I started thinking about “memory” (see earlier entry) again and what it means to a sense of place and historic preservation, because I started to think about historic gardens, mainly along High Street, how beautiful they are, but whether or not they make sense in day to day living in the year 2007.
All of this came into my head as I watched the work on 87 High Street take place.
Again, when is it appropriate to impinge on the past, and when is it appropriate to preserve it? And again, for me, there is often no easy answer.
And historic High Street gardens are not exactly a new topic.
“Gardens of the New Republic: Fashioning the Landscapes of High Street, Newburyport, Massachusett” is all about the significance of gardens in Newburyport, MA. The book is available at the Newburyport library and bookstores. It can also be obtained through the website historicgardensofnewburyport.org.
And in 2006 Preservation Massachusetts named the Wheelwright Gardens as one of Massachusetts’ “10 Most Endangered Resources.”
This is from the Newburyport Current , Tuesday, September 26, 2006, by Ulrika Gerth:
“The fact that this extremely rare Federal style garden has remained intact for over 120 years is amazing,” said Jim Igoe, president of Preservation Massachusetts. “This horticultural gem shares the same historic significance as the main house on this property and should benefit from the same type of protection granted to it.”
All of this had me scurrying to find old photographs and garden plans of gardens in Newburyport, MA to share with readers of the Newburyport Blog.
This is a an old photograph of the Wheelwright Garden at 75 High Street.
And I’ve been told, and I haven’t verified this, that there is a replica of Old South Church at the top of that wonderful wooden structure at the end of the garden.
The Garden at 75 High Street,
The Wheelwright House,
Courtesy of the Newburyport Archival Center
at the Newburyport Public Library