The eyes can see quite clearly – Let’s right this wrong!

Ancient Painting of Sommersby's LandingWhen Sommersby’s Landing in the 19th century is noted on maps, the river was very close to Merrimac Street with long wharves sticking out into the waterways.      Old pictures re-inforce this fact.

In this old picture, the building proposed for the Ale House is clearly seen with the road visible from upper Green Street.

A later picture, which is actually one of the Green Street and 40 Merrimac Street clearly visible and in line with the streetscapeearliest photo’s of Newburyport, the Ways to the Water are very clearly visible – a nice wide open area all the way to the water.

But today, the view from that same perspective is blocked by a cinder-block extension from the old Davis Electric building – that is because it was illegally, without proof of title, extended into the public way, which is, I might add, public property.

DSCN2184As I indicated in the previous blog; the conduit reveals all; not only is the conduit originally built on public property; this diagram shows that the extension from the Brown Wharf Federalist Warehouse was also built illegally.        Think about the fact that you’re standing on public property the next time you bite into that sandwich at Port City Sandwich Shop!

I frankly don’t know what it will take to stop the expensive re-routing of the culvert – which by the way is not necessary if they get rid of the cinder-block extension and hand the property back to the City so it can be managed by the Waterfront Trust!      Culvert runs on public property Instead, they are going to expend a lot of money to hide the illegal taking of public land.

How can they justify this?        Especially when the public knows what they are up to!     Is this Nazi Germany where everyone goes about their business for fear they will ‘disappear’ or is it just pure apathy?

The solution is simple and it would save  a lot of money.      The owner re-designs the Ale House Restaurant without the silly glass frontage therefore re-inforcing the historic nature of the original building and the water/sewer department can then go off and focus on the Graft Road lift station and leave this un-necessary culvert work alone.

-P. Preservationist

This entry was posted in Businesses, Demolitions, Downtown, Education, History, Landscapes, Open Space, Organizations, Planning, Preservation, Real Estate, Waterfront. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The eyes can see quite clearly – Let’s right this wrong!

  1. Jack Santos says:

    I have some sympathy for Joe Leone, the restauranteur with the great vision. He has gone through at least one redesign (result of historic preservation needs), has been forthright about his plans, has personally appeared before the ZBA to show his sincerity and willingness to work with all parties. I fear his patience (and pocketbook) may be wearing thin….

    But your argument is sound, and if we as a city had any integrity, and held to our laws and rules, I would agree that the “taking back” needs to happen (isnt that what title insurance us for?)…

    But does that really eliminate the need to fix that culvert, and spend the $? I’d like to know more about that. And unfortunately, this is just another indicator that the city, it’s mayor, and staff seems overzealous at bending over backwards for developers without regard to its responsibility to the citizens of the city and the public trust….

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