The Stacy Boulevard site for the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Memorial was selected by the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association for the prominence of the location and the view it afforded of vessels entering the harbor. The City of Gloucester granted approval for the site in December of 1994. In June of 1998, the large boulder base for the statue was installed and in September of 1999, Ann Gilardi Johnson was commissioned to design the approximately 2635 square foot site around the boulder.
The design of the site proceeded after careful consideration of the concerns of the sculptor, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives, and the comfort of the potential visitors to the Memorial. The challenge facing the designer was to create a concept that integrated the sculpture with the site and views of the harbor while mitigating the narrowness of the site, the noise from the traffic passing the site, and the near constant wind generated by proximity to the ocean. A series of design plans, and finally a study model, was produced as part of an interactive process between the designer, sculptor, and the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives Association. By December of 1999, the final design concept was complete. In January of 2000 the design concept was introduced to the public in a presentation at City Hall.
Ms. Johnson designed four seat walls of native Rockport granite to form an oval–shaped enclosure around the memorial statue and memorial paving stones. The seat walls were designed in direct response to the desire of the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives for a space that would allow visitors to contemplate both the beauty of the sculpture and the beauty of the ocean. The site design provides four entries reflecting the compass points and the fact that the site is a gateway to Gloucester at the entrance to the harbor and the junction of route 127 and 133.
Massachusetts’ granite from Chelmsford was selected for the engraved paving stones, which were funded by the donations from families and friends of fishermen, mariners, and may others. Carpets of flowers on either side of the pathways provide color and further memorialize the faith, diligence and fortitude of the wives and families of fishermen and mariners.
Through the generosity of many donors, the Gloucester Fishermen’s Wives purchased all the materials for the construction of the site while the City agreed to fund the construction. Public bidding for construction proceeded in the summer of 2000 and ground was broken in November.
Contributions towards the maintenance of the memorial are welcome. Please send your tax deductible contribution to:
2 Blackburn Center
Gloucester, MA 01930
(make checks out to GFWM, Inc.)
For more information about the memorial, or to learn how to inscribe a granite pathway stone, please contact Mary Ann Genovese either by telephone at 508.344.9224 or via email at [email protected]