Hull Artists, the regional nonprofit arts association, prepared for Saturday’s nor’easter not only by shoring up the front entrance of Gallery Nantasket, but also took proactive steps to protect the former state police station where it hopes to open an arts center.
Sandra Weeks, the manager of Gallery Nantasket on the ground floor of the Ocean Place Condominiums at 121 Nantasket Ave., picked up sandbags from the Hull Department of Public Works and put them in place following the gallery’s closing on Friday.
“We are located directly across from Nantasket Beach, and the last couple of storms have either threatened or damaged the gallery,” Weeks said. “We were fortunate to have not suffered serious damage, but we need to be extra careful with a storm like this. We’re appreciative that the Town of Hull provided full sandbags to businesses and residents who needed them.”
Besides protecting Gallery Nantasket, Hull Artists members took it upon themselves to help protect the former police station building located at the corner of Wharf Avenue and Nantasket Avenue directly across from the Paragon Carousel. The 100+ year old building is owned by the state Department of Conservation and Recreation.
HA board member Betsy Taylor and her husband, Scott, took the initiative to obtain filled sandbags from the DPW and stack them at the building’s main entrance.
Taylor, who is on the HA board and the committee to create the Nantasket Center for the Arts in the long-vacant building, explained that she “was appalled that the DCR had taken no action to protect the building that has suffered serious physical damage from recent storms. The front door is now missing a small panel, and the gap is open toward the ocean.”
Hull Artists has, for the past couple of years, been actively involved in setting up a relationship with the DCR for the local artist group to rehabilitate and convert the building to a regional arts center.
“The DCR, which owns the building, should be interested in and taking active measures to protect this gorgeous building from further deterioration and decay,” Taylor said. “I’m seriously concerned that the building won’t survive much longer if it continues to be ignored and neglected by those responsible for maintaining this historic property. If it is damaged beyond reasonable repair it will be a huge loss for Hull Artists, the residents of Hull, and surrounding communities.”
Submitted by Bart Blumberg