The Newburyport Historical Commission last night told Matthew Pieniazek of 36 Marlboro Street, who purchased 30-32 Marlboro Street that there would be a 12 month demolition delay on the property. For the moment, there is a reprieve.
While I’m relieved that a neighbor bought the property, one who has his and his neighbors’ interests at heart, I was very disappointed that demolition was the name of the game. Apparently Mr. Pieniazek’s own engineering report says that the front part of the c. 1850 building is sound.
As I understand it Newburyport’s Historical Commission had no problem with the demolition of the back part of the property. However, they hope that Mr. Pieniazek will restore the front part of this historic home. The Historical Commission hopes that they and Mr. Pieniazek can have an ongoing dialogue.
The Historical Commission pointed out that all the modern amenities could be placed at the back portion of the property. It is my understanding that there was some talk of the central chimney being in the way. It was pointed out that the central chimney was the heart and hearth of historic homes of this period, and to remove it in the name of restoration would destroy its historic heritage.
Newburyport Massachusetts has a unique history. If builders/ developers in town or out of town have the attitude that the wear and tear of an historic home is an inconvenience to making money, our unique historic heritage will be lost. And this, in the long and short term will adversely affect our economic survival, because Newburyport, MA will no longer be a distinct community in which to visit, work, live and play.