The Wheelwright property in today’s Newburyport Current, January 19, 2006, an article by Ulrika Gerth.
Apparently two gentleman generously offered the developer of the proposed subdivision at the back of the Wheelwright property–a choice. Ted Nelson and Nathan Felde offered Mr. Todd Fremont Smith a buy-out plan with the intention of donating the land for public use in perpetuity with the idea that Mr. Todd Fremont-Smith could be a hero.
My understanding is that Ted Nelson and Nathan Felde felt that they were negotiating in good faith to the point where they were making plans on how to raise the needed money, offering the chance for Mr. Fremont Smith to be well loved by Newburyport, MA.
It appears that Mr. Todd Fremont-Smith was, unfortunately, not interested. Not a hero, I’m afraid Mr. Smith.
I guess the back of the Wheelwright property, abutting the historic Oak Hill Cemetery will not be one of Newburyport’s preservation success stories. How unfortunate.
Once again, I found these photographs in the Library of Congress.
The Abraham Wheelwright House, 77 High Street, built in 1810
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photograph Division, Historic American Buildings Survey Frank O. Branzetti, Photographer November 19, 1940
This is a photograph of 77 High Street, the Abraham Wheelwright House. The William Wheelwright House, 75 High Street, is down the street, next door to the left in this photograph.
What this photograph does, I think, is give an understanding of the majestic quality of the houses on historic High Street. And how important it is to Newburyport, MA to retain that majestic quality.
And yes, indeed, right next to the Abraham Wheelwright House you can see Wills Lane. I am sure that the Wheelwright family never imagined that Wills Lane would afford the “frontage” for a subdivision by Todd Fremont-Smith to be built in back of their beloved property.
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photograph Division, Historic American Buildings Survey Frank O. Branzetti, Photographer August 19, 1940
And this photograph is in back of 77 High Street looking southwest towards the historic Oak Hill Cemetery.
I think this photograph gives a sense of why the land in back of the High Street houses, often acres and acres, adds to their majestic quality.
Obviously Mr. Todd Fremont-Smith does not think so.
I would imagine that this blogger will start blogging a whole lot more again on the unfortunate circumstance that this stately and imposing land (as well as the residence of Newburyport, MA) sadly finds itself in.
Another Newburyport preservation disaster that had the opportunity of being a resounding Newburyport preservation success.