This issue explores architecture in Cape Ann

May 28, 2021

S.C. Bugbee, Architect, architectural drawing of Pavilion Hotel for Sidney Mason, 1849. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Mrs. Julian James, 1912 [acc. #2013.54.1]

Dear Friends,

As spring turns toward summer this current issue of CAM Connects is focused on Architecture in honor of National Historic Preservation month.

CAM walking tours have been in popular demand during this past year, and to learn more about the architecture of certain homes around Gloucester, please be sure to sign up for our popular Bones of Homes tour series, with dates scheduled for July 11th and August 8th.

If you haven’t visited the Museum recently, please do join us in our Pleasant Street galleries where many new displays have been installed since reopening last September, including our re-imagined Fitz Henry Lane galleries, revised Fisheries & Maritime gallery, CAM(Re)Connects exhibit and most recently new mini-exhibits dedicated to Virginia Lee Demetrios and John Sloan.

In looking to many dynamic opportunities to gather and engage around art and ideas in the months ahead, the Museum in accordance with recently updated guidelines from both the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, in lifting mask requirements for visitors and staff, encourages those who are unvaccinated and anyone who feels more comfortable to continue wearing a mask. CAM is maintaining all current cleaning and safe social distancing protocols, and we are delighted to announce that as of June 1st the Museum will resume regular operating hours, Tuesday- Saturday 10am-5pm and Sunday 1-4pm.

There’s so much happening on Cape Ann, and to view offerings from our neighboring institutions, please visit this listing by the Museums of Cape Ann Collaborative.

Greatly looking forward to welcoming you to our Pleasant Street galleries, at the Cape Ann Museum Green (which opens on June 18) and on our walking tours around Cape Ann in the months ahead!

Oliver Barker, Director

What Untold Stories Live Within Our Historic Structures

Historic House Talk | PEM & Cape Ann Museum

Video still from What Untold Stories Live Within Our Historic Structures, a conversation between Steven Mallory, Manager of Historic Structures and Landscapes at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), Martha Oaks, Curator of the Cape Ann Museum (CAM), and Ken Turino, Manager of Community Partnerships and Resource Development at Historic New England.

In a rapidly changing world, museums are constantly exploring new models for engaging audiences and no more so than when it comes to old houses and historic sites. Listen in to learn what CAM and PEM are doing to activate their historic structures and what like organizations are doing across the country. What works and what doesn’t when it comes to historic house museums? What are historic sites’ responsibilities when it comes to telling the stories of all people’s lives, past and present? And what are the challenges? Click here to watch!

Phillips & Holloran Architecture Firm

Phillips & Holloran, Architects, Residence designed for S. K. Ames, Esq., 1914, ink on linen. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Gift of Cindy Holloran, 2011 [Acc. #2011.17].

Phillips & Holloran, one of Cape Ann's longest-lived and most successful architectural firms, produced 300-plus sets of drawings which are now preserved at the Cape Ann Museum. The firm was in business from 1894 through the 1960s. Their output included private residences, civic buildings, summer hotels, artist studios and commercial structures. They designed new construction as well as renovations and additions to projects initiated by other architects. They oversaw installation of heating and electrical systems, laid out tennis courts, converted horse stables into automobile garages and designed bandstands. For decades, they were the go to architects on Cape Ann.

Ezra Phillips in East Gloucester, c. 1920. Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Image courtesy of The History in Photograph Collection. In the background, under construction is Balmaha, a summer house in East Gloucester designed by Phillips. c. 1920.

The principals in the practice were Ezra L. Phillips (1870–1937) who trained with Hartwell & Richardson in Boston and who started the firm in 1894; Timothy Francis Holloran (1883–1966) who was apprenticed to Phillips as a young man and became a partner in 1926; and Robert T. Holloran (1919–2008) who received a degree in architecture from Wentworth Institute before joining in business with his father. Working during a time that witnessed the professionalization of the field of architecture, these men and their associates left an indelible mark on a substantial and important swath of Cape Ann’s built environment.

The second half of the 19th century and first quarter of the 20th witnessed a surge of residential growth across Cape Ann. Fueled by profits realized in the fishing and granite industries and the expanding tourist trade, people flooded into the area, some for summer getaways and others to live here permanently. Continue reading here and for even more on the firm, click here

And to view the CAM Library & Archives Finding Aid for the Phillips & Holloran Architecture Plans Collection, click here. The Library & Archives is open by appointment only. To schedule a Research Appointment, please email

The Architecture of Eleanor Raymond

Cape Ann Museum: Design/Build Lecture Series: Architect Eleanor Raymond: A Pioneer in the Field

Video still from VL55.1Architect Eleanor Raymond: A Pioneer in the Field. Speaker: Lyda Kuth. Date: 2/29/2016. 

Trivia question: Which architect designed the first solar-powered house in the U.S. in 1948? If you answered Eleanor Raymond, you’re correct! Raymond began her architecture career in the 1920s when the hurdles that women had to overcome in order to break into the field were dauntingly high. In her lecture, documentary filmmaker Lyda Kuth not only chronicles Raymond’s remarkable achievements but also explains how Raymond came to spend many happy years living and working on Cape Ann.

Video still from Visiting the Cottage of Eleanor Raymond and Ethel Power with Anne-Seymour St. John and Leon Doucette, 2021.

For this CAM Connects issue, we were generously invited to tour the cottage on Dolliver's Neck that Raymond lived in with her partner, and fellow architect, Ethel Power (who was also a well-known magazine editor for House Beautiful). CAM Docent and Board Member Anne-Seymour St. John has lived there for 26 years with her husband Albert, whose mother purchased the property directly from Eleanor Raymond. In this behind-the-scenes video, Anne-Seymour gives us a look at some items that Eleanor and Ethel left behind as well as the grounds, garden, and structures.

CAM Video Vault – Cape Ann’s Architectural Past

Outside of the presentation by architect Eleanor Raymond listed above, the CAM Video Vault has two further selections touching on various themes related to historic architecture in the region. 

Video still from VL23 – Your Old House: Paint and Maintain to Preserve Historic Character. Speaker: Sally Zimmerman. Date: 5/6/2010. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Click here for lecture transcript.

In the first video, architectural preservation consultant Sally Zimmerman speaks about the ways that homeowners can preserve their own historic structures. Zimmerman clarifies which historic characteristic of a house are important to retain and helps solve the dilemma of choosing a historically appropriate paint color. Zimmerman was the Manager of Historic Preservation Services at Historic New England for many years, and more information on the topics that she covers can be found on their website under Tips for Homeowners.

Video still from VL42 – Of Love, Death, and Liberty: The Hidden History of the Manchester Public Library. Speaker: William Cross. Date: 6/16/2012. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA.

Completed in 1887, the Manchester-by-the-Sea Public Library on Union Street was designed by Charles McKim of the New York-based architecture firm McKim, Mead and White in the Romanesque style popularized by H. H. Richardson. Manchester resident William Cross highlights McKim’s personal ties to Cape Ann while relating the intent behind the building’s function and motifs.

Evolution of CAM Buildings

Left: Cape Ann Historical Association, c. 1925. Photograph by Leon Abdalian. Collection of the Cape Ann Museum Library & Archives, Gloucester, MA. Right: Cape Ann Museum, 2014. Photograph by Steve Rosenthal.

How did the Cape Ann Museum at 27 Pleasant St. evolve from a Federal period Captain’s home to a multi-structure complex with five expansions and renovations since 1936? Bonnie Sontag provides a framework for the Museum’s architectural history in this presentation arranged by Bruce Shaw.

Arches to Zigzags

Left: Arches to Zigzags: An Architectural ABC by Michael J. Crosbie and Steve and Kit Rosenthal. Right: Steve Rosenthal while photographing the exterior of the Cape Ann Museum at 27 Pleasant Street, 2015. Photograph by CAM Staff.

CAM is pleased and honored to recognize the publication of architect and photographer Steve Rosenthal’s latest book Arches to Zigzags: An Architectural ABC. Joining Steve in the project were Kit Rosenthal and Michael J. Crosbie. Congratulations to all!

An architect by training and an accomplished and passionate photographer, Steve lives here on the North Shore and is a great friend of the Museum. His exhibit White on White, a photographic survey of historic meeting houses across New England, premiered here at CAM in 2009; more recently he spent over a year walking in the footsteps of American artist Winslow Homer. The photographs Steve took during that exploration were spotlighted alongside CAM’s Homer exhibition in 2019.

Arches to Zigzags introduces audiences (both young and old) to the world of architecture through the alphabet. Copies are available in the Museum Shop and through our new online store.