Desolation & Desecration

I know your busy.      You’ve got to get to work on time.      Many have the bustle of getting kids off to school.      Others just get into a commuter’s grind following the same path every day.

It’s your lifestyle that is allowing opponents of historic preservation to make silly statements such as, “People who come here naturally want to take care of their historic homes.”, “Purchasers of these homes want to do the right thing and take care of the homes”, and  “There are no examples of anyone trying to desecrate or demolish these historic buildings.”

One, too many who come to Newburyport actually believe that unless the building is a spectacular mansion or that someone of some significance lived there, their home doesn’t apply.     Therefore they reason, nobody cares what they do with their home and end up saying, “I’ll do what I please”.     Most don’t even know they are in a large historic district.

Two, purchasers of homes don’t naturally choose the difficult process of renovating the home when they can just tear it down and build their dream home.      It’s just good business sense and it’s human nature.     They’ve done their homework.     They know there are no protections so why not make a killing in such a high real estate area.      Just a place to dump stuff

West ViewWe have one developer from outside the town, who has bought an historic home.   The historical commission won’t let him demolish it – so he’s leaving the home exposed to the elements so eventually the building inspector will have to condemn it.      Then he can proceed with his plans to build a new house.

Another, even though the historical commission says it could be saved, waited out the demolition delay and tore it down anyway.

Yet, another, used an exploratory to do an almost complete demolition – didn’t get away with it and now has built an ugly shell that will never be more than cheap rental property because all the original historical architecture is gone.3-5 Pine Exploratory

If that isn’t enough, there is our precious High Street under attack – Mary Eaton has already done a spectacular job in showing what inherent goodness has already tried to do!

Please, please – take the time to go up and down our city’s streets and see the real picture – look at the listing of monthly building permits posted in the Daily News (You’ll be shocked as you read them) and check out the legal notices of homeowners who are seeking exemptions from zoning requirements.     

Then the scales will fall from your eyes and you will know why this is a crucial year for expanding the local historic district.

-P. Preservationist

This entry was posted in Demolitions, Economics, Historic Demolitions, Local Historic Districts (LHD). Bookmark the permalink.

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