One of the biggest ploys in ignoring the Gorilla is to avoid solid information.
First, you hide the source of the facts.
Second, you dispense misinformation.
Third, you make the assurance, “You can never be sure.”
By the time you’re done, everyone wants to run away from the Newburyport Historic District because it comes across as ‘confusing’.
This bring the specter of misunderstandings and lengthy legal challenges involving expensive consultants, expensive lawyers and slow-pondering judges bringing long-drawn out court decisions. Horrors, it may bring out a bureaucrat or two getting involved.
Finally, for everyone’s good, the declaration is made, “let’s just leave this idea alone”.
Yeah, I hate to wake an 800 lb gorilla!
The fact is that this technique has been very effective in City Hall to the terrible detriment of Newburyport.
The actual Newburyport Historic District is exceptionally detailed house-to-house as it was established in 1984. If any new construction occurs or a house’s age causes it to fall into the historic status, that is what the Historical Commission is for and they have set requirements that must be fulfilled to change status. It is all there online at www.newburyporthistoricdistrict.org. It used to be buried at the Newburyport Archive Room. Yes, ‘buried’. The inventory is not labeled as such but it is there.
Second, every house, historic or non-historic is ‘contributing’ as a whole to the entire district. NO HOUSE IS AN ISLAND inside the Newburyport Historic District. No confusion is possible. The Massachusetts Building Code is clear. The following letter from Mass Historic is clear:
Choosing to continue to ignore the district by not putting signage at its borders, not recognizing it seriously in our boards and commissions and not raising its importance at the City Hall Building Department and Planning Office is dooming our future as we see the causal affect of fragmented neighborhoods and their eventual disappearance.