As a part of the Middle Street Walk festivities, this Saturday, December 11th, professional Conservator, Lisa Mehlin, will be leading 15-minute tours of the Saunders House’s historic WPA Murals that are currently being restored at the Sawyer Free Library. She will speak to both their history and the conservation process.
The grand murals located in the Saunders House, completed in 1934 by Fredrick L. Stoddard and Howard Curtis as a part of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration, are currently being restored by the Sawyer Free Library. Titled “Scenes of the Region,” the murals depict maritime culture against a backdrop of the agrarian life that supported the early settlement of Gloucester, capturing the activity of the busy working harbor with views of the distant rocky shoreline, the city, Rocky Neck, Ten Pound Island and also a simplified representation of Dogtown Common and old “Whale’s Jaw.”
Learn more about the murals from conservator Lisa Mehlin. Fifteen-minute tours will be available from 10:00-12:00 pm. Registration for a time slot is required at sawyefreelibrary.org.
The Sawyer Free Libraryis excited to be hosting the 2021 Middle Street Walk Gingerbread Contest on Saturday, December 11. All gingerbread houses are welcome, but this year the Library is offering a special “Samuel Sawyer Award” for the best gingerbread creation representation of a historic Gloucester building. Top prizes for the Historic Gloucester Gingerbread Houses include $100 and $50 Cape Ann Chamber Gift Certificates. All Middle Street Walk Gingerbread House entries will be displayed at the Sawyer Free Library located at 2 Dale Avenue throughout the day. Open to all ages, for more information including contest rules and to register, go to sawyerfreelibrary.org
As a part of the Middle Street Walk festivities, the Library will also have activities for all ages throughout the day celebrating the theme “Where the Past is the Present.” To follow are the highlights:
An exhibition of “Then and Now” photographs of Middle Street, including some buildings that are standing today. Archival photographs from Cape Ann Museum are juxtaposed with current photos of identical spots on Middle Street. Illustrating the side-by-side pictures will be a short description of the history of specific buildings with highlights including St. John’s Episcopal Church, the Unitarian Universalist Church, American Legion, Saunders House, and 57 & 87 Middle Street.
Tours of the historic Saunders House WPA Murals with restorationist, Lisa Mehlin. The grand murals completed in 1934 by Fredrick L. Stoddard and Howard Curtis as a part of the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration are currently being restored by the Library. Titled “Scenes of the Region,” the murals depict maritime culture against a backdrop of the agrarian life that supported the early settlement of Gloucester. Learn more about the murals and their restoration process from conservator Lisa Mehlin. Fifteen-minute tours will be available from 10:00-12:00 pm. Registration is required. Register HERE.
From 10:30am -12:30pmJazz Guitarist Steve Lacey will be playing jazz standards from the early 20th century to accompany the historic exhibits at Middle Street Walk.
The Children’s Library will host children, their families, and caregivers at 10 am for a morning of fun with craft-making inspired by nature. Then at 12noon, all are invited to join a special presentation of Curious Creatures, an engaging introduction to live and exotic animals from around the world where you can learn about the animals, their habitats, biodiversity, and conservation. Both events are open to children of all ages.
All Sawyer Free Library Middle Street Walk activities are free and open to the public to enjoy. The Library is located at 2 Dale Avenue in Gloucester and will be open from 10 am – 5 pm. For more information and to register, go to sawyerfreelibrary.org or call 978-325-5500.