Letter on National Landmark Status

I suppose before I rip the Mayor a good one, I must add a caveat that he has had his bright moments (in spite of himself).      One of them is the sending of a letter requesting the National Register of Historic Places to make Newburyport a National Historic Landmark.
Someone must have told him that the program doesn’t involve building protection.
Either way, it was a good deed that will have historic and legacy importance for the City of Newburyport and concerning his mayoral term.
CEB sent over the transcript.          Apparently, they don’t have the actual original copy.
Here it is:

November 19, 2008


Mr. Paul Loether

Chief, NRHP and NHL

1849 C Street NW (2280)

Washington DC 20240





Dear Mr. Loether:


We are interested in pursuing designation of a National Historic Landmark District in Newburyport, Massachusetts, and we are writing to inquire how to begin the process.


A large portion of the city, comprising 2576 buildings, was listed on the National Register in 1984; there are also a number of individual listings, and one individual NHL, the Caleb Cushing House. We believe that Newburyport meets NHL Criteria 1 and 4, and we are attaching a brief discussion of the aspects of Newburyport’s historical associations, architecture and urban design that we believe rise to the level of national significance, along with a map of the NR District and a few recent photos illustrating representative resources.   


We are confident of local support for the District, since a public survey last summer showed widespread support for a Local Historic District, which of course carries far more restrictions than the NHL. After years of resisting attempts to create such a district, a one-block-long LHD was created last year, and interest in creating a larger one has grown. Both the Historical Society and the Maritime Society are expanding; and Newburyporters are increasingly enthusiastic about preserving and celebrating their unique heritage. We are all excited about the prospect of becoming an NHL District; in fact, both the Maritime Society and the Historical Society have been looking into obtaining individual NHL listing for the Custom House and the Perkins Mint respectively, and designation of the District would relieve them of the individual effort.


If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact this office and we will provide the necessary information and/or professional services needed for this designation.


Sincerely yours,


John F. Moak,   Mayor of Newburyport


I will leave a copy for download in the "Landmark" folder.
-P. Preservationist




About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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