I attended late to the Local Historic District Study Committee last meeting and listened in as a resident asked some very thoughtful and probing questions. Now, I am a very patient man but when someone says something based on a solid foundation of ignorance, I get very impatient. My first instinct is to shout, “Read the website and then come and ask questions.” But the members were very diplomatic and proceeded cautiously so the questioner could understand fully the new LHD.
All I can exhort for others, “Read what the website has on the LHD.”
I think you will definitely be relieved. We’re not Cambridge, filled with moonbats. And we’re certainly not the Star Chamber they have down in Ipswich where their LHD is on a back street. Our local historic district is designed for a living, breathing, dynamic city not a sleepy residential neighborhood like Salem’s McIntire District.
So as the evening conversations progressed, a questions was asked, “How is this LHD going to impact the proposed parking garage?”
“Most definitely,” commented Margaret Welch.
BOY DID MY EARS PICKUP.
She continued, “The Historical Commission and the Local Historic District Commission will be at the table in the planning for the garage.”
NOW I WAS REALLY LISTENING.
As anyone who has been keeping up on my posts knows, I am upset at the prospect of the MVRTA paying for this garage. Let’s face it, they make ugly parking garages. I am currently watching very closely in Amesbury right now as their MVRTA structure is going up. Amesbury has been replicating the success of Newburyport and just like following a recipe, they are cooking up a success story on their own. So I wonder how their garage will integrate with the rest of the downtown? Will it be ghastly and ugly or cohesively integrate into the Millyard?
But now I am excited. These two commissions want to see development downtown but they want to make sure that if anything is put in it is integrated into the rest of Newburyport. We don’t want to repeat the bad mistake of Pickering Wharf in Salem*.
With these groups represented, It is very comforting to know that when the garage is put in, it will be a positive addition to our Downtown**.
* If you haven’t visited Salem, its waterfront has nothing to do with the traditional Salem downtown. Consequently, the ‘Wharf’ is isolated and misses most of the tourist traffic even though it is just down the street from the National Park and the House of the Seven Gables!
** Unless of course, with large monies involved and political pressure forced upon them, they become wimpy and cave!