, Salem, MA


July 18, 2008

Our view: Fresh hope for two Salem landmarks


The plan is to draw people there for plays, lectures and workshops. That makes sense; but as has been noted in this space many times previously, Pioneer Village's best chance of salvation lies in making it more visible and accessible to those visiting the city.

Take those cruise-ship passengers: Given the distance of Forest River Park, which is almost at the Marblehead line, from Blaney Street by road, few, if any, would likely make the trek to Pioneer Village even if they knew of its existence. That trip would be much shorter, and more enjoyable, by boat.

The establishment of a maritime route linking the city's many seaside attractions — Salem Willows, Winter Island, the House of the Seven Gables, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Pickering Wharf and Pioneer Village — would provide visitors with the ultimate Salem experience.

But that's a task for another day and another entity (or, more likely, several) to attempt. The challenges facing Gordon in taking on the management of Old Town Hall and Pioneer Village are formidable enough, and the city should do all it can to help it succeed.

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