Sustainable Demonstration Center
Marblehead Community Organic Farm and Ecology Center, Inc., (Marblehead Eco-Farm) formed a non-profit organization to build a regenerative/sustainability demonstration center and school without walls on an abandoned 5.5 acre site (owned by the Marblehead School Committee) in the center of this historic Massachusetts Seaport Town. This original 45 member CSA (now called Farm Direct Coop) developed a lecture series, created a newsletter, and set out in 1994 to develop this ecology center in Marblehead.
Henry MacLean was hired to develop a master plan and building design by the founders, Sarah and Richard Lincoln-Harrison. The 12,500 s.f. sustainable farm distribution and agricultural learning center was given preliminary approval by the Marblehead school committee. The project developed into an architectural studio and sustainable study at Wentworth Institute of Technology in 1995 and 1996. The final student thesis projects and research document were made available through ongoing presentations.
Unfortunately, resistance from neighbors opposing the project prevented Town approval of the project. The center was to include vegetable and seed production gardens, greenhouses, water purification demonstration, non-toxic building materials, photovoltaics, composting toilets, gray water cycling and a host of related projects integrated into the school curricula and adult education classes.