Tag Archives: photographs

The New Bedford Armory, Part II

armory_2004

If you read my essay titled A Castle for New Bedford: The Building of the New Bedford Armory, 1898-1904, you may be interested to know of recent developments regarding this important city landmark. Once again the fate of the Armory is receiving renewed public attention, thanks to a Standard-Times article by Steve Urbon titled Possible sale of armory sounds alarm bells in New Bedford regarding the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’s renewed effort to sell the Armory as a surplus state building under the management of the Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance (DCAMM). Urbon then did a follow-up article on the Armory’s current condition titled Tour reveals slow destruction of New Bedford Armory. The news was not good.

In 2003, nearly 100 years after its dedication, the Massachusetts National Guard announced to the City of New Bedford that it would be vacating the Armory. At that time, I had the opportunity to tour the Armory with city officials. I took several photos of the interior, in part, to document historic artifacts related to New Bedford’s military history. Posted below, they are in startling contrast to the 2017 photos published with Steve Urbon’s article (above), which documents the current state of deterioration from fire, vandalism and the elements.

In 2014, Jonathan Carvalho’s article highlighted the challenge of restoration and reuse of great old city buildings, including the Armory. The good news is that the Armory can be refurbished if not completely restored to its 1904 grandeur. The bad news: due mostly to human-inflicted damage (vandalism and arson), it will cost exponentially more to do so than it would have when I took these pictures in 2003. Regardless of the cost, the public, any/all interested parties, and especially the Armory neighborhood should make their voices heard on what will be the next chapter in the Armory’s history.

The Commander's Office's feature massive hearths one would expect to see in a Norman-style castle. In 2003, fireplace equipment and lighting sconces remained in place.

The Commander’s Offices feature massive hearths one would expect to see in a Norman-style castle. In 2003, fireplace equipment and lighting sconces remained in place. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Armory marble gilded dedication Tablet was in the foyer in 2003. Its current whereabouts is not known by the writer. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Armory marble gilded Dedication Tablet was in the foyer in 2003. Its current whereabouts is not known by the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The twin staircases on either side of the main corridor leading from the foyer were then in good condition. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The twin staircases on either side of the main corridor leading from the foyer were then in good condition. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

A canvas painted map of the Regiment's actions in World War II is now in the collection of the New Bedford Military Museum, operated by the Fort Rodman/Fort Taber Historical Association. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

A canvas painted map of the Regiment’s actions in World War II is now in the collection of the New Bedford Military Museum, operated by the Fort Rodman/Fort Taber Historical Association. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Detail of World War II Map now in the collection of the New Bedford Military Museum, operated by the Fort Rodman/Fort Taber Historical Association. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Detail of World War II Map (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Plaque of Battery E, current whereabouts unknown to the author .(photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Plaque of Battery E; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author .(photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Captains of Battery E; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Captains of Battery E; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Captains of Battery B; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Captains of Battery E; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Bell Rousseau; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

1801 Rousseau Bell and dedication plaque; current whereabouts of this object unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Detail of 1801 Bell Rousseau dedication plaque (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Detail of 1801 Rousseau Bell dedication plaque. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Display case of marksmanship trophies in the 2nd floor officers' lounge. Current whereabouts of these objects unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Display case of marksmanship trophies in the 2nd floor officers’ lounge. Current whereabouts of these objects unknown to the author. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Jail cells in the basement of the Armory. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Jail cells in the basement of the Armory. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Rifle range in the basement of the Armory. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Rifle range in the basement of the Armory. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Boiler Room in the basement of the Armory. A massive Smith Boiler drove the steam heating system for the Armory plant. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Boiler Room in the basement of the Armory. A massive gas-fired Smith Boiler drove the steam heating system for the Armory plant. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Detail of the Boiler Room circulators. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

Detail of the Boiler Room circulators. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Kitchen/Mess in the Armory Basement. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Kitchen/Mess in the Armory Basement. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

In 2003, the men's and women's restrooms had been fully renovated by the Guard. Unfortunately, vandals have since destroyed the fixtures. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

In 2003, the men’s and women’s restrooms had been fully renovated by the Guard. Unfortunately, vandals destroyed the fixtures before the building was secured after the 2009 arson. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Drill Hall in 2003. The good news is that it remains intact. It also remains the City's single largest uninterrupted floor space. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

The Drill Hall in 2003. The good news is that it remains intact. It also continues to be the City’s single largest uninterrupted floor space at nearly 14,000 sq. ft. (photo: Arthur Motta, 2003)

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Rare photos featured in “Old Houses of Old Dartmouth” lecture, Oct. 14

Bob Maker will present an illustrated lecture on the early architecture of Old Dartmouth (present-day Westport, Dartmouth, New Bedford, Fairhaven and Acushnet) at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on AHA! night, Thursday, Oct. 14, at 6:45 p.m. in the Cook Memorial Theater.

The presentation will focus on the Museum’s Palmer & Worth collection, which contain rare photographs of more than 200 buildings dating from the 1680s to the 1840s, compiled in an unpublished volume donated to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society in 1907 by Herbert and Anna Cushman.

Howland-Tripp house, east side of Pine Hill meeting house road, about 3/4 miles south of Head of Westport. Photo by Fred Palmer, c 1905 (#2000.100.80.77)

“Some of these buildings are still standing, many are not, and in many cases these photos are the only known images of some of our area’s earliest buildings,” said Mr. Maker, who lives in New Bedford and has done extensive research on many aspects of local history.

Beginning in 1904, photographer Fred W. Palmer and historian Henry B. Worth collaborated to document the earliest extant buildings in the original township of Old Dartmouth. Predominantly exterior views, the photos are currently held in their original form as nitrate and glass negatives in the Adaline H. Perkins Rand Photo & Digital Archive, located in the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library.

Henry Worth meticulously researched each of the buildings Palmer photographed, combining information from many sources with his own extensive knowledge of architectural styles and construction techniques.

Conceived by Mr. Maker, the Palmer & Worth project was conducted in the Museum’s Departments of Digital Initiatives, Photography, and the Research Library. This program is supported in part by grants from the Dartmouth and Fairhaven Cultural Councils, local agencies which are supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.

View many of these photos through our flickr set.

For more information, contact:
Arthur Motta
Director, Marketing & Communications
(508) 997-0046, ext. 153
amotta@whalingmuseum.org

Right Whale Photos

BBC – Earth News posting with a 10-image slideshow that focuses on the North Atlantic Right Whale.  Enjoy.

New Bedford Cordage Co, New Bedford MA. Records, 1839-1968

Uncovered from within a large box named “Industries”, and removed from folders just long enough to be properly cataloged within our database, were a group of 16  New Bedford Cordage Company photographs (Mss 1).  The full collection, housed both in the New Bedford Whaling Museum Research Library  and  the Adaline H. Perkins Rand Photographic and Digital Archives,  includes much more than this small group of photographs.

A stage in the manufacturing of rope. "Feed end of Spreader" (Photo by Joseph G. Tirrell)

Records of company directors and stockholders (1848-1958) including correspondence, minutes, reports, deeds and bills of sale for land or ships purchased by the firm, tax appraisals, and proposals relating to the company’s physical plant; correspondence, general accounts, employee’s wage book, and production and sales records reflecting the firm’s manufacture of binder twine, transmission rope, rope cables, and nylon rope for U.S. and world markets; product catalogs and advertisements (ca. 1911-1958); articles of organization of Cordage Institute, a national trade organization; and memoir and newspaper clippings concerning the history of the company. Includes information relating to National Cordage Company and Travers Brothers Company, both in New York, N.Y. Persons represented include Francis A. Bryant and Martin Walter, Jr., presidents of the company.

Original funds for processing this collection were provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Coach with two large rolls of cordage in front of the New Bedford Cordage Company. (Photo by Joseph G. Tirrell)

Visit our flickr set to view all photos in this collection.

Working Waterfront Festival Publishes Book

Our friends at the Working Waterfront Festival have announced publication of Voices from the Waterfront: Portrait of the New Bedford Fishing Industry.

A reception to celebrate the release of the book will take place at the New Bedford Whaling Museum on Thursday, January 14th at 6:30 PM in conjunction with New Bedford’s monthly celebration of art, history, and architecture – AHA . The reception is free and open to the public. Photographer Mark Starr and Co-editors Kirsten Bendiksen and Laura Orleans will be on hand to talk about creating the book which will be available for purchase.

This 80-page book is based on interviews conducted over a five year period with 43 individuals from the New Bedford/Fairhaven fishing community. Their voices provide a rare first hand accounting of life and work in the port.

Those interviewed include retired and active fishermen, lumpers, auctioneers, shoreside business owners, fisheries scientists, a tug boat captain, fishing family members and others. Oral history excerpts are accompanied by black and white portraits taken by photographer Markham Starr.

Close Encounters of the Giant Kind

Hear what photographer Brian Skerry has to say about his close encounter with a 45-foot-long right whale in this video on youtube. This photograph is also featured in our new exhibit, From Pursuit to Preservation: The Human Interaction with Whales.

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