I have to start with the good news first because it is so thrilling. A section of our historic brick sidewalks is being rejuvenated on High Street. This street is our City’s Grand Boulevard and is a National and State Heritage Byway and recently has been designated as the northern starting point of the Essex Heritage National Byway that winds down through the likes of Essex, Ipswich and Salem. Regardless of some residents who think the street is their private driveway, this stretch needs to be treated with great reverence as part of our Nation’s heritage. We need historic brick and granite-edged sidewalks stretching from the three roads all the way to the Newbury border. The look is what Newburyport is known for. Those who disregard our heritage are only harming our City’s financial health and quality of life.
Now on the subject of ‘bad news’; the Preservation Trust has put out a warning that our historic Bullfinch builidng, the oldest functioning courthouse in America may be closing soon. This is especially tragic in that thousands of courtrooms have been modeled after this very one. Famous personages have stood in this very room – the likes of Daniel Webster and John Quincy Adams among others. It is not a coincidence that this court is located in the First Essex district. Once Newburyport was the most important city in Essex County and the first courthouse was started here long before others were started further south when industry, money and populations and power moved south.
I am not sure what can be done to preserve the court here or what actions at least to preserve the building. Standby for further news!