Lipstick on a Pig

Do I need to snap my fingers in front of your face to bring you out of your trance?

Or, are we going to need a two by four?

The Waterfront Issue seems to be on everyone’s minds – it is an important issue but it’s not a pressing issue.   In fact, right now it’s mostly smoke and mirrors!

That waterfront won’t be changing into an expanded park (with or without buildings) for at least four to five years.

There are so many steps that have to be dealt with first before we get what we want.

Do you really think the NRA is going to get rid of its golden goose? (Parking)

Do you really think that underground parking is possible?

Does anyone know the cost of the contamination cleanup of this “landfill”?

Then comes the search for a developer, and once one is found,

just ask the owners of the Ale House how long the permitting process will be. (They still don’t know!)

And on top of that, nothing is going to really happen until the parking garage is built which is several years out from now*.

So, once you realize that this is NOT a pressing issue – then what is?

Historic Preservation should be the most pressing.       We could very easily end up like Lynn – lovely parks, a huge city green called Lynn Woods which no one wants to go to because, well, its Lynn!

We could have a beautiful waterfront park and lose the city.

Our majestic downtown has no protections to keep it the way it is.     And considering the astounding lack of knowledge in historic architectural integrity, the typical developer won’t care.    And still won’t care – once built and sold and they have their money – they are history.

Our historic seaport is being demolished house-by-house, neighborhood by neighborhood and we are slowly losing the very reason for our desirability as a great place to live.      We’ll either lose it all and end up with a haphazard, poor urban planning, post-boom existence or, we’ll become so exclusive that we become a wealthy, gated, over-priced faux-historic community.

I encourage everyone to stop the chanting and understand that historic preservation is the big issue, or if you can’t shake out of the trance, and end up voting for bad candidates,

we’ll be left with an ugly porker of a downtown and a beautiful waterfront park that no one visits, or a Beverly Hill’s city in which only out-of-towners will get the opportunity to enjoy the park.

Your vote tomorrow should be to elect those candidates who support true historic preservation. (Be careful, there are a few charlatans who claim to be preservationists.)

-P. Preservationist

* It was very encouraging to find out that all three mayoral candidates support a parking garage.      That means it is no longer an issue which will certainly speed up its eventual creation.    Now it will boil down to a simple choice: a ghastly ugly soul-destroying parking garage or one that is beautifully integrated into our historic downtown.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Demolitions, Developers, Downtown, Health and wellness, Heritage Tourism, News and politics, Preservation, Quality of Life, Streetscapes, Waterfront. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Lipstick on a Pig

  1. Port Sanity says:

    Hyperbole will get you nowhere. Teach us, show us, demonstrate with references and examples how historic preservation will lead to the result you always tout, but never demonstrate with solid examples. Take Bob Cronin’s advise and bring the temperature down a bit. Sure, people read your blog, but for the same reason they can’t look away from a train wreck or car accident … it’s spectacular. If all you want is for people to talk about how outrageous you are, keep on the path you’re on. That is, complain constantly, call people names, offer to hit them with a two by four. But that won’t get people to believe you. After the train wreck, they move along and just wait for the next wreck.

    Use the knowledge and information you have to show us what you’re talking about. If you do, then others will believe. If you don’t, they’ll just wait for the next train wreck.

  2. I am leaving this previous reply up as an example of what not to submit to my blog.

    Any personal attacks or comments to try to shut me up or statements that do not add to the discussion at hand, will be summarily deleted.

    As indicated on, “Blog Policies: Contributing submissions on the historic downtown, historic preservation issues and open space concerns will be taken in strictest confidentiality. I reserve the right to post contributions that add to the discussions and will not post the name of the contributor unless specifically instructed to do so. I of course can not without permission post copyrighted materials.”

    And no, I am not going to shut up! And Councilor Cronin’s desire to “cool the debate” aught to be directed toward the anti-historic preservationists and open waterfront advocates who will not hesitate to use denigration, exaggeration, hysteria, misinformation and misstatements to advance their agenda.

  3. Essexcnty1 says:

    First, good to hear that a parking garage is on the docket. It clearly took a genius to realize the need for one. Your consistency ends there.
    Historic Preservation is truly important and all we have to do is look at our neighboring cities and towns to see examples of that. Portsmouth, Portland, Rockland, Rockport, Salem, Marblehead, Charlestown, Provincetown, Nantucket, Newport. Some have outstanding examples of usage, some not so much. What Newburyport lacks is not the desire for Historic Preservation. Newburyport lacks vision. Newburyport is dysfunctional. “Give me preservation but no Historic District!” “Improve my waterfront parks but don’t touch our vast parking lot (with a great view?!). “Let’s beautify the parking lots!” “Lets micromanage our growth, and block all development of the waterfront.”
    The “temperature” of this debate is really a 35 year fever without a remedy!

    BTW: Frederick Law Olmsted’s Lynn Woods is a 2,200 acre municipal forest park and is the second largest (community supported – Friends of Lynn Woods) municipal park in the United States. The City of Lynn’s Department of Public Works, Park Commission, and Lynn Water and Sewer Commission share jurisdiction and management of the Reservation and it is one of the finest examples of Historic Preservation in the country.
    The entire portion of the reservation with Lynn city bounds was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1996 as a historic district.
    Have you been to Maudslay lately? Lynn is not looking so bad.

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