GHWALK ABOUT - Gloucester HarborWalk
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Gloucester HarborWalk is a free, public access walkway and walking tour along Gloucester’s working waterfront and historic downtown district. The self-guided walking tour is defined by 42 granite Story Posts. As you walk from post to post you can extend your experience with special exhibits, events, public art, gardens, scenic views and multi-media content available via your mobile phone.


Completed in 2012, the vision and design concept for the multi award-winning Gloucester HarborWalk was the result of discussion, partnership and synergy between Seaport Advisory Council, the city of Gloucester and a team of dedicated volunteers and residents, lead by Architectural Design firm Cambridge Seven Associates. The 1.2-mile path traverses Gloucester’s working waterfront and downtown commercial district. By connecting new, refurbished and existing public spaces, the HarborWalk highlights the unique character and culture while respecting the authentic beauty of America’s Oldest Seaport.


The HarborWalk’s design palette draws on the native maritime and cultural materials of Cape Ann, employing wood boardwalks, granite and brick paving, wood light poles, and granite benches assembled from salvaged local stone.


Native tree and perennial plantings enhance areas for teaching sustainability and hosting migratory birds and butterflies.


The American Alliance of Museums Gold MUSE Award
Recognizing outstanding museum achievement as part of its international awards

Announcements are made during the American Alliance of Museums massive annual conferences. Not only was the HarborWalk nominated, but it won in 2013 in its category for its Walking Cinema, in competition with museums like the National Museum of American History (which took the bronze), and the Whitney, MET and MoMa winning in other categories prior years. Maritime Gloucester and Cape Ann Museum are featured in the HarborWalk.

The Waterfront Center's 'Excellence on the Waterfront Award'

Recognizing top quality design and development work from around the world

This Waterfront Center award was a juried competition, and the HarborWalk was in the good company of other winners such as Brooklyn Bridge Park and some very large scale developments in California, New Zealand and Angola.

The Waterfront Center for decades has led the way with serious waterfront chronicling and education from all points of view (public access, what waterfront spaces means, creative collaboration, sustainability, etc.) They’ve worked in at least 40 states, and across the globe in places such as Japan, UK, Italy, and France. They introduced inspirational annual honors in 1987, with funding support from the NEA. In that first year, top Honors went to the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and Battery Park City. Each year a select, interdisciplinary jury considers a wide array of now global submissions. The Waterfront Center is working towards a digital catalog, which will be a complete, illustrated, interactive database of all these annual showcased projects. How great that Gloucester will be included.

Kenneth E. Pickard Municipal Innovation Award

Kenneth E. Pickard Municipal Innovation Award from the Massachusetts Municipal Association

Massachusetts Municipal Associatioto Gloucester HarborWalk for being a unique and creative project, and increasing the effectiveness of local government.

Golden Shoe from WalkBoston
City of Gloucester creatively getting Gloucester Walking

WalkBoston awarded the Gloucester HarborWalk with The Golden Shoe Award 3/20/13.

Every year WalkBoston recognizes communities that are making “major strides” to improve conditions for walking which is a wonderful endorsement of the great work around the HarborWalk, city planning, and community development.

Commonwealth Awards - City of Gloucester, MA Creative Community

Massachusetts Cultural Council state awards

The Massachusetts Cultural Council recognized the City of Gloucester for its unparalleled setting along the boundaries of the working waterfront and its rich concentration of museums, performing arts spaces, studios, galleries, and unique locally owned shops and restaurants. The HarborWalk, renovations at Cape Ann Museum and the City’s two cultural districts were the key factors that contributed to the honor. A primary goal of the HarborWalk was to reunite the City’s working waterfront with its historical Main Street and cultural institutions to create destination in the downtown/harbor area.  Its success in bringing together the partnerships and elements for this unity is made visible by the May 2013 designation from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for Gloucester’s downtown Harbortown Cultural District.

Innovative Placemaking Space | 2013 MA Smart Growth Alliance

Highlighted with other Innovative MA Placemaking Spaces, Ma Smart Growth Alliance, ABX

The Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance special 10 year celebration during the annual Architectural Boston Expo (ABX) showcased Gloucester and the HarboWalk along with other special Massachusetts spaces as placemaking success stories. They featured the monumental public street art mural, Fish Net, by James Owen Calderwood along Parsons Street. They also displayed before/after photos by Kim Smith and Cruz Ferreras for a poster.

Essex National Heritage Commission's Pioneer in Partnership Award

Heritage Commission regional honor

Essex National Heritage Commission gave the City of Gloucester’s Community Development Department a Pioneer in Partnership award on September 5th, 2013 in recognition of the HarborWalk. They wrote: Specifically, we wish to recognize the Department’s leadership and commitment to excellence through its development of the Gloucester HarborWalk. The Department’s exemplary achievement improves the quality of life not only in Gloucester but the greater region.”

The Essex National Heritage Area encompasses 34 cities and towns of Essex County, a 500 square mile region just north of Boston, MA. Their mission is to preserve and enhance the historic, cultural and natural resources of Essex County for the benefit of ALL who live, work and visit the Area.


"Gloucester opened a new HarborWalk to introduce visitors to the town’s history. Yet it won’t be a Disneyland; the town wants to maintain a working waterfront — one where innovative research occurs along with traditional fishing." Source The Boston Globe...

Gloucester HarborWalk, a free, multimile, historic, civic and artistic public-access walkway that zigzags in and out of historic locales, piers, plazas, docks and parks. Call it stealth wayfinding, since it affords an intimate view of the harborfront, giving access to the town’s history — and the water itself — without disturbing the working port, or cutesifying it...


Gloucester HarborWalk would not have been possible without the support of the community. Special thanks to Current Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Past Mayor Carolyn Kirk, City Council, City Employees, The Seaport Advisory Council, and all volunteers.


Including architectural elements, palettes, materials, graphic design and branding.

Cambridge Seven Associates / Chris Muskopf


Conceptual Landscape, Planning & Collaboration

Stoss Landscape Urbanism

Gardens Design and Implementation

Kim Smith Designs- Landscape designer for the HarborWalk Gardens, author, artist, photographer, and documentarian.


Walking Cinema Concept, Video, Mobile Apps

UnTravel Media/ Michael Epstein

Mobile Strategy Implementation & Website

Mike Ciolino / verveBoston

Jessica Egmont/


Research, Writing, Curation

Catherine Ryan, Lise Breen, David Rhinelander


The following individuals for contributing photo images for the website:

Mike Ciolino / verveBoston

Matt Coogan

Jessica Egmont/

Jay Frontierro / 7 Seas Whale Watch

Chris Muskopf / Cambridge Seven Associates

Kim Smith / Kim Smith Designs