I had a very singular question posed to me this last week. As to why it was posed was completely out of my purview (I didn’t ask) but it did bring up one of Newburyport’s strengths.
“Is there any architecture or historic building that is unique to Newburyport? Or, phrasing it differently, is there architecture in Newburyport that does not exist anywhere else?
The answer is straight forward, “No”.
That is the situation and the problem with Newburyport. Our great treasured asset of historic buildings are ‘valuable’ only due to the concentration and great numbers of historic architecture not from a unique building like an Eiffel Tower or an Empire State Building.
It is our historic neighborhoods and our streetscapes that bring value to our city.
Which is why the local historic district ordinance makes sense as it
addresses protecting both.
Now if you want to split hairs, we do have uniqueness. Our Downtown! We are the only Federalist-style commercial district still intact in America.
PS. The Custom House and the Superior Court House are famous by the
designers (Mills, Bullfinch) but not unique in design.