One of the best ways to successfully reach a goal is to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are. If pumping up your ego is not the primary goal, it makes it so much easier to be successful. Fortunately, I live in Newburyport which has a large inventory of smart people. I truly stand in awe of so many with not just smarts but vast amounts of information stored in their noggins. Just rubbing shoulders with them can be extremely edifying
Well, one of them, I certainly have to say, is William Harris.
Here I was so upset that one of our historic homes is in great danger of being demolished. There was 17-19 Bromfield Street, presently being used as rental property; now in danger of being torn down by one of our city’s noted architects. Ironically, it was previously owned by his wife, Betsy H. Woodman, who is a noted advocate of historic preservation and has helped in the restoration of the Custom House. Jonathan Woodman, though previously known for contemporary architecture; has himself had a proud portfolio of historic restoration in Newburyport.
But Mr. Harris has brought up an important element. Those who have commercial property (or are landlords or have condominiums in their buildings) are eligible for a Federal 20% tax credit. The state also has a parallel tax credit program for the same type of property owner.
Instead of destroying the home, it can be renovated for leasing or condominiums and a sizeable benefit can be obtained.
In fact, developers need to be reminded of this cost aid.
Coupled with the fact that new buildings will have to follow the stretch code which will add considerable construction cost, it makes sense for historical homes in the Newburyport Historic District to be renovated rather than demolished.
The key is education – architects, contractors, developers and property owners; all need to know the tremendous savings that can be made by renovating these homes rather than demolishing.
This is one of the important reasons there is a Newburyport Preservation Craftsmen Directory. The entire construction industry needs to be aware that Newburyport’s historic district needs to be treated differently than other neighborhoods.
And by learning the difference, can not just preserve our national heritage here but generate a healthy profit.