I was reading the proposed local historic district ordinance and was struck by this header that was put just before the list of guidelines:
“Although the replacement of non-contributing features existing at the time this NLDH …is permitted,
the property owner is encouraged to reverse earlier adverse alterations and restore original or later historic building material, if possible.”
This truly is the mantra for the entire historic preservation movement, and in particular, the spirit of the law for the Newburyport Historic District. In the 70’s, most of Newburyport looked like ______ .(You can fill in the blank – put in something depressing, and demoralizing – knock your socks off.) In the video, “Newburyport: A Measure of Change” (which I have now put under the video folder of www.ppreservationist.com) you get to view a Time Traveller’s perspective. “Ugh”
As I have mentioned before, the local historic district ordinance is but one small tool in the bag of preservation tools. There are historic renovation guidelines, historical research, preservation aides, educational material, preservation easements; buying, restoring and selling buildings, etc. The LHD can’t walk your dog (Though some nice historic bricks done to ADA-guidelines will certainly make the walk easier) and it can’t clean up your personal life. (That’s up to you.)
It really is a mental attitude that we are all in this together and we want to enhance and preserve this great place, not just for ourselves and our visitors; but for our children!
And that makes all the hard work worth it.