It is easy to get distracted and this has really bothered me about the Newburyport preservation movement. We become fixated at certain projects that are great in themselves but what happens is they become a distraction from the main goals that should be the top priority.
Establishing the local historic district ordinance and getting property owners to preserve their historic properties.
It’s nice to focus on history or on particular historic properties but do they answer the questions at hand:
Will this stop the destruction of historic architecture inside Newburyport?
Will this encourage developers to restore rather than demolish and gut historic properties?
Will these projects motivate the City government to change its policies and make meaningful changes toward historic preservation?
Historic preservationists need to leave history with the historians and the museums. Our task is so much harder and more dynamic – we need to instill an entire mindset here in Newburyport that is reflected in the business community, our financial institutions, our periodicals and in day-to-day social activity.
Let’s be realistic – we haven’t even put a dent into our community.
It’s time to stop being distracted and roll up our sleeves and start working – it’s hard but it can be done.