I was aghast to see the tearing down of the James Carey House at 5 Strong Street. It had gone through the one-year demolition delay and now it came down today. Instead of the owner looking at alternatives, they decided to knock it down to replace it with a faux historic building. (if we’re lucky)
Why am I making a big deal? Because we heard repeatedly that owners would “do the right thing” in preserving our historic houses and “keep in consideration of the entire community” by protecting our streetscapes.
That is not what is happening!?!
I am going to document every time we lose our historically significant buildings so such idealistic nonsense will be buried once and for all time.
The fact is that our failure to protect our houses this last December has signaled that it is okay to destroy our city and our nation’s heritage for short-term profit.
Some would say, “Why don’t you mind your own business – this is private property!?!”
I am minding my own business – each loss in the Newburyport Historic District is going to impact my neighbors and my own quality of life. We will see a loss in the uniqueness and specialness of our neighborhoods as expensive new homes replace our precious historic properties. We will see it in our equity, utility rates, our taxes, and the entire area of quality of life.
I am recording all the losses so that when the local historic district ordinance is resurrected or talk of protecting our historic downtown resumes; that I can show how much has already been lost.
In the past, It took the destruction of our waterfront buildings and the bath houses on Unicorn Street to rally our city in the sixties.
How much more destruction must take place before we all wake up and protect our precious assets?