Another reason that the Master Plan is so important is because it champions the general concept of PROTECTION. Part of that protection is establishing local historic districts. It also calls for :
Protection is the first basic function of government. The first sign of the failing of this fundamental responsibility is an inability to ensure safety and wellbeing in a community. A government that seeks only the interests of a select few over the general welfare of the majority is an evil administration.
The first job of the Master Plan is to protect.
“Preserve and protect the environmental quality, cultural, historic and community resources that have come to define Newburyport” (Page Seven)
The Master Plan emphasizes to, “Prioritize open space for protection.” (Page 60)
We have a whole bevy of self-centered homeowners who want to come to beautiful Newburyport but don’t want to preserve what has made it so desirable. Can you imagine someone moving to Newburyport and the first thing they want to do is “get rid of all those ‘old’ buildings? Yet, that is exactly what has been the trend for the last decade. Mass Historic indicated in 2007 that over 750 plus homes have been lost since the National Register of Historic Places’ Newburyport Historic District was granted in 1984.
Our culture has been trampled, our historic buildings have been treated with scorn and little effort has been made to establish protections.
People visit all the time and see our great beauty and they assume that all of this was a result of excessive protections.
Unfortunately, we are like an airplane that has lost power and is coasting to the ground. Everything will seem fine until the hard surface of reality is reached. Newburyport will lose its high position eventually.
It has happened before in Newburyport – so why are we so determined to do it again?