Town Landing Pink Granite Footing Restoration
Location: 55 Old Dock Road, West Falmouth MA 02574
Applicant: Department of Public Works
Year/Article: November 2014, A40
In 2014 the Department of Public Works (DPW) requested and was appropriated $300,000 from the CPFund as partial support for restoration of the historic pink granite footing of the Town Landing at West Falmouth Harbor. The rehabilitation of the landing had a total cost of $670,000, and Town Meeting appropriated the remainder of the funds required. DPW had been working since 2010 to complete the design and permitting, funded by the Town in 2013 with $40,000 on the recommendation of the Falmouth Waterways Committee.
Construction of the original public landing was approved by Town Meeting in 1846 and the landing was built in 1849, using locally quarried pink granite for its foundation. It served as a wharf for commercial vessels docking to ship and receive goods, as well as for fishing and non-commercial boats. Commercial use was heavy enough that significant repairs had to be made to the landing in 1885. In 2012 the Falmouth Historical Commission placed it on the Town’s Cultural Resources Inventory.
The project goal was to restore the historic and recreational former commercial shipping facility to its original condition by re-using the locally quarried pink granite and repairing the structures on the landing. West Falmouth Harbor is used extensively throughout the year by boaters, fishermen, residents and tourists. The Division of Marine and Environmental Services maintains and grows shellfish in an upweller container in the harbor. The shellfish culture helps restore Falmouth shellfish growing areas and at the same time cleans the water in the harbor. A wooden dock and boat slips are located adjacent to the landing with water and electric services for boaters.
A public ceremony celebrated the completion of the work in May 2016. It included dismantling and rebuilding the pink granite exterior wall that encompasses the entire public landing and adjacent side slopes. The granite is the original stone, contributing to the character and landscape of the public landing. The project also included removing and repaving the asphalt landing area, upgrading the water and electric utilities, installing filter fabric and stone behind the granite wall, and replacing portions of the wooden boat dock. The timeline for construction was coordinated with the Marine and Environmental Services department in order to work around time-of-year constraints. DPW’s intent is to have construction completed before the boating and summer season opens in 2016. DPW and the Marine and Environmental Services Department will maintain the landing.