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A rare opportunity to see inside the Power Plant

Across the Bridge Art Exhibit at the Salem Harbor Power Plant

There is a new exhibit in Salem that is completely unique, utterly compelling, and here for only a brief period of time.  "Across the Bridge," is a public exhibition of experience-based art projects created by Montserrat College of Art students, inspired by and produced in collaboration wiht workers at the Salem Harbor Station power plant.  The exhibit has been installed in the turbine room of the power plant, which is now closed and slated for destruction to make way for a new gas-fired power plant.

Across the Bridge exhibition at the Salem Harbor Power Plant.

The power plant has been part of the Salem story since it was built in the 1950s. Etched into the skyline it is a navigational beacon for drivers and sailors alike. It has provided power, jobs, and tax revenue to the city of Salem and the surrounding communities, and it has been the center of controversy for its billowing smoke and environmental impact.  This post does not have a political position on the plant, it is much more sociological.  Visiting the exhibition is an opportunity to bare witness to the plant, the jobs it sustained, and the lives it affected.  "Across the Bridge" also provides the opportunity to stand in an amazing space that was built in the mid-twentieth century and represents a structural style that is now an architectural dinosaur.  It is huge and stark and industrial, an amazing counterpoint to the Federal houses, gabled mansions, and brick-lined streets that we usually think of as Salem's historic landscape. 

Control Room at Salem  Harbor Power Plant

We may soon have cruise ships where the coal ships once docked, and green space and parks where the transformers now loom.  Thanks to the talented Monsterrat College of Art students and to Footprint Power for providing this opportunity for the public to get a glimpse inside the walls, the lives,  and the work of the Salem Harbor Power Plant. 

The view from the Salem Harbor Power Plant


Art Students Document Life of Power Plant and its Workers in “Across the Bridge” Project
June 16-July 2
Footprint Power’s Salem Harbor Station in Salem, MA will open from June 16 - July 2 for a public exhibition of experience-based art projects created by Montserrat College of Art students, inspired by and produced in collaboration with workers at the Salem Harbor Station power plant, located at 24 Fort Ave. Salem, MA. This first-of-its-kind project, “Across the Bridge,” is the result of a unique partnership between Montserrat College of Art and Footprint Power, whose primary goal was to honor and document the lives and work of the power plant employees, most of whom will lose their jobs and move on to other opportunities when the coal plant closes this summer.  The documentary project was conducted by 29 Montserrat students and four faculty (Ethan Berry, Rebecca Bourgault, Dawn Paul, and project coordinator Elizabeth Cohen) in collaboration with the plant employees.  The project and exhibition are funded by Footprint Power. 

The exhibition will be on display June 16-July 2; Tuesday and Wednesday, 1-5 pm; Thursdays, 3-7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 2-6 pm at 24 Fort Ave. Salem, MA. The exhibit is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. Please email  and include the name(s) of those attending and the date you would like to attend.  Please note that you will be required to produce a valid photo ID to enter the site.  Learn more at

Salem Harbor Power Plant

Posted by Kate on 06/21 at 10:53 AM Permalink

Pride and Commemoration in Salem this weekend

The North Shore Pride Parade is one of the happiest days of the year in Salem, and it returns on Saturday, June 21 with a parade and festival.  This is part of a weekend of Pride events, and Go Out Loud has created a handy resource list of events and programs that begin on Friday night.

Boston Fire Department’s Engine 39 Company’s steamer and hose wagon being loaded into rail cars at Boston’s North Station on the afternoon of June 25, 1914, to be sent to Salem to fight the great fire that devastated the city. (Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library)

One hundred years ago, on June 25, 1914, a great fire swept through Salem. Over the course of two days, the conflagration destroyed 1,600 buildings and left 18,000 people homeless, and many without jobs.  The commemoration of the Great Salem Fire features a Symposium at Salem State University on Saturday and an exhibit of antique fire apparatus on Derby Wharf on Sunday.   On June 25 there will be two ceremonies marking the time of the fire, and thanking the communities that responded to the tragedy a century ago. Learn more at

Click here for a printable “Weekend at a Glance” list of events this weekend, and visit the calendar for complete information on all of the festivals, events, exhibits, live music, tours, and tastings happening in Salem.  With so much to do, don't forget to grab a seat at one of our restaurants and kick back with a delicious glass of iced tea. Or sangria. Or a local brew. 

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Kate on 06/20 at 09:59 AM Permalink