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Information for the
City of Gloucester, Mass
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balances its intertwined past and future with assurance and skill. The
city, long renowned among artists for the purity of its light, has
traditionally been the home of internationally known painters like Winslow
Homer, Edward Hopper and Fitzhugh Lane and sculptors like Walker Hancock.
In addition, the Cape Ann Symphony makes its home in Gloucester as does
the critically acclaimed Gloucester Theatre Company, whose director and
playwright, Israel Horovitz, is known on and off Broadway.
But the beautiful harbor that attracts a sizeable artistic population is
also a working harbor which is one of the top three fishing ports in the
northeast. The picturesque fishing fleet, manned primarily by Portuguese
and Italian residents of the city, supports a major fish packaging and
freezing industry. Residents note emphatically that the city is not a
bedroom community, offering work to many of its residents in five
industrial parks which produce everything from T-shirts to electronics and
Gloucester is equally proud of the diversity of its population, with
working class and ethnic residents as well as old wealthy families and
newer summer visitors. Estimates indicate that summer residents push up
the population by about a third, drawn by the physical beauty of its
location, by the vigorous whale-watching industry, sea-side restaurants
and colorful festivals. Understanding the value of its healthy working
waterfront, Gloucester has sought to protect it by banning all residential
development there. However, acknowledging that the fishing industry is
changing rapidly, the city is planning to develop further a controlled
tourism, working with the National Park Service on proposals to create an
historic industrial fishing park which will feature a working fishing
The city hopes to use its physical setting and history as a basis for
balanced growth and change, without losing those characteristics most
loved by its residents.
Northeastern Massachusetts on Cape Ann, bordered by Manchester and Essex
on the west, the Atlantic Ocean on the north and south, and Rockport on
the east. Gloucester is 15 miles northeast of Salem, 31 miles northeast of
Boston, and 243 miles from New York City.
Narrative compiled by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and
Community Development (DHCD).