Paint Factory Update: Work on Building A Begins

There were originally six buildings on the Tarr and Wonson Paint Manufactory site, the new home of Ocean Alliance in Gloucester, MA. Buildings D and F were condemned by the city and were taken down (when we have raised the money they will be put back up with the original facade). Building E is finished and now houses our offices. The restoration of the chimney is complete so we are now focusing our efforts on what we call Buildings A and B (the two remaining brick buildings).

Paint Factory site mapBuilding A was the first major building to go up on the site in the 1860’s. It was the copper mill where the copper oxide was ground down to make the anti-fouling paint invented by James G. Tarr and Augustus Wonson. Building B is where the chimney terminates. This was the furnace building that held the original steam engine that not only ran equipment through a series of belts but also heated the entire facility.

Interior of Building A at the Paint FactoryCurrently Building A has a slate roof and Building B has a shingle roof. We will be replacing the slates and shingles with a synthetic slate made of recycled materials by the Authentic Roof Company of Ontario, Canada that is particularly suited to stand up to the harsh weather environment in Gloucester, MA. Building A has an amazing wrought iron structure that holds the slates in place, so to preserve this structure, when we remove the slates we will install Murus Structural Insulated Panels. We will save as many slates as we can in the hope that they can be used by our local art community. The buildings will also be repointed, doors replaced, and Marvin windows from AW Hastings installed. The original lettering “COPPER BOTTOM PAINT” will be repainted on the wall. We’re pleased to have Geoffrey Richon & Co. as the general contractor for this work.

The exterior work is fully funded so we are now raising funds for the interior build-out. The goal is to have these buildings fully watertight and airtight before year’s end so that we can start working on the interior over the winter (framing, insulation, wiring, plumbing and dry wall, lighting). Please contact Iain Kerr if you would like to be a part of this historic restoration.