Since it’s founding in 1873, the Cape Ann Historical Society has
been dedicated to the preservation and protection of its historic port
community’s cultural heritage. The existing museum, which already
filled the downtown site, needed additional space to house its 20th
Century Collection. James Cullion Architects and the Museum Board decided
to build on top of the existing 2 story flat roofed building that contains
an auditorium on the lower level and a decorative arts gallery.
This 3rd level gallery is conveniently located off the
existing main circulation spine, off of which all other galleries can
The new square-plan gallery has a painted wood planked ceiling, supported
by two large wooden laminated arched trusses, recalling the structural
members used in the construction of wooden hulled ships. These trusses
span the room diagonally intersecting at the mid-point some 24’
above the floor allowing for a column free gallery.
The space is ideal for the grand scale of 20th century
painting and sculpture. The 6’ diameter round window provides
indirect north light as well as view and orientation to the outdoors.
The gallery is a fresh and welcome addition to the city streetscape