The Sloop Great Republic

Gloucester, MA

This proposal marked the first design competition entered and won by KITE, and was a turning point in the design history of the firm.

Captain Howard Blackburn made a historic solo voyage in the 25 foot Sloop Republic from Gloucester to Lisbon in a record 41 days in 1901. A non-profit group sponsored the competition to create a permanent exhibit displaying his restored craft on the waterfront in Gloucester.

KITE’s winning entry was designed to dramatize the seaside context of the boat display with a full sized mural depicting the harbor as it was in 1901. It would allow the full rigging of the boat to be extended indoors, and by opening up one side of the enclosure to the sea, reflections of the water, sounds, and the scent of the ocean became part of the visitor experience.


First Place, Design Competition, 1983