Time to travel on the way-back machine. Of course, some may have to travel farther!
Do you remember your school days when there was always someone who would act up in class or argue with the teacher? Wise teachers wouldn’t take the bait but many others would.
You’d often find the majority of students bored out of their minds while the instructor would concentrate on the few malcontents. Great fun perhaps for the antagonist but the rest of us ended up frustrated and cheated out of any form of education. I’d get a couple of classes like that in high school and I would just dread attending. I’d either read the textbook (not exactly designed for entertainment) or I ended up becoming an expert doodler.
Well, jumping back to the present; I’m tired of taking the bait. And I would imagine the Preservation Trust is tired of this distraction too! The hard lessons on renovating and restoring our old houses and pursuing projects in the city that enhance our economy have mostly been neglected as we’ve tried to deal with dark siders, the aesthetically challenged, the infrastructure barbarians, the extremists and the thugs.
The vast majority of those who move into the Newburyport Historic District understand the ‘specialness’ of our National Register historic district, and are determined to contribute to the benefit of the community as good citizens, but they need help.
Though they have a willing heart, ignorance makes them prey for craftsmen and developers. I used to work in many aspects of the construction industry. Conmen and bold-face liars are in abundance. And in many cases, good craftsmen will mislead an old-house owner simply out of ignorance not having any experience in such buildings. (There’s only 8.3% of these structures in America, most know what is good for the other 92% and little else. Often what works for a new building is disastrously the wrong thing to do for an old-house.)
The construction industry is just like navigating the Internet. (them there pirate waters you see, Matey!) If you don’t get some savvy quick, you’re going to be taken for a ride!
Unfortunately, ill-conceived work will generate regrets that will last for years.
I am going to try to remedy this. (and hopefully the ‘Trust will do the same!)
Right now, much of my online assistance is hard to get to or not updated. The ‘Trust doesn’t even have a website page that covers renovation and restoration. (I’ve looked.)
I will be enriching my usual posts with many practical approaches to maintaining these old houses. Each post will be added to an easy to reach link for easy reference.
It will be yet another feature to add to my other categories of Newburyport History, House Stories, and the Newburyport Home Companion.
And I am hoping that the ‘Trust with all their talented members will be enhancing their site with much needed assistance.
We have the majority of citizens willing to chip in to secure a prosperous heritage tourism industry, a healthy real estate market, a high quality of life and a stable city government with good services.
They will need the tools to keep up these old houses without sacrificing their property values or endlessly pouring out money.
I hope in this way, I can help them by giving them the tools to do the job.
All you have to do is read my posts and check out my links!