There is an underlying economic benefit that is derived from historic preservation. We should strive to preserve the past and honor the architectural culture of our past and we should do it to improve the aesthetic and historic look of the City.
But in our culture and economy, it’s, “Show me the money”.
And if there is anything that so identifies us is our brick sidewalks. When people think of Newburyport, they think: brick and granite and the trees that line along our streets.
Of course, I would love to have all the sidewalks within the Newburyport Historic District made of brick, lined with granite and ADA-compliant and consistent throughout. But at this time, we simply don’t have the money so it makes common sense to focus bricking at the most advantageous stretches in our City.
The first spot that needs it is in front of Stella’s on Middle Street. If you want commercial traffic to be drawn away from the downtown, then you stretch out along the way the historic lampposts and you continue the historic brick sidewalks like arms from an octopus. In effect, you’re drawing the visitor away from the center of town and luring them with new experiences while continuing the underlying theme.
In this way, they are drawn down Middle Street past the book shop, by the Grog, then the Stop light cafe and then, unfortunately, it breaks into this morass of treacherous blacktop and concrete, a lawsuit waiting to happen.
It is hurting Stella’s, it is harming the drawing process away from the downtown and it hurts the whole experience of Newburyport. It is obvious that this business doesn’t have the extra capital to fix the sidewalks.
I am nominating this spot as a suggestion to be first done by the DPS this summer. This business brings revenue and visitors into Newburyport – they should take precedence!
Let’s make the uniquely identifiable characteristic of Newburyport: Brick and Granite count and count where it makes the most sense in improving our local businesses!