The Newburyport Daily News has the “infamous” model of what could have happened to downtown Newburyport in their lobby. The model is on loan from the Historical Society of Old Newbury.
And the Newburyport Daily News graciously allowed me to photograph it.
Here is the part that would have been the “infamous” strip mall downtown.
Model of what was proposed for Newburyport, MA
This portion is of what Market Square would have looked like. A parking lot with an “L” shaped one-storey building in the corner.
It would have prevented Newburyport from ever looking like this:
Market Square, Newburyport MA, 2007
Photograph courtesy of Mary Baker Eaton
And a very big thank you to both the Historical society of Old Newbury and the Newburyport Daily News.
One asks oneself, “what can we learn from this?”
Of course there are so many things to be learned from what almost could have been.
What comes to my mind at this moment in time, is that “things take time.” “Panic” is not a good reason to do anything. A united community helps to create projects that are effective and effect generations. And that there is no way Newburyport, MA could exist as it is today without federal funding.
And of course, I am thinking about our schools. My guess is that it could be possible for a spring override for the Newburyport schools to get voted in, when it is put before the Newburyport City Council yet a second time around.
We are, however, a community that is very much divided about this issue. And in part, I feel a state of “panic” is a driving force. And a state of “panic” often wipes out reason and courtesy.
And maybe most importantly, there is no way, at least in this blogger’s mind, that we could ever restore the cuts that have been made to our Newburyport schools and maintain their integrity without help from the state and federal level. The money simply is not here.
The good news is, that according to an article in the Boston Globe, March 28, 2007, “Lawmakers feeling local pressure for more school aid,” by Lisa Wangsness, Newburyport, MA is far from alone. According to the article there are about 40 communities facing an override this year. “A lot of communities are at the end of their ropes and don’t have many options left.”
However, there appears to be hope. From what I read in the article, it is possible that suburban communities might finally get the assistance that they so desperately need.
And I imagine that our own State Representatives, Michael Costello and Steven Baddour are doing everything that they possibly can to help relieve Newburyport’s school situation.