Neck Ave.)

In preparation for future sewer rehabilitation, the City’s Contractor (N. Granese & Sons) will install a temporary sewer pipe (force main) along the edge of the road from the Rocky Neck parking lot to the Beacon Marine pump station as shown on attached map. The temporary pipe will remain in place for approximately one month. When the pipe crosses driveway entrances, the contractor will create ramps of asphalt to allow vehicles to cross, or will excavate in road and bury the pipe if required to allow access to driveways. Following completion of the project, the contractor will clean up the area and repave the road where cuts were made.

Parking will be restricted along the route of this force main for the duration of the project.

Temporary Pump Station (in vicinity of #1 Eastern Point Rd. and #5 to #16 Rocky Neck Ave.)

The Contractor will then install temporary pumps in Rocky Neck Avenue to bypass the sewer flow through the temporary force main and allow work on the sewer pipe in Smiths Cove to proceed.

The pump station will be tested for a period of 48-hours and later will be run for approximately seven days. The station will run 24-hours a day and will be powered by diesel generators. They will be sound attenuated to reduce the impacts on the neighborhood but there will be some noise 24-7, with the pumps operating and workers attending and refueling the generators and pumps periodically.

Traffic will be restricted to one lane (alternating traffic) in the vicinity of the temporary pump station during the installation, testing, and operation of the temporary pump station.


Rocky Neck Parking Lot
During the work, the contractor will be staging equipment and materials in the parking lot on Rocky Neck Avenue. Parking will be restricted in the vicinity of the temporary pump station during this project (approximately one month), and when the rehabilitation work is underway (approximately 7 days) parking will be restricted on the majority of the parking lot.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience you may incur during this process. The City appreciates your patience and forbearance during this important project. If you have any questions, or require additional information, please contact Scott Vesey (Construction Manager) at 978-973-6539 or Don Peavey (Department of Public Works) at 978-479-2184.

Sincerely,
Michael Hale
Director of Public Works

unnamed-1For more information

Please check the City of Gloucester website for further updates at www.gloucester-ma.gov

Chickity Check It!- Kristy Asaro’s Coyote Photos From Her Parents’ Back Porch In East #GloucesterMA

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Check Out Way More Photos Of The Coyote Up Close And Personal (Click On The Photos On Her Site For The Larger Sized Versions)and Subscribe to Kristy’s Blog Here- http://www.imaginekristy.com/w2/coyote/

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