The one thing the Daily News ‘sort of’ got wrong yesterday in its installment of the ‘The Port and Preservation’ that the attempt at the LHD back in the 70’s failed. It was true the attempt failed mainly because it focused entirely on High Street. But In reality, we actually have had a semi-LHD since the mid-1970’s. Many tourist brochures from that period and for a couple of decades indicated that a local historic district was present downtown. And they were ‘sort of’ right.
The NRA imposed strict controls over the exterior of the buildings downtown for several decades; then, when that expired, they controlled the signage which will be expiring by the end of this year.
And just like a true LHD, the benefits and the ripple effect spread improvements not just around the business district but throughout the Newburyport Historic District and has benefited the entire city.
We can see the wonderful results today.
Newburyport was transformed from a rundown, poor mill town to the affluent and beautiful address it is today.
How much more when we expand the LHD to cover High Street and restore the controls downtown!