Newburyport, Historic Preservation

Could it be possible to transition back to the topic of “historic preservation?” To change the subject from “schools, schools, schools” and a possible running commentary on how we as a community are now going to tear each other to shreds, to a more uniting subject? Wouldn’t that be refreshing.

The frogs say they are sick of hearing about school stuff (and so, by the way, I gather, are many readers of the Newburyport Blog.)

I asked George Cushing, of Frog Pond at the Bartlet Mall, the political consultant to the Newburyport Blog, what could be a more uplifting and unifying subject, that I the editor of the Newburyport Blog might blog about.

George (predictably) suggests the subject of our historic heritage and our historic assets, something, surely all of Newburyport, MA could agree upon.

Ok, George, get real, we’ve come along way in realizing that our historic assets are in trouble to the point where we have a committee that would explore the possibility of maybe, kind of a largish Local Historic District, (which used to be a bad, bad word) might be possible. And “Local Historic District” is getting to be less of a bad, bad word, but I would hardly call it a word that exactly inspires a “love fest,” yet.

George has just given me a “give me a break” look. Whatever.

What about the Preservation Awards from the City of Newburyport, MA? The only preservation award I blogged about was Newburyport City Hall. What about all those other deserving folk? That was way back February 8, 2007. Certainly got waylaid by all this school stuff, right?

Good point George.

Maybe one of the nicest things about the preservation awards, was an emphasis on your not spectacularly obvious historic properties. (Often folks define historic properties by the fact that George Washington or whoever important slept there, so of course the place has to be historic and probably is the only reason it could possibly be historic.)

Probably no one fancy, smancy lived, slept, ate, whatever at 7 Prospect Street, 323 Merrimac Street or 11 Smith Street (all of which got awards), but they still add to the very important historic and economic value of Newburyport, MA.

11 Smith Street
Image courtesy of the City of Newburyport
and Steven Rudolph of the
Newburyport Preservation Trust

Carol Herzog made restorations to 11 Smith Street. The restoration included window replacement and chimney reconstruction as well as “meticulous attention to detail and superb craftsmanship throughout the house.” (Newburyport Historic Commission, February 8, 2007)

Wow! Pretty cool.

So thanks George. It feels good to blog on historic preservation again. I think I’ll go for a walk now and admire all those historic assets that mean so much to the city of Newburyport, MA. And I’m going to take yet another gander at 11 Smith Street which has always been one of my favorites. So a very big thank you to Carol Herzog and to all the other folks that have contributed meaningfully to historic properties in this fair city.

Mary Eaton