Can’t we do it right?

It’s a simple question.      Doing something half-baked when building a structure will only demand that constant ‘fixing’ and ‘negative results’ will have to be dealt with year-after-year.       But if something is done right – all the energy can be devoted to expanding and enjoying a new facility for years to come, worry-free of any negative impacts.       Our recent two schools that have been done correctly are going to mean that the facilities will be exploited for every possible advantage to educate the students.         The Library comes to mind of a well-planned building that has proven its worth over and over again.       The idea of short-changing, of cutting corners and doing things half-heartedly – can only spell future trouble.

The parking garage is in grave danger of being Newburyport’s albatross about the neck.     To punish sailors who were contrary, a dead albatross was tied to their throats.     No matter where they were and what they were doing, the sailor would be confronted by the hideous smell of rotting flesh.           So true, if our garage is not done correctly, it will be our eye-sore for decades into the future and actually be bad for business.

We need a parking garage!

The Karp’s need the garage so they can develop Waterfront West; COW, happy to see an expanding and open central waterfront park, realizes that more park will be available if a garage is installed.    They have no trouble with either.   The Mayor wants the garage, and the paid parking that she advocated was the necessary step toward it.     Our visitors desperately need the garage, our shops need the garage and our residents, tired of people parking in front of their homes, want the garage.

Even those who fought against the garage (When they wanted to blast the stone shelf below the First Religious Society of Newburyport and create a huge building over the central parking area) are largely happy with the new location.

So, if this is true, then we shouldn’t have a trouble with the garage, right?


The fundamental problem is, “How do we pay for it?”

The city is near breaking point on bonds taken out to ‘pay’ for yet another major improvement.     The Commonwealth has no problem with providing the seed money and there is promise of more down the road – but there doesn’t look like enough.

The fact is, if the garage is not going to be done right, we could have the same issue that occurred on Inn Street.    There was supposed to be light, metallic stairs that would not distract from the historic buildings.      Unfortunately, there was a major strike and the metal was not available.      Heavy, massive brick silo’s were constructed along with concrete gangplanks and it is going to take much money down the road to finally mitigate their negative impact.

And so there it is, and I will state it clearly, “If it is not going to be done correctly, then it should not be built”     That takes standing firm and being mature enough to say, “No” when everyone for convenience sake is demanding that we say, “Yes”.

In my next post, I will show why things are heading for a wrongly-designed facility.

-P. Preservationist


This entry was posted in Architecture, Businesses, Downtown, finances, Parking, Parks, Planning, Tourism, Waterfront. Bookmark the permalink.

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