When I talk to folks about buildings disappearing in Newburyport, what I often hear is that doesn’t happen anymore.
Well, actually it does.
And it disappears these days. (Our buildings need to be protected-hence a Local Historic District, LHD.)
To start with one of the most wild ones, at least to me, would be downtown Newburyport, One Temple Street. Doesn’t exist today. Torn down by one of our most beloved institutions. An institution inhabited-run by great folks. An institution that has done unbelievably wonderful things for our community, demolished an historic building in downtown Newburyport (I believe it was 2006, maybe 2007). Our very own Five Cents Savings Bank.
If these good folks can tear down an historic building (yes, I went to all the hearings), one would think just about anybody could. And we don’t need protection in the form of a Local Historic District in downtown Newburyport? Oh, good grief.
One Temple Street dated to the early 19th century and was erected as an addition to Wolfe Tavern. The building wasn’t just left to rot. According to the City of Newburyport, in 1972 (Newburyport’s Urban Renwal) the building was rehabilitated, and was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Richard Puriington of Byfield (this is on the historic surveys).
The City of Newburyport has two photographs of One Temple Street that I could find. An earlier photo that contains another clapboard building that was also demolished. And a photograph of One Temple Street later on without that building.
The replica of the facade of One Temple Street that exists as part of the Five Cents Savings Bank today, in my mind, just ain’t the same. Good try, but nope, doesn’t cut it.
And if the Five Cents Savings Bank can take down such an important building, folks, in my mind, nothin’s safe.