While heading down to the Custom House for tonight’s performance, be sure to take a walk through the Preservation Trust’s “Vanishing Treasures” exhibit. It is quite spectacular and gives a nice sampling of the architectural styles that exist in the Newburyport Historic District. They cover the styles of doors, hinges and windows and the beautiful molding that is rapidly disappearing from houses.
Speaking of rapidly disappearing, up on the wall big as can be is a pictorial map showing how much of the city has been demolished and how much new construction is slowly supplanting around the district. It is quite alarming and brings home not only how historic preservation is a worthy task – but it gives us a sense of urgency.
ONCE THESE ARE GONE, THEY ARE GONE!
I laughed at the intense desire of many who come to the city to get rid of historic architecture and our history. Recently, Ten Center Street was sold; and I’ll tell you why. Every bit of history in that structure other than some studs on the wall has been ripped out – people want to come to our restaurants, especially a fine, dining establishment and ‘feel’ Newburyport’s historic atmosphere while they enjoy the fine food. Instead, they get a featureless environment with just a tiny historic picture in the corner that depicts an ocean scene from another area!
Now we’ll get some outsider without any context to our streetscapes and our heritage; giving us their one-size-fits-all restaurant theme.
I wonder what the name of the new restaurant that will replace them will be called.
I remember Middle Street Foods, sold and at first they had some stupid name, Nantucket Taste in there and then, wisely changed the name. Or the River Merrimac Restaurant that was in the Tannery, that misspelled the River (It’s Merrimack d_____s!) At least Fifty Water is more accurate.
I have a recommendation for the new owners that will eventually replace the new owners on Center Street,
Ten Center Street (with the history put back in!)