Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning Studio and Student Research and Creative Activity

Publication Date

Fall 2010


This project was sponsored by the Center for Economic Development at the University of Massachusetts, directed by John R. Mullin. At the request of UMass Amherst Chancellor Robert Holub and Vice Chancellor Joyce Hatch, John Mullin contracted Professor Jack Ahern and graduate student Benjamin Webb from the Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning to conduct this study. This study benefited from the help and participation of many individuals and organizations, including: Dean Steve Goodwin of the College of Natural Sciences at UMass Amherst; Juanita Holler, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities and Campus Services; Gregg Cademartori, Director of The City of Gloucester Planning Department and Sarah Buck Garcia, Gloucester Community Development Director. State Senator Bruce Tarr and State Representative Ann‐Margaret Ferrante have been instrumental in helping this project to gain important public visibility and support. The University of Massachusetts Boston, Salem State College, North Shore Community College, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Massachusetts Office of Marine Fisheries have expressed interest in a collaborative venture, and possible shared use of the Gloucester Marine Station with the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


The study commenced in July 2009 with historical research about the site and its context, site analysis, including the existing conditions and development regulations. This analysis included: topography, soils, vegetation, structures, utilities, easements, property deed, and city, state, and federal regulations. From this analysis an assessment of future development potentials was made based on the existing data/documents from UMass files, public records, Mass GIS data, site visits, and interviews with Gloucester, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other officials and stakeholders. From the assessment we identified potential future uses, building locations, and feasible alternative layouts of the site. These alternatives were summarily analyzed to support continuing discussions among committed and potential partners regarding shared space and facilities, development costs and timing of future needs.