This home companion has been prepared to help homeowners who have an historical home within the Newburyport Historic District. As a steward of an historic community resource, you will need to accomplish your goals while protecting and enhancing your home’s historic features. Keep in mind that an historical Newburyport house is a community treasure, with its own history and set of historic elements. No two historical buildings are alike, and the more you preserve and protect, the more authentic, valuable and rewarding your home will be. Part of the pride we share as residents of this city comes from living in or near old buildings. Our older neighborhoods bring the past alive for residents and visitors alike, creating a legacy to pass on to future generations.
However, taking care of these historic properties can be difficult. Questions frequently arise about these unique buildings’ styles, design and upkeep. There presently are only about 8.3% of the homes in America that are 100 years or older. The typical home improvement store, small or large, is often not designed to service historical home owners and the craftsmen who work on their buildings. Even more difficult, the average home construction worker often has not been trained or is unfamiliar with historical homes.
This home companion addresses these challenges by providing guidelines for homeowners and for craftsmen who are facing maintaining, renovating and repairing an historical house.
The first purpose is to identify the architectural styles and features commonly found in Newburyport so they are taken in consideration before starting renovation and maintenance projects. Keep in mind that also learning about the history of your own home will help fit your house in the appropriate time frame and include understanding that some features may have been added from later styles.
The second purpose is to provide design guidelines by suggesting ways homeowners can treat architectural details, yards, parking areas, and even sidewalks so these visible elements will enhance rather than detract from the rest of the neighborhood. A homeowner should keep ‘Newburyport in Mind’ when dealing with any changes or external modifications so our historic neighborhoods can be enhanced.
The third purpose is to show suggested ways to address structural issues that must be treated to avoid unnecessary deterioration of otherwise sound buildings.
Remember that the future of Historic Newburyport depends on the individual acts and decisions of each homeowner. It is a chance to be part of something larger as a community. Owning property within the Newburyport Historic District offers a unique opportunity to interpret and share the history of your home, as steward of a recognized contributor to our community’s well-being and to our nation’s past.