CPA: Something BIG just happened!

I just received a list of projects that the Community Preservation Committee recommended to City Council.   Though I was disappointed that the Little River Trail System didn’t get any funding* I was excited over one line item:

No. Project Title Recommendation
1 YWCA at Hillside $150,000
2 Clipper City Rail Trail and Harborwalk, Phase II $100,000
3 Newburyport Affordable Housing Trust $50,000
4 Historic Structure Survey Update Project $15,000
5 The Track at Fuller Field – Improvement & Renovation Project $150,000
6 Joppa Park Renovation Project, Phase II $25,000
7 Open Space Reserve Fund $100,000
8 Belleville Congregational Church Restoration $39,000
9 Rehabilitation of the Perkins Printing and Engraving Plant $14,000
10 Newburyport Harbor Light Plum Island $12,000
11 City Hall Bond Payment $168,187.50
12 Open Space Bond Payment $104,591.31
13 Stadium Bond Payment $132,368.75
14 Cherry Hill Parcel B Bond Payment $13,208.75
15 Administrative Costs $12,000

Total:               $1,085,356.31

Can you tell what it is!?!

It is Number 4.

4 Historic Structure Survey Update Project $15,000

You see one of the first things that developers and ignorant,self-centered homeowners say when they want to do demolitions or gut an old house, “It’s okay, there is nothing historically significant or architecturally unique about this old building.”

Well, I know from my studies in the Library archives and doing research; a lot of nationally significant things happened in this city during the Romantic Years, 1764 to 1864 and probably quite a bit in the Industrial Years, 1864 to 1964.      The National Register survey that was undertaken in 1984 only skimmed the surface of the 2,500 plus structures within the Newburyport Historic District.

Though the project description sounds dry, it isn’t.     It will be a coordinated house by house research process that will nail down the actual architecture, culture, events and people tied to each unit.


Armed with this information, the Newburyport Historical Commission, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board of Appeals will be able to make informed decisions on our historical structures.

And when the pressure from greedy politicians and exploiting developers and slick lawyers  gets to much for these volunteer boards, abutters who want to preserve their historic neighborhoods, the Newburyport Preservation Trust and concerned citizens who want to keep the city affordable; will have an effective weapon to combat the destruction of our most precious and valuable assets in the city.


-P. Preservationist

* PRCWA has already received money for kiosks and signs in the past – We’ll just keep at it next year – especially as more and more people are astounded at the trail network.

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