Monthly Archives: March 2012

Letter to the Editor on Newburyport’s LHD

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

There is a wonderful Letter to the Editor in today’s Newburyport Daily news about Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD) by L.M. Klee.

“This is not about “I win, you lose” or “I’m right and you’re wrong”; it is about a win for Newburyport’s stature in the annals of American architecture and history. The bones of this city were here long before we were. Most of the residents are not related to the founders, the ship builders and early farmers, but in some way, we are here today because of them. To have lived here for two years or several generations and ignore Newburyport’s historical prominence architecturally seems disrespectful. We are fortunate to be a part of that history and need to consider our roles in protecting that seriously. We can collectively shape the city’s future and allow future generations to experience a sense of its history long after our presence is felt on these streets. The responsibility for that today is only ours.”

To read the entire letter press here.

And to see the list of all 49 Letters to the Editor in the Newburyport Daily News, and their links, written in favor of Newburyport’s proposed LHD press here.

J.P. Marquand, Newburyport and the Local Historic District (LHD)

J.P Marquand, Courtesy of Boston Public Library Print Department, press to enlarge

J.P Marquand, Courtesy of Boston Public Library Print Department, press to enlarge

On Monday night’s Local Historic District (LHD) informational meeting on March 26, 2012, the questions that were asked, for the most part, were intended to learn more about Newburyport’s proposed LHD.  The people asking questions included folks who were “on the fence” or openly against the LHD. The tone was respectful, with about 4 exceptions. And I thought the meeting was very informative.

The qualifications and the “integrity” of the people on LHD Study Committee itself were questioned  (not so courteous).

A “gentleman” (it reminded me of the online commentators in the Newburyport Daily News) basically accused the Newburyport LHD Study Committee of being “carpetbaggers.”

One of the things that the person might not have been aware of, is that one of the Study Committee members, their grandfather was J.P. Marquand.  Not bad to have someone with that kind of “institutional memory” on the LHD Study Committee. The purpose of the LHD being to protect and preserve the distinctive historical characteristics in the proposed Local Historic District.

Fines and Newburyport’s Local Historic District (LHD)

moneyThe literature that is being mailed, handed out by those who oppose Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD) , the “Say No to  LHD” folks, would have you believe that if you do something in the proposed LHD that the LHD  Commission (should the Newburyport City Council vote in favor of the LHD) might have some reservations about, you will be fined $500 a day into bankruptcy.

I think this is what one could call “propaganda” because it is so ridiculously not true.

Good grief!

(Definition of propaganda: “Information, ideas, or rumors deliberately spread widely to help or harm a person, group, movement, institution, nation, etc.” “The deliberate spreading of such information, rumors, etc.”)

On Monday night at the LHD informational meeting the subject of fines was cleared up (at least for those who have an open mind, and for those who don’t think that the LHD is some sort of government conspiracy).

What the chair of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) said, and I am paraphrasing here, is that the Planning Board, the Building Inspector and the ZBA all have the ability to use fines but they do NOT and never have levied fines.

Fines are there in municipal law as a last resort.  If they did not exist, a developer could come into town and say, “I’ll do anything I want,” and there would be no legal tool to stop them.

The LHD Study Committee is writing a city ordinance, a city law, which is not done lightly. (And the LHD Study Committee is not a “group” the way one of the leaders of the “Say No to LHD” keeps describing them.)

The drafting of a municipal law is a “process,” and is a “work in progress.”

And the LHD Study Committee is still clarifying the whole “fine” thing in the ordinance-law that is in the process of being written.

So no, contrary to the propaganda being distributed by the “Say No to LHD” folks, if you live in Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD), you would not be fined daily into bankruptcy.

As was explained at the informational hearing on Monday night, the same criterion would apply to the proposed Newburyport LHD that applies to the Newburyport Planning Board and the Newburyport ZBA.

Chimneys are New England, Newburyport Iconic

It has been suggested by some of the anti-LHD group that for a homeowner to be required to maintain/keep their chimney or chimneys in the proposed LHD is basically un-American.

Oh good grief!

Chimneys in New England and Newburyport are iconic.  Much the way New England church steeples are iconic.

They are a fundamental, intrinsic, deep-rooted symbol of what it means to live in an historic New England home.  Of what it means to live in a historic Newburyport, Massachusetts home.

And really and truly I think that most of those who oppose the proposed Newburyport Local Historic District (LHD) would agree.

I’ve included some examples of “iconic” homes with chimneys in Newburyport (all courtesy of the City of Newburyport, MA).

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Historic Newburyport Home

Local Historic District (LHD) Public Meeting, March 19, 2012

The video of the Local Historic District (LHD) public informational meeting on March 19, 2012, is actual better than being in the meeting itself.  The the speakers as well questions and answers are much easier to understand.  There is a lot of good information on the video about the proposed LHD.  It is well worth watching.

Local Historic District Public Meeting, March 19, 2012, press to start video

Local Historic District Public Meeting, March 19, 2012, press to start video

The March 19, 2012 Local Historic District (LHD) informational public meeting at Newburyport City Hall.

1 Little’s Lane Being Demolished

Tappan House being demolished

The Tappan House being demolished

The Tappan House, 1 Little’s Lane, Newbury, being demolished today, right now.

This is what can happen anywhere in Newburyport without a Local Historic District (LHD).  By law zoning cannot stop it.  A demo delay just delays the destruction for a year.
1 Little's Lane being demolished

1 Little's Lane being demolished, Courtesy of Skip and Marge Motes

Destruction of The Tappan House, 1 Little's lane

Destruction of The Tappan House, 1 Little's Lane, Courtesy of Skip and Marge Motes

The Tappan House being destroyed, March 20, 2012.

The Tappan House, Courtesy of P.Preservationist

The Tappan House, Courtesy of P.Preservationist

The Tappan House, 1 Little’s Lane before demolition.

Newburyport, the Way a Fence Looks Matters

A fence on High Street is like a jewelry on a beautiful woman.

A fence on High Street, Sally Chandler © 2004, Courtesy of "Historic Gardens of Newburyport"

A fence on High Street, Sally Chandler © 2004, Courtesy of "Historic Gardens of Newburyport"

Last night at the Local Historic District (LHD) informational meeting, a person who owns a gorgeous mansion on High Street in the South End, up on the Ridge, one of the most important homes on High Street, asked if they would have to go in front of the LHD Commission (if the proposed LHD is passed) to put in a privacy fence, as I heard it, to protect their children.

To put a privacy fence in front of this particular mansion, or any mansion on High Street–”No.”  That should have been the answer.

If they would like to put a privacy fence in the back of their property for their children to play in, of course (and that would not come under the proposed Local Historic District (LHD) guidelines).

The way a fence looks in the proposed LHD (High Street and downtown Newburyport from Winter to Federal Street) matters.  It matters a lot.

A fence on High Street is like a jewelry on a beautiful woman.

How a fence looks makes a big difference.  And it made me wonder, I don’t know if my wondering is true or not, if this wasn’t a “got-cha” question.  Because the answer is so obvious, that the panel and the LHD Study Committee was a little confused as how to answer it.

Facts about Newburyport’s Local Historic District (LHD)

Facts about Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD)

  • Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District  (LHD) consists of High Street and downtown Newburyport from Winter to Federal Street. (It just includes those areas.  It does not include Plum Island.)  For a map of the proposed LHD press here.
  • The purpose of the proposed LHD is to protect and preserve distinctive historic characteristics in the proposed area.
  • High Street and downtown are vital to cultural and economic the wellbeing of the city.
  • There is no longer protection for downtown Newburyport. The Urban Renewal Plan for Downtown Newburyport expired in 2005.
  • High Street was almost destroyed by MassHighway in 1999. The LHD provides protection to the roadway so that would never happen again.
  • The LHD strives to create a balance between protection of our historic heritage and homeowner’s rights.
  • The creation of an LHD is an ongoing process that continues to incorporate public feedback.
  • The LHD deals with architecture that is only visible from the public way.
  • The LHD only applies to architecture built before 1930.
  • The LHD does not affect ordinary maintenance and repairs, landscaping, sidewalks, terraces, roofing material, shutters, shutter hardware, gutters, storm doors, storm windows, exterior lights, driveways, and minor details such as paint color (for all all of the outside of the building, including doors and trim).
  • The LHD does not affect the interior of a building, and by state law can never affect the interior of a building.
  • By Massachusetts state law, the LHD can not be voluntary and home owners cannot “opt-out.”
  • Fines: The Planning Board, the Building Inspector and the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) all have the ability to use fines, but they do not and never have levied fines.  Fines are in municipal law as a last resort.  If they did not exist, a developer could come into town and say, “I’ll do anything I want,” and there would be no legal tool to stop them.  The same criterion would apply to the proposed LHD.
  • By state law the only tool available to prevent demolition of historic homes is a LHD.  Zoning laws cannot solve this issue.
  • The LHD will be voted on by the Newburyport City Council, and needs a super majority of the Newburyport City Council votes, 8 out of 11 councilors.
  • If the LHD passes, by law the LHD requires the creation of a commission to oversee the LHD, that is made up only of Newburyport residents.
  • If the LHD passes, by law the LHD ordinance cannot be changed without a super majority of the Newburyport City Council Vote, 8 out of 11 councilors.
  • If the LHD passes, by law the LHD cannot be expanded except by a very long and tedious process,  just like the one that Newburyport has been going through for the last 4+ years.
Map of Newburyport's Proposed Local Historic District (LHD)

Map of Newburyport's proposed LHD

Map of Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD).

To see a larger map press here.

To see all the information on Newburyport’s proposed LHD press here.

Yes! LHD Signs (Newburyport Local Historic District)

The “YES! LHD” signs are going up all over town today.

They say “YES! LHD” Support a Local HIstoric District, Citizens for Historic Newburyport (CHN).

Yes! LHD, Support a Local Historic District

Yes! LHD, Support a Local Historic District

To read more about Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD) press here.

And to see the map of the proposed LHD and the link to the online petition press here.

YES! LHD (Newburyport's proposed Local Historic District)

YES! LHD, Support a Local Historic District

Citizens for Historic Newburyport (CHN) can be reached at citizens@historicnewburyport.com, www.historicnewburyport.com.

If you would like a sign you can also contact The Newburyport Blog.

The Tappan House, 1 Littles Lane, Soon to be Demolished

The Tappan House, Courtesy of P.Preservationist

The Tappan House, Courtesy of P.Preservationist

“One billionaire’s castle is another billionaire’s teardown. Never mind the existing mansion—it’s the location these moguls want, not someone else’s hand-me-down house. Instead of renovating, the very rich call in the wrecking ball and build their personal playgrounds from scratch.”

One of the most startling ones to me is a mansion bought by Steve Jobs.

“For years, Steve Jobs, the founder of Apple wanted to tear down a 17,000-square-foot, 35-room Spanish-style mansion he owned since the 1980s in Woodside, Calif., south of San Francisco. He instead envisioned a smaller, likely more techno-savvy home for his family on the lot. After battling legal challenges to save or move the 1920s “Jackling House,” built by the California architect George Washington Smith for a prosperous copper entrepreneur, Jobs received a demolition permit. Howard N. Ellman, Jobs’s lawyer, said the house was bulldozed in February but Jobs’s dwindling health put the plans on hold. Janet Koelsch, the Woodside town clerk, confirms there have been no applications for development received for the property since demolition of the house.”

The article “America’s Doomed Mansions,” By Marcelle Sussman Fischler, Forbes.com, November 21, 2011 can be read here.

Not to compare anyone in Newbury or Newburyport to Steve Jobs!!  But, the tale and others like it in the article does remind one of the impending demolition of 1 Littles Lane, the Tappan House, in Newbury, MA, just down the street from Newburyport.

The article in the Newburyport Daily News about the impending demolition of the Tappan House can be read here.

To read more about the Tappan House, 1 Little’s Lane, Newbury, MA,  press here.

Newburyport Mill Stream Painting by Alfred Bricher

On the Mill Stream at Newburyport Massachusetts, Alfred Thompson Bricher, press to enlarge.

On the Mill Stream at Newburyport Massachusetts, Alfred Thompson Bricher, press to enlarge.

I found this absolutely gorgeous painting of what must be the mill stream out by Curzon Mill.

The painting is called “On the Mill Stream at Newburyport Massachusetts,” the date is unknown, and it is by Alfred Thompson Bricher, who lived from 1837-1908.

Gluten Free Brazilian Cheese Flatbread

Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour

Bob's Red Mill Tapioca Flour

I find gluten free bread to be gross, even Udi’s, and there is no nutritional value. I’ve given up on GF bread bread, in fact I gave it up way long ago.  And I have been searching for some sort of solution.  A friend of mine gave me Brazilian Cheese Balls, which are gluten free, about an inch and a half round and yummy, and made with tapioca flour.  So I decided to go on a hunt for Brazilian Cheese Ball recipes.  But what I really wanted was something that tasted like the Brazilian Cheese Balls but was flat.

So after mucho experimentation I came up with this recipe.  I have never, ever baked until I got on this gluten free diet thing, and I like easy recipes, and this is easy, otherwise I wouldn’t do it.

The “bread” smells like buttery bread, tastes a little bit like a flat chewy croissant, and I eat it for a snack.

And since people come to the Newburyport looking for Gluten Free stuff, and the Almond Meal cookie recipe (see earlier post) has been a hit from all over the US, I thought I would share this recipe as well. (Anything to make folks who are on a gluten free diet lives more enjoyable. This is my gluten free comfort food.  And finding GF comfort food ain’t easy.)

________________________________________________________

Brazilian Cheese Flat Bread

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (in a package, make sure it is Gluten Free, check what is used to make sure it doesn’t gum up, hopefully something like potato starch)

2 eggs

1 cup milk (can be lactose free)

1 1/2 t salt

1 t GF baking powder

1/2 cup canola oil

3 cups tapioca flour (I use Bob’s Red Mill, see photo above)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix cheese, salt, baking powder, eggs, milk and oil (can can use a fork).  Add tapioca flour, mix with spatula. (If the consistency is too runny, add a little more tapioca flour a tablespoon at a time, flour consistency sometimes differs with each package.)

Cover a cookie sheet (roughly 15″ x 10″) with parchment paper, cut so that there is about half an inch of parchment paper sticking up all the way around.

Take half mixture and spread as evenly as possible, making a rectangle, leaving about an half an inch to an inch of space between the mixture and the edge of the paper.

Cook for 15 to 25 minutes (temperatures of ovens vary).  Watch closely, and remove when light brown all over, including the middle.  The edges will brown first.

Remove the cooked bread still on the parchment paper and put on the counter to cool.  The bread will puff up during cooking, and then flatten as it cools.  Cut into 12 (more or less) pieces and freeze.  I put pieces in a plastic tub and separate them with wax paper.

Heat up in microwave when hungry.  I like it a little warm and chewy, not completely cooled (my own personal taste).

It can also be lactose free.  Mozzarella chess does not have sugar, and is lactose free.  And I use a fortified lactose free milk, lots of vitamins.  (You can also try it with other kinds of cheese.)

I’ve only make the flat bread  with reduced fat mozzarella and 1% milk, so I don’t know what it would taste like if made otherwise.

Smells like buttery bread.  Tastes like a chewy croissant. Makes a great snack.  Don’t need to put anything on it.

It could be tweaked to make a good pizza dough (but haven’t gotten that far yet).

Newburyport Postcards, Clam Shacks

Newburyport Postcard, Calm Diggers and their Shanties "Joppa"

Newburyport Postcard, Calm Diggers and their Shanties "Joppa," press image to enlarge.

I’ve been going on another fun hunt, finding Newburyport postcards that are in the public domain.  Here are two of the clam shacks, one of the clam shanties with a trolley, and one with the clam diggers and their shanties at “Joppa.”  Joppa is on the water in the South End of Newburyport.

Newburyport clam shanties with trolley, press image to enlarge.

Newburyport clam shanties with trolley, press image to enlarge.

Newburyport’s Local Historic District, LHD-YES!

LHD-YES, Support a Local Historic District

LHD-YES!, Support a Local Historic District

This is my car.  Gorgeous new LHD-YES!, Support a Local Historic District.

Good for Citizens for Historic Newburyport!!

You go guys!!

To read more about Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD) press here.

And to see the map of the proposed LHD and the link to the online petition press here.

Citizens for Historic Newburyport (CHN) can be reached at citizens@historicnewburyport.com, www.historicnewburyport.com.

Newburyport March Local Historic District (LHD) Meetings

This is an announcement from the Newburyport Local Historic District (LHD) Study Committee:

Got Questions about the Proposed LHD?

Get the answers at two

Public Information Forums at the

City Hall Auditorium

1. Ask the Experts – Monday, 19 March 2012 at 7:00 P.M.

Preservation lawyer Marilyn Fenollosa, preservation consultant Gretchen Schuler, and Massachusetts Historical Commission Director of Local Government Programs Chris Skelly will answer your questions about LHDs in general, preservation law, and additional preservation options among other topics.

2. Follow-up – Monday, 26 March 2012 at 7:00 P.M.

Informal discussion groups with Study Committee members.

Send in your questions to lhdsc@cityofnewburyport.com or

Local Historic District Study Committee

City Hall, 60 Pleasant Street

Newburyport, MA 01950

To see the new Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) meant to clarify some of the misinformation and confusion about Newburyport’s proposed LHD see previous post or press here or on the City of Newburyport’s website here.

To see the NEW updated LHD proposed Guidelines (3/5/2012) press here.

To see the NEW updated LHD proposed Ordinance (3/5/2012) press here.

New FAQ about Newburyport’s Local Historic District (LHD)

I just received this via email.  This is the new, updated  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) by the Newburyport Local Historic District (LHD) Study Committee.  I imagine that the FAQ are in response to much of the confusion and misinformation that is out there about Newburyport’s prosed LHD.

Frequently Asked Questions  NEW

The Study Committee has revised the proposed ordinance and guidelines in response to public input. The process of creating an LHD that is fair to property owners and protective of the city’s historic architecture continues; please send questions and comments to lhdsc@cityofnewburyport.com.

Newburyport seems to have gotten along fine without an LHD; why have one now?

Appearances can be deceiving. In recent years there have been numerous tear downs, destructive repairs, and incompatible additions to historic buildings. Critically, the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority no longer oversees the downtown. The LHD would help stop harmful practices, encourage sympathetic renovations and new construction, and attract new property owners respectful of Newburyport’s historic character.

I take good care of my home and wouldn’t sell to anyone who would not; why is that not sufficient?

Sellers ordinarily cannot control what is done to their properties. And annual residential turnover in Newburyport is a high 15% despite the recession.

Would I have to go before the LHD Commission every time I wanted to do something to my house? And have to hire architects and lawyers?

No. Firstly, review applies only to exterior work viewable from the street on structures built before 1930. Secondly, whatever presently exists would be grandfathered in, so like may be replaced with like. Thirdly, most common work is excluded from review (see next question). Review would only be triggered if you already had to apply for a regular building permit and the work was not excluded by the preceding.

Where review is required, applicants are encouraged to have a preliminary working session with the Commission. You would not have to have professional help unless you wanted it.

What work is excluded from review?

A long list including ordinary maintenance and repair, landscaping, storm and screen windows and doors, exterior painting, roofing, gutters, and shutters (see section 4 of the ordinance).

How would windows be treated?

The guidelines emphasize repairing damaged windows, and windows in good repair give good energy efficiency with storms. However, replacement windows would be allowed if they matched the historic windows, and many such replacements are available.

Could the Commission change the ordinance if it wanted to? And could the LHD be expanded?

Only with the same public review and two-thirds vote of the City Council that the proposed ordinance and guidelines themselves have required.

How would an LHD affect my taxes and the value of my house?

By law, there can be no effect at all on your real estate taxes; and many studies have shown that LHDs help maintain property values.

Who would be on the Commission?

Only City residents can be; and the ordinance requires that at least 3 of the 5 members also be residents of the district itself. The ordinance also recommends that membership include architects, realtors, historic preservationists, and business owners. The aim is a supportive Commission with useful expertise and broad community oversight.

The Newburyport Local Historic District Study Committee’s website can be found here.

To see the NEW updated LHD proposed Guidelines (3/5/2012) press here.

To see the NEW updated LHD proposed Ordinance (3/5/2012) press here.

Content Syndication and SEO at The Newburyport Blog

George looks at me and says, “Dahling…”

“Dahling” George? “Dahling?” First it was “Oy Vey,” and now it’s “Dahling.”

The frogs pow-wow around my computer.

The frogs pow-wow around my computer.

The “Oy Veh” thing was suspect enough for me and the readers of the Newburyport Blog that your wonderful Newburyport “pedigree,”  George Cushing of Frog Pond at the Bartlett Mall, might be suspect.  But what in the world has the political consultant to the Newburyport Blog been watching? (And, really, do buttoned up old Yankees [not many buttoned up old Yankees around these days, at least they seem to be dwindling here in Newburyport], say “Dahling,” I don’t think so.)

George and the twins pow-wow around my computer.  They point out to me that another site  is getting a whole lot of credit for stuff that I write on my blog, even images, good grief.  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for the Newburyport Blog going out the window.

George rolls his eyes at me and continues, “Dahling, how could you have known? Stop beating yourself up.”

(George has obviously been watching some sort of combination of Dr. Phil and Bubbles Devere [aka Matt lucas], good grief!)

George, I’m not “beating myself up,” so get a grip. These folks could not have been nicer.  They wanted to promote the Newburyport Blog, and put at least, count’m, 5 links back to the blog on every post they syndicated!  Who could ask for more than that!!

But what do do.  With some sadness, I get in touch with these kind folks, and ask them if they would take all the content down that is from the Newburyport Blog. Sigh. And maybe Google will sort it all out in a week or so, and Google would realize that, moi and the Newburyport Blog writes this stuff.

The twins, aspiring political consultants for The Newburyport Blog

The twins, aspiring political consultants for The Newburyport Blog

“You could have done your homework, you know.” Say the Twins (aspiring political consultants to the Newburyport Blog).

“Say what?”  I say, and am in a little bit of a huff. Twerpy little frogs!!

But they are right. And this is from Google itself (which I had never seen before).

“Syndicate carefully: If you syndicate your content on other sites, Google will always show the version we think is most appropriate for users in each given search, which may or may not be the version you’d prefer. However, it is helpful to ensure that each site on which your content is syndicated includes a link back to your original article. You can also ask those who use your syndicated material to use the noindex meta tag to prevent search engines from indexing their version of the content.”

Who knew. I would feel weird asking someone not to index (i.e. having their stuff show up on Google etc.) stuff on their sight, even if it was my stuff. And from a technical point of view, it could be mighty hard, especially if folks would be using a blogging software like WordPress.

So Google puts one in one weird dilemma.

Newburyport Postcards of Wolfe Tavern

State Street, Wolfe Tavern in the foreground and the YMCA below. Press image to enlarge.

State Street, Wolfe Tavern in the foreground and the YMCA below. Press image to enlarge.

In chit-chatting on The Newburyport Blog about Newburyport’s proposed Local Historic District (LHD), the subject of buildings that used to exist in downtown Newburyport comes up.

One of the literally gaping holes in downtown Newburyport, is the parking lot on the corner of Harris and State Streets where the Wolfe Tavern once existed.

And I wasn’t sure when the Wolfe Tavern was demolished, but in doing some research it was demolished by its owner in the fall of 1953. Real late.  Wow, I thought it was much earlier.

Postcard of the Wolfe Tavern, Newburyport, MA.  Press to enlarge.

Postcard of the Wolfe Tavern, Newburyport, MA. Press to enlarge.

Wolfe Tavern, at the corner of State Street and Thread Needle Alley was destroyed, like so much of downtown Newburyport in the great fire of 1811.  And shortly after, the tavern was reopened on the corner of Temple Street and State Streets. One Temple Street (demolished in 2006 by the Five Cents Savings Bank, see earlier post here) was an addition to the Wolfe Tavern (see info on the City of Newburyport’s website here).  In 1814 the Wolfe Tavern moved to the Col. John Peabody’s house, the one that is in all the postcards, at the corner of Harris and State Streets.

The upper post card shows what State Street used to look like. Wolfe Tavern is in the foreground, followed by the YMCA (which burned down in 1987, see earlier post here).  The postcards are pretty cool.

Local Historic District (LHD) and High Street in 1971 from P.Preservationist

High Street, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

High Street, Courtesy of the Library of Congress

The P. Preservationist has written a fascinating story about the effort to have High Street be a Local Historic District (LHD) in 1971.

The P. Preservationist has gone to the Newburyport Archives and done some mega research.

Everyone here at the Newburyport Blog, me and the frogs, are mighty impressed. This is definitely a must read.

P. Preservationist points out that there are differences today:

First, we have far fewer Townies present today and they represent a minority in our political scene.  Second, our demographics have changed.   We have a large percentage of people who have moved here precisely because of the historic neighborhoods.  Third and most importantly, the class structure that so bedeviled Bossy Gillis and John Marquand no longer exists.”

High Street, © Sally Chandler, 2004, Courtesy of "Historic Gardens of Newburyport"

High Street, © Sally Chandler, 2004, Courtesy of "Historic Gardens of Newburyport"

He has a marvelous quote which, as he points out, is reminiscent of today:

“High Street resident, Elizabeth L. Whiting complained, ‘Surely informative ideas of the many, gently and rationally expressed, deserve as much attention than the ideas of the latter [opponents] which are presented in deliberately caustic and irrelevant oratory.’ ”

You can read the whole post here.