Why do they keep pestering us? Why don’t they shut up? What are they constantly going on about? Why are they so persistent?
Well, I’ll tell you.
To protect a National Heritage and Treasure for Posterity,
To promote and prosper the city by encouraging cultural and heritage tourism.
Most of America is transient, most of America is constantly seeking the ‘new’, the ‘better’ and the ‘cutting edge’. This driving desire has given us inventions galore, a standard of living that is one of the highest in the world causing most of the rest of planet earth to be either covetous or envious. But its root source is our foundational beliefs as a country: so many have abandoned the very wellspring of our liberty and they come to New England especially to historic towns such as ours to seek what those are; and to experience what gave birth to this great country. If we don’t provide the answers to their quest, they’ll go somewhere else. So it’s our goal to protect for the benefit of all the architectural and historical foundations. But while they’re here, you can’t blame us to sell them food, and lodging and some trinkets that they can bring back with them to remember their quest! And it certainly doesn’t hurt that all that atmosphere and culture makes us a very desirable place to live enriching our local craftsmen and realtors!
That is our goal as historic preservationists – it applies to preserving our fantastic ecological environment that God has provided for us and to seek to protect the historic source of our wealth.
We’ve got a host of wrong-headed special interest groups who think our wealth comes from other sources and then we have an evil sector that want to use up that treasure to enrich themselves alone.
That is why we must go far beyond educational means to advocate aggressively on a cultural, political and social level for these twin causes:
To attain those lofty goals, there are practical steps that we can use as goal posts to measure our progress. You ask what historic preservationists want? You’ve got it:
1. Historic District Signage
2. National Register Education & Protection
3. Sidewalk Installation & Maintenance Plan
4. Tree Commission Support
5. Utility Lines Undergrounding
6. Rubber sheeting
7. New Building Inspector & Building Department
8. National Landmark Status
9. Archeological Ordinance
10. Public Restriction Tract Index
11. Local Historic District Expansion
Some of these have to do with creating a new attitude, while others have to do with policy and yet others are nuts and bolts concerning infrastructure. Some are very inexpensive to accomplish and others involve big money. Nor, though I have numbered them, are necessarily in order of importance (except the first one) or will get accomplished first.
In a series of posts, I will expand on each of these measures.
PS. I attempted to outline these back in 2013 but ended up at a job that ate up my free time considerably to the point I couldn’t even do my blogs. Plus the track of time has seen some progress (and some setbacks). So, I have re-assembled the list slightly since then to cover where we are right now.