If we want to maximize the importance of the Newburyport Historic District and the beginning of our grand boulevard, High Street, we need to greet out-of-town visitors with a consistent message. We need a message beyond a sign on a pole that says, “You have left Modern U.S.A. and you are now visiting a very special place. Prepare to meet a piece of America’s National heritage.
This kind of preparation of the soul is lacking right now. There is no real warning that things will change the moment you pass Famous Pizza and approach the three corners.
What better way to show that change than a clear demarcation of brick walkway.
It is desperately needed here:
Likewise, on the opposite end of High Street, the area at Marlboro Street and the corners around it should indicate that you are leaving Newbury and entering the Newburyport Historic District. By properly framing it in brick, a demarcation is also declared and the message clear, “Our nation’s history is preserved here.”
Financially, we need to put these improvements in a strategic place as funding allows. Of course, I would love to have all the sidewalks within the Newburyport Historic District made of brick, lined with granite curbing and ADA-compliant and consistent throughout.
It will give all the properties a 20-30% boost in value (According to the IRS) and take away any distraction from the simple message, “We need to preserve this district – it is a special place.”
It should be our goal to have a consistency – brick inside the district, concrete on the outside. A simple urban planning statement that will lift our already regional prominence ever higher.