, Gloucester, MA

Latest Cape Ann News

October 16, 2012

Cultural lift for Essex

ESSEX — A portion of Essex encompassing Main Street, winding along the Essex River to include the Shipbuilding Museum, galleries and antique shops, and ending at the Methodist Church, has now joined 13 other such districts in holding the label of a state-designated cultural district.

The designation of the new Essex River Cultural District, decided in a vote by the Massachusetts Cultural Council Board, means the state will market the district through the state Office of Tourism, providing, among things, a profile page featuring Essex on the tourism office’s website.

Jean Grobe, the town’s cultural district representative and owner of the White Elephant, said the designation will assist Essex in becoming a destination spot and may also help fill emptied store fronts along the stretch.

”It’s really helpful to create our assets in Essex and pull everything together and define what Essex is for people,” Grobe said. “As this evolves and we get more creative, we’d like to see some interesting businesses come into the Silly Goose and Joshua’s Corner and some of the businesses that have gone by the wayside.”

Grobe said the three-year Route 133 state reconstruction project completed last winter knocked some shops and restaurants out of business. But, she said the construction also made Essex a better candidate for the state cultural district title by improving sidewalks and creating a more walkable Main Street.

The Massachusetts Cultural Council Board defines a cultural district as a “compact, walkable area of a community with a concentration of cultural facilities, activities and assets.”

Grobe said that, after reading the state’s description, she decided Essex should apply.

“This is really a perfect fit for Essex,” said Grobe — who, along with the Essex Merchants Group, the Essex Shipbuilding Museum and Selectmen, liaisoned by Selectman Susan Coviello, filled out the town’s application and hosted visitors from the Massachusetts Cultural Council Board on site visits.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest Cape Ann News

Pictures of the Week
Your news, your way
Comments Tracker
AP Video Network
13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp