He’s the magic bullet! Millions have reaped economic benefit from him and others rejoice at the fine quality of life he has provided.
He is the savior for many a community.
Who is he you may ask?
He has accomplished more than hundreds of dedicated volunteers in historic preservation. Achieved victory where historical commissions have failed to accomplish the task. More powerful than governments and politicians, he literally has the power to stop a rampaging zoning board of appeals.
Examples abound everywhere on the North Shore.
Ipswich was a poverty-stricken community so poor they could not tear down their old buildings from the 1800’s. Their once glorious schooner-ship buildings days long gone. Then the train came with employees looking for a beautiful place to live while working in Boston. Then industry came to the charming community and now Ipswich is prosperous. Newburyport was a run-down mill town: its international port gone, its ship building industry in shambles and the shoe and textile mills silent. Run down it didn’t have the money to tear down its old dilapidated downtown. There are still people who live in Boston who won’t come to our city because in their minds, we’re still a dump! Thank heavens that our beauty today is so unique.
There are even closer-to-home examples.
42 Merrimac Street wanted to build a building that was not brick. The owner spurned the central, money-making theme of the Federalist downtown. No one could persuade him but we’ve been saved by the downturn in the economy. The arrogant asses at First Republic wanted to build so-called luxury apartments on the water. Butt ugly, these glorified tenement buildings were inappropriate for Newburyport. The present economy has stopped a future scar on our city. When Oleo Trust snuck in their ‘development’ under the Strategic Land Use Plan, their scheming to destroy open space land was thwarted…by going broke. Whether hotels on the central waterfront or the thirsty drive to demolish our historic homes; our friend Poverty keeps on giving.
Now you may ask, “Isn’t Poverty not a nice person to keep company with? Well, yes. But we wouldn’t have to depend on him if we had safeguards to protect the city like preservation easements and a local historic district and proper protective ordinances.
I for one would prefer to dump Poverty in a heartbeat but until these protections are imposed, I rather like his company!