On 30 November, our Works Committee meeting will feature speaker Cathie Zusy, presenting a talk about Magazine Beach! It will be at the Cambridge Skating Club. Please arrive by 9:45am.
November 30, 2016 Talk by Cathie Zusy, Chair of the Magazine Beach Park Committee,
and President of the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association
Cambridge Skating Club
40 Willard Street
Coffee at 9:45 am
Talk: 10 am
Part of the DCR’s Charles River Reservation, Magazine Beach Park – at 15+ acres – is the second largest park in Cambridge, and arguably, its most historic. It features a granite-block powder magazine, built in 1818, that was once one of the state militia’s most important facilities. In 1899, the powerhouse was repurposed when the site was transformed by a program of landfilling into an Olmsted-designed riverfront park. From 1900 through World War II, Magazine Beach was a popular swimming destination, but pollution led to the prohibition of swimming and the closing of the beach in 1949. A Metropolitan District Commission pool and playing fields were added to the site in the 1950s, but maintenance was minimal and the park – and its historic powerhouse – deteriorated. Efforts to revitalize the Magazine Beach began in the early 2000s with the rebuilding of eroded riverbanks and refurbishing of soccer and baseball fields.
The pace stepped up six years ago, when Cathie Zusy began advocating for improvements at Magazine Beach. Since November 2010 when the Cambridgeport Neighborhood Association did its first park cleanup, community volunteers have written a history of the site, mounted exhibitions, made movies, organized three full summers of programs, and secured funding to stabilize the Power Magazine and update the park plan. The DCR completed a historical structure report in early 2016, and a landscape design for the park is expected by the end of the year.
In her talk, Cathie will share the rich history of Cambridge’s second largest park, the community’s efforts to revitalize it, and the latest park design. Cambridge needs this green open space along the river!
About the Speaker
Cathie Zusy has led the development of museum exhibitions, educational programs, audiotours, historic walking tours, archeological excavations and community projects for over 30 years. As chief curator of the New Hampshire Historical Society, she oversaw the development of the National Endowment of the Humanities–funded “New Hampshire Through Many Eyes,” and the award-winning exhibition, “At What Cost? Shaping the Land We Call New Hampshire.” She has written and lectured extensively about the American Arts & Crafts movement and 19th-century industrial potteries. More recently, Cathie developed and led “If This House Could Talk…,” for Cambridgeport’s History Day.
Zusy has a bachelor’s degree from Bucknell University, where she studied history, art and language, and two masters degrees, one in Museum Studies from the Cooperstown (NY) Graduate Program and one in Teaching from Simmons College.
Cathie lives with her husband and son in Cambridgeport, and walks Magazine Beach several times each week.
For more info about Magazine Beach Park, go to: www.magazinebeach.org.