At 14 feet tall, the Coast Guard buoy now rising at the corner of Elliot and McKay streets in Beverly is hard to miss.
Cummings Properties, the Woburn development agency that purchased the buoy for $1,000 during a Coast Guard auction in South Weymouth, sought a landmark with a nautical theme to place outside its new Elliot Landing condominium complex. The Coast Guard’s Northeast Buoy Depot sells old buoys that are no longer seaworthy.
Cummings staff wire-brushed the old buoy clean and removed the bottom stem and counterweight, leaving its current height — a still-imposing 14 feet — and an estimated 4,000 pounds. The crew then applied several coats of red and white enamel paint and installed a white light at the top.
Six Cummings staff members oversaw the placement of the buoy, with the aid of a heavy equipment.
Proceeds from the purchase were donated to the Base Boston Morale, Well-Being, and Recreation Division, which supports local Coast Guard members.
“The buoy celebrates Beverly’s nautical past and reinforces Elliott Landing’s waterside theme,” said Steve Drohosky, vice president and general manager at the Cummings Center, a business complex in Beverly. “It is also in keeping with Cummings Properties’ longstanding practice of rescuing and recycling pieces of history.”
In 1996, Cummings Properties purchased the former United Shoe Machinery Corporation — a massive cement plant first built in 1903 known as “The Shoe” — and transformed it into the Cummings Center.
History surrounds the buoy’s resting place at Elliot Landing. A plaque commemorates a nearby inlet in the Bass River, which five pioneer families used to travel from the center of Salem to their farms before the first dam was built.
Scott Crowley, the buoy’s project’s team leader for Cummings Properties, hopes more restoration projects come his way.
“It was neat, and something we’ve never done before,” Crowley said. “Hopefully there’ll be more projects like this, where we can utilize something that would go to scrap. Everybody enjoyed doing it.”