Tag Archives: Hammond Castle

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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Gloucester Motif Monday: coastal homes with cut out shutters

From where I was standing in Gloucester neighborhoods, here are several homes (and one gallery) with cut out shutters; beginning with the green shutters seen on the Beauport, Sleeper-McCann house, one of Gloucester’s two National Historic Landmarks, and a Historic New England property.

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Beyond shutters: beginning with “Lookout Hill”, estate built by Natalie and John Hays Hammond, Sr :

Super special offers September 24 Holland America Cruise Ship and Trails&Sails

How exciting that  Holland America  and Trails and Sails are coming to Gloucester and Cape Ann this weekend! There are many special offers and events to help welcome visitors. This will be the second of three big cruise ships coming into port this month to Cruiseport Gloucester. It won’t leave Gloucester harbor till 11PM.  Last time I expected sight seeing, museum visits and shopping as reasons passengers disembarked. They did that. If you go by the clicker counter, 844 (give or take another hundred), plus 650 who pre-booked excursions, came ashore.

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photo caption: Elizabeth Carey Discover Gloucester greeted and clicked. Peter Webber Cape Ann Chamber photograph.

I was surprised by how many passengers from a seemingly all inclusive cruise opted to take a whale watch trip and dine out. They did that, too. I’ll report back fun facts, but today I wanted to post about the special offers and events.

Working TOGETHER to welcome everyone is a beautiful thing. Thanks to the organizers (with a big shout out to Jeanne Hennessey, Joe Ciolino, Kathie Gilson, Peter Webber, Lorre Anderson, Bob Ryan and Elizabeth Carey):

 

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photo caption: Bob Ryan/CATA, Jeanne Hennessey, Paul Talbot at Cruiseport planning out logistics for Saturday September 24, 2016

CATA created a special map for continuous downtown trolley loops (“frequency is key”) and to Rocky Neck and Rockport. The special pass covers their bus routes. What an incredible deal! They are extending operations until 10PM.  A new addition: Beauport Ambulance Services will be offering a shuttle bus for an Essex/Manchester/Cruiseport route. Kathie Gilson prepared and made hundreds of copies of a lobster roll list (a big common request), special events, and the Gimme Sound music schedule. Kudos to the volunteers, organizations and businesses for their hard work and creativity.

And now for Gloucester downtown Special events and offers. You can click logos to follow links.

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Art museums in Massachusetts are closer than they appear. Gloucester, Google maps and upcoming exhibitions

 

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Last week I was in the Amherst area to meet with clients at a museum. I added on a couple of exhibitions that I knew were closing before I’d be back in that area. I have to map out shows or I miss them.

If you do an online search for ‘art museums in Massachusetts’ or ‘best of’ museum inquiries there are several helpful lists that pop up. The New England Museum Association for one has stepped up their digital presence for their membership directory. Still, must-see institutions on the North Shore and Cape Ann are rarely high lighted, buried deeply, and frequently absent from compilation lists ( see omissions at Artcyclopedia, Massvacation, Tripadvisor, visit Massachusetts, art-collecting, etc.)

Here’s a link to Massachusetts Art Museums created in Google maps. Part 2 Massachusetts 2016 fall/winter museum exhibition guide coming!

Upcoming show trends include: illuminated manuscripts, citizenship, art of picture books, and vintage and contemporary photography.

 

 

 

Motif Monday: Gloucester Crossing

It’s not common to integrate a bridge into New England homes. From where I was standing, a few of the intriguing thresholds in Gloucester and Rockport that announce their entry. Whether simple or ornate, necessary or whimsical, or both –who doesn’t like a journey and a bit of suspension? I enjoy thinking about themes of transition, space and connections.

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Local bridges and architecture in two drawings by Edward Hopper

blynman bridge 1923-24

landscape with bridge watercolor whitney

 

Archway at Hammond Castle

Walking around the grounds of the Hammond Castle is beautiful. The Hammond Castle will be opening soon for tours inside. Please follow the link below to get more information regarding Hammond Castle.

http://www.hammondcastle.org/common/index.php?com=HAMM&div=AA&nav=AA&page=A91

March 31, 2016 archway at Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle

On Tuesday morning I was invited to take a tour of Hammond Castle, first I would like to thank Orianna and John for taking me around. If you have never been there, you are missing an amazing place with so much history. For more information on The Hammond Castle please go to http://www.hammondcastle.org.

An upcoming fun event at the Castle will be The Medieval Fair, July 18 and 19th from 11:00 – to 5:00 pm. During the summer Hammond Castle will have candle light tours in July and August starting at 6:30, 7:30 and 8:15. The dates are July 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th and August, 13th and 20th.

GloucesterCast 109- With A Full House Of GMG Characters Taped 12/21/14

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GloucesterCast 109- With A Full House Of GMG Characters Taped 12/21/14

Topics Include: 9 GMG Peeps In The House- Peter Lovasco, Mrs Grumpypants Kim Smith, Alicia DeWolfe, Premenstrual Donna Arizzoni, Fresh Off The Stripper Pole Melissa Cox, Bill Cox, Frank Ciolino and Mr Effervescent Toby Pett and Host Joey Ciaramitaro. The GMG Holiday Party Recap, Taking a Cab, Thanks To Kathleen Erikson and Matt Beach for The Prosecco and Meat Plate, Kay Ellis Cucumber, Toby’s Chowder, Felicia’s Incredible Treats, Thanks To Fred Bodin, Re-carpeting Fred Bodin’s Back Room, The Winner of Sista Felicia’s Cookbook from Week 5 Subscriber contest Katherine Donlon, Week Six Gloucestercast Podcast New Subscriber Contest Prize Donated By Donna Ardizzoni is A Cape Pond Ice Coffee Mug Subscribe Here For a Chance To Win, The Rocky Neck Polar Plunge, Bring Dry Good Food For Donations To Be Collected At The Polar Plunge for Open Door, Peter Lovasco and Donna Ardizzoni and Melissa Cox all Pinky Swear During the Podcast To Do The Rocky Neck Polar Plunge, Christmas Eve Forecast From GMG Weatherman Pete, Downtown Gloucester Looked Like A Scene Out Of A Dickens Novel Saturday Morning, Gloucester’s DES Club, Fosters From Gloucester Now A Shell Station Which Means You Can Now Use Your Stop and Shop Card To Get HUGE Savings on Gas, Do Locals Go To Beauport The Sleeper-McCann House?, Cape Ann Museum Free To Gloucester Residents All Month Long in January, Hammond Castle, Pete Wonders About Beach Restoration At Good Harbor Beach, Harvesting Salt Hay and WPA Salt Water Marsh Depression Project, Wrapping Christmas Presents- That First Package vs That Last Package, Pinoli VIP Night and Review- Joey and Kim Disagree On The Pinoli Renovation, Melissa Cox Is Moving, Burnham’s Field Is A Total Destination Now, Relay For Life At Burnham’s Field This Year, Weatherman Pete- Oblivious To All Things GMG Except Weatherman Pete Stuff, Joey C, frank Ciolino and Donna Ardizzoni In the Relay For Life Dunk Tank, Fort Square Cafe, Georges Coffee Shop, Two Sisters Hash, Pinoli Open For Brunch Starting In January, Foreign Affairs Of Joey C’s Top 5 Restaurants North Of Boston, Blue Ox, Lone Gull, The Brewery, Rusty Shatford, Windward Grille, Azorean Steak Tips and Affordable Martinis, Breaking Nonnis Restauarant News- Top Secret and Joey C Wish For Willow Rest II, Kick You In The Cajones Cafe El Aguila Coffee from Toby, Glosta Joes Coffee Still Available At Paulines Gift Shop,  Alicia DeWolfe, Myron Lepine, and Laurie Lufkin In Cape Ann Magazine For Cooking Competitions, Thankful For Friendships, Donna Plugs Cape Pond Ice

podcasticon1GMG Podcast #109 Joey, Toby, Pete, Frank, Melissa, Bill. Alicia, Donna _Kim Smith 2014 Joey, Donna, Frank _Kim Smith 2014Donna Ardizzoni Donated A Cape Pond Ice Mug for  This Week’s New GloucesterCast Subscriber Contest.  One Of The First Ten New Subscribers Will Win the Mug to Be picked Up Here At The Dock. Subscribe Here For a Chance To Win

Public Art: Two more Justin Desilva crosswalks downtown Gloucester

Cat Ryan submits-

Hi Joey

As a reminder, there will be 20 temporary mixed media crosswalks throughout downtown by artist, Justin Desilva (Rhode Island School of Design alumnus). Each one features different HarborWalk story moment content.  Special thanks to Ben’s Paint.

Here’s the TS Eliot work along the intersection of Washington Street and Main by Tallys. The HarborWalk Story Moment marker #2 featuring TS Eliot is further down on the path by St. Peter’s and Cape Ann Brewing.

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Comments included how the images change depending upon where and how one is looking (viewing the images through a lens, or viewfinder, from a distance, or up close).

This man thought it was fun to compare Justin’s ideas and process with Seurat and other Pointillists. The pug is unfazed by the new surface over his frequent path past Joan of Arc. The HarborWalk Joan of Arc story marker is #37. We’ll ask Justin about his ideas in another post.

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Today’s intermittent rain slowed down the process, but not the speed of the cars! (Drivers fly past Joan of Arc heading to the Boulevard).

Thanks to Phyllis Cucuru for spending time with us and supplying a barney trash bag. Feeling fortunate that Café Sicillia, Building Center and other businesses are open on Sunday as we had to make a couple of trips. Desilva was planning to complete Hammond Castle and one in tribute to the Dory (on Main Street by Café Sicillia and Short and Main).

Here’s the Hammond Castle site BEFORE looking down to the Boulevard and out to the harbor. There’s also a photo looking back in the direction of the Joan of Arc memorial.

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The 2013 Gloucester HarborWalk Public Art Challenge was a competitive, two-stage, open process established and administered by the Committee for the Arts (CFTA) on behalf of the City of Gloucester, and at the direction of Mayor Kirk and the City’s Community Development Department under Sarah Garcia. Funding for the purchase of public art was provided through a grant from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Seaport Advisory Council. The awards reflect discussions, community development, planning and determination to remember and work towards incorporating the creative arts broadly alongside other city efforts. Gloucester hearts art! For further information Gloucester Committee for the Arts

Have an idea? Want to get involved or volunteer? Please email friends of the HarborWalk gharborwalk@gmail.com or visit http://www.ghwalk.org

Hammond Castle is preparing for their Halloween fundraiser "Castle of Madness"

Hi Joey,

Hammond Castle is preparing for their Halloween fundraiser “Castle of Madness” and they’re looking for volunteers, high school and above, for cast and crew. There are six evening performances: Oct. 18, 19, 25, 26 & Nov. 1 & 2.

There’s an organizational meeting for interested volunteers this Thursday, September 26, 7PM, at Hammond Castle. There’s a few paid positions available as well. Working on the “Castle of Madness” is a blast, and attending it is wicked scary fun!

Thanks for posting this, Joey… I’ll send along updates & pics along the way.

Linn Parisi

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Hammond Castle

Hi Joey,  we sure enjoyed meeting you a few mornings ago and are enjoying the sights and sounds of Glosta/Cape Ann.  Even though Hammond Castle is closed for the season (except for Haunted Nights), I poked around and caught this pic of autumn leaves framing a back window.  Just a little something different.
Cheers, Sharon St Clair-King and Chuck King.

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Walking around the Hammond Castle

John Hays Hammond, Jr. built his medieval-style castle between the years 1926
and 1929 to serve both as his home and as a backdrop for his collection of
Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts. The castle was constructed as a
wedding present for his wife Irene Fenton Hammond to prove how much he cared for
her.   In addition, the building housed the Hammond Research Corporation, from
which Dr. Hammond produced over 400 patents and the ideas for over 800
inventions.  Second only to Thomas Alva Edison in number of patents, John
Hammond was one of America’s premier inventors.  His most important work was the
development of remote control via radio waves, which earned him the title, “The
Father of Remote Control.”

 

Hammond Castle

This place is such a jewel in our great city.  Here is a little information on the Hammond Castle.   Hammond Castle is located on the coast of Gloucester, Massachusetts. The castle, which was constructed between 1926 and 1929, was the home and laboratory of John Hays Hammond, Jr. Mr. Hammond was an inventor who was a pioneer in remote control and held over four hundred patents. The building is a collection of 15th, 16th, and 18th century architectural elements and sits on a hill overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.  At present, the castle operates as the Hammond Castle Museum, with Hammond’s collection of Roman, medieval, and Renaissance artifacts, and exhibits about his life and inventions. Tours are self-guided, and visitors may explore the eight chambers, an elaborate courtyard, two towers and an elaborate ballroom.

Hammond Castle Archway

March 27, 2012 Archway

What a view

March 27, 2012 Hammond Castle

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