“We, the undersigned, propose that the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority take the action necessary now
to insure the rehabilitation of the historic buildings of the Newburyport Business District. We are unalterably opposed to demolition.”
If you go to the book, Port in Progress, you can get a false impression that political leaders took up the heavy responsibility of restoring our downtown. They were, in fact, responding to hundreds of caring citizens who were making it very clear they wanted no more demolitions and they wanted a downtown that would honor our architectural and historical buildings. It was these individuals who bravely put their names to this petition that was posted on Friday, April 18th, 1969. This project was not cheap as they paid to have a full page for their petition posting.
Courtesy of the Archives of the Newburyport Public Library
We now have a race before us.
We have a written petition circulating promoting the establishment of the local historic district. This one is sponsored by the Newburyport Preservation Trust. We also have two online petitions – Save Newburyport’s petition in support of the present proposal of an LHD covering the Downtown and High Street and P. Preservationist’s petition that supports the entire National Register being converted to an LHD. I have also heard but not seen, a written petition to attach the South End to the current proposal.
Trying to countermand that effort is, a written petition also circulating against the LHD. There is also an online version of this petition.
No matter where the petition comes from, the City Council, if presented with same, must duly record it into the public record. The signers of the Declaration of Independence paid dearly for putting their names on that document – many with their lives and fortune. If you care enough about a cause, you realize that your life and reputation are on the line and history will forever know who was responsible for the fate of Newburyport – against or pro. I suppose this makes some people nervous – why would you sign a petition and not put your name on it?
If you care about the future of our great city, NOW is the time to put your JOHN HANCOCK on these petitions. John did it so it would be large enough that King George who had poor vision could see it.
We need to know who will forever stand for the preservation of Newburyport.