While many have been upset over a ‘no brainer’ for an historic seaport becoming such a heated issue; I am downright giddy with happiness.
There was a time when historic preservationists were frightened of their own shadows. They sought ways to not be in the limelight and to be non-confrontational.
And I was very upset at this ridiculous state and have repeatedly tried to prod them and poke at them hoping to scare them out into the open. I posted in exasperation, they were all hiding in one of Newburyport’s underground smuggler tunnels peering out in frightened terror.
I am happy to declare that the former state is no more!
Strange as it may seem, we owe a debt of thanks to the John Birch Society and the Libertarians for putting up such a fuss!
Historic preservationists have had to come out into the sunlight and to take a stand. They had to show everyone in town they are not only relevant but their actions will guarantee a bright future for our city. This required them to exercise persuasion and to effectively show the facts and the history to support their positions. The result has been a rebirth in our City.
Our museums have become reinvigorated and are now dynamic centers from which to reveal our city’s historic past and to highlight why our architecture is so important not only to us as citizens but for the entire nation making us well worth a visit.
The Preservation Trust has become a fountain of talent with a powerful website and with representation in its membership from across the community.
The historic preservationists have crept out into the open and found they have a powerful voice! When Linda Miller first spoke before an audience, she lacked confidence – now she speaks boldly and everyone expects a word from her at various events and meetings. Tom Kolterjahn has grown in his leadership abilities, Sarah White has become skilled in diplomacy. (especially in the last year!) and could probably work now for the State Department! Mary Haslinger has turned into a fiery pistol and Mary Eaton has become the wise counselor.
I could go on and on talking about so many who no longer hang back.
And now the citizens have learned about our ancient and near history, now know that the Newburyport Historic District actually exists and is now aware of what danger lies before us. We can no longer go back into the murky apathy of a few years ago.
With renewed confidence, we need to push forward and show the benefits of historic preservation and how it helps our entire city. We’ve got a host of talented individuals and they’re not holding back!