You would think that if developers are interested in demolishing old houses or at the very least gutting them or expanding them beyond recognition; they must have some grander design that will replace them.
Now take a look at this house on Pine Street.
I frankly can’t figure out what this new design is. Perhaps a form of contemporary such as modern tenement building? This new shapelessness is supposed to be better than the classic design it replaced. Is it inner city sleekness with hints of industrialism?
The www.newburyporthistoricdistrict.org labeled the earlier version as a timber frame vernacular pre-1825 which would fit it in nicely with the streetscape and with the rest of the historic district. Vernacular means it doesn’t fit exactly into the strict molds of architectural styles.
Yet its architecture, though simple, is beautiful with lovely architectural lines built during a transition period between pre-Revolutionary Georgian and the new Republic’s Federalist era.
People who move here are going to want to live in at least a home that blends in with the feel and history of the City. I frankly feel sorry for the real estate agent who is stuck with this building’s challenge of finding new owners.
I’m afraid all this investment will give us is some quick temporary rental units and a depression of the general street’s equity and property values due to the degradation of cohesiveness of the neighborhood.
And this kind of demolition improves the tax base? How?
This is why increasingly, we will be forced by necessity to seek the entire historic district to be protected or the very draw of our historic seaport city will be lost. As I was taking pictures I notice just down the street is a giant hole from a previous demolition – is this what we want for our city? How has this improved the tax base?
More photos – can you guess the style?
PS. Let’s not forget that our Building Department was complicit in allowing this ‘exploratory’ to get out of hand. It makes me wonder if they are in a big fight with the Assessor’s office. The latter wants to raise tax levies and the former seems to want to deplete tax levies.