Essex National Heritage Byway

I noticed in the back of the Daily News that Rowley is having an informational meeting about the benefits of the Byway as it is implemented throughout the 13 communities.        It will be at the Town Hall at 7:00 on October 27th.
They mentioned that 8,000 plus homes are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.       I have to mention that almost the majority are located at the beginning of the Byway on High Street. (Or the end of the Byway if coming from the south.)
Hints have been made that Federal monies are being planned to be directed toward infrastructure and historic preservation along this route in the next couple of years.     
This is a BIG DEAL.
It also means the City can’t sleep on this.     It needs to beg, plea and work toward getting some of those improvements heading in our direction!
I’m thinking finally getting High Street paved properly.     It’s supposed to be ground down so water doesn’t flow onto the sidewalks and into private homeowner’s basements!      In the past, tight on funds; the City has paved putting the road almost level to the top of the granite curbs.
Speaking of sidewalks.     We can finally get the necessary brick sidewalks to enhance our historic district from Atkinson Park to Newbury’s border.
We can start now to get funding to implement the High Street Master Plan languishing uselessly in the Planning Office without monies.    That includes restoring the bike lanes and putting in proper crosswalks.
Let’s hope we don’t drop the ball on this effort!!!
As for the abutters to this Byway, we need homeowners to realize the world doesn’t revolve around themselves.      To own buildings and land along this important way means to be stewards of the Nation’s heritage.      Important history was made along this route.      It means that money will be spent along this way by people who will travel long distance to get here.    It means the real estate values will be strong and some of those visitors will buy top dollar.      And they want to be part of this heritage and don’t want to move into a ‘plastic’ house.      Sure, some developer will gut and sell and soon word will spread not to buy that worthless ‘fake’.     The top dollar goes to those who own and sell restored property.
The views along this byway will be strongly preserved.      That’s why the Save the Green effort is underway in Newbury.       Putting plastic suburbia homes along the route robs us of a regional economic benefit and tax dollars.       People come here to see the Swett-Ilsley House not a McMansion.
Let’s all understand and work together to benefit the entire community!
-P. Preservationist
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