If we are lucky enough, Matthew Pieniazek, who bought 30-32 Marlboro Street (the property that goes all the way back to Hancock Street,) might not demolish the front of the c.1850 house. His own engineer says the historic house is structurally sound.
For me, the first thing we as a community could do is lobby Mr. Pieniazek not to demolish 30-32 Marlboro Street.
A big “thank you” to Newburyport’s Historical Commission for putting on a 12 month demolition delay on this project. Personally, I appreciate that a whole lot. What an incredible loss that would be.
I think the neighbors are very fearful that something really terrible will happen to that property, that massive condominiums could go in, and that Mr. Pieniazek is rescuing them and that he is their only hope.
It is my understanding that the property is not zoned for a massive condominium unit. So I think the neighbors could relax and start thinking about what would be good for them and what would be good for the City of Newburyport, MA.
Whatever ends up going there, Mr. Pieniazek plans to turn a deeded two family home into a one family (roughly 4,000 square foot) house. That’s a big house.
Why is this a bad thing?
This one goes back to trying to keep Newburyport’s local neighborhood character. And this is having a McMansion in a neighborhood that is not about McMansions.
For me, this is an example of one of those projects that incrementally erodes Newburyport’s economic base for short-term economic gain.
It is also one more example of how Newburyport’s Historic District has absolutely no protection. And it is just one more reason to start lobbying our public officials for zoning amendments that protect our historic heritage, which is vital to our economic survival.