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  • 17 Nov 2021 9:20 PM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    The NPT fall 2021 newsletter is hot off the press

    ... and available in cool, easy-to-read PDF format HERE.

    In this issue:

    - Historic House Buyer's Guide informs new homeowner-stewards. NPT's new guide is an information-packed brochure prepared especially for those exploring the purchase of an older home in Newburyport.

    - Advocacy update: Long-simmering cases still demand NPT's pro-preservation stance. Preservation advocacy before city boards is nobody's idea of fun, but despite "battle fatigue," the commitment to preservation values and the common public interest sustains energy among a few.

    - Historic House Plaque Program: A steady flow of new participants ... and a new interactive map. The program continues to grow. Check out the new interactive map --- you can now scroll, scale, sort, and read plaque text for all the properties in the program to date.

    - Annual William Lloyd Garrison Lecture is December 10. "The Gospel According to Garrison: Anti-Racism and the American Truth" will be presented by Edward Carson, Dean of Multicultural Education at The Governor's Academy in Newbury on Dec. 10, 7 p.m., at Old South Church, 29 Federal St., Newburyport. The event will also be simulcast via YouTube.

    - Massachusetts Preservation Conference. One online conference presentation included a reference to Rev. George Whitefield, a revered historical character in Newburyport.

    Words not necessary. A fall scene on Winter Street.

  • 17 Nov 2021 9:08 PM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    NPT's Historic House Buyer's Guide

    NPT’s new Historic House Buyer’s Guide is an information-packed brochure prepared especially for those exploring the purchase of an older home in Newburyport.

    The concisely presented content includes (1) a guide to period styles; (2) how to recognize evidence of quality craftsmanship; (3) what details to look for ... and care for ... and why; (4) how preservation adds value to a home in Newburyport; and (5) NPT preservation resources and consultations.

    Conceived by NPT member/volunteer Jack Santos and crafted to final form with NPT board input and assistance, the hope is that this introductory brochure will help prospective owners of an older home in Newburyport understand the value of preservation and responsible stewardship.

    While the brochure will be useful for real estate professionals and their clients, and will reach prospective homebuyers at an assortment of public locations, a handy PDF file with the same brochure content deployed on three standard-size pages – printable, downloadable, and suitable for email sharing – is available at the Historic House Buyer’s Guide page at the NPT website.

    By the way, as noted on the brochure: “Historic” = Antique, vintage, period, or just plain “old” homes endowed with imbedded natural resources, craftsmanship, and presence!

  • 12 Aug 2021 11:15 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    The NPT summer 2021 newsletter is hot off the press
    ...and available in cool, easy-to-read PDF format HERE.

    In this issue:

    - Preservation advocacy update. With all the strategic continuations of cases before city boards, preservation advocacy requires commitment, tenacity, ... and maybe even longevity. The Fowle's window and facade issue is unresolved, and continued to October 12. The hearing on the massive shed dormer on the back of 2 Neptune Street, one of the city's few remaining 17th-century houses, is continued to September 28.

    - NPT's Powder House Park & Learning Center. The Powder House was open for live in-person tours on July 31, the first Saturday of the city's Yankee Homecoming celebration. With hope for an eventual safe and healthy future, NPT aims for a full return to public programs when it is safe to do so.

    - "If This House Could Talk" 2021. This NPT-sponsored do-it-yourself house history program was a hit again this year, with 90 locations across the city participating.

    - Now is the time to question candidates about preservation policy. If firm-and-fair preservation policy is important to you, quiz the candidates for Newburyport's mayor and city council and find out where they stand.

    - Irony Dept.: NPT's most far-reaching Facebook post. An article in NPT's spring 2021 newsletter was extracted for posting on our Facebook page --- and became the most-read posting in our Facebook history.

  • 04 May 2021 12:09 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    The NPT spring 2021 newsletter is hot off the press
    ...and available in cool, easy-to-read PDF format HERE.

    In this issue:

    - CALL TO ACTION! Bizarre zoning appeal seeks to invalidate downtown Newburyport's pro-preservation zoning ordinance. NPT members are urged to read the newsletter for background, and then plan to speak out at the public hearing (via Zoom) of the Zoning Board of Appeals, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 7 p.m.

    - Caswell Restaurant Group, a prospective tenant at the former Fowle's newsstand and soda fountain, is contesting a city ruling at the Zoning Board of Appeals, claiming that the city's preservation zoning regulations do not apply to the c. 1820 building ... or any building built before the ordinance was adopted in 2014. (Caswell wants to change the storefront windows and replace the distinctive Art Deco sign, protected under current law.)

    - The Institution for Savings is appealing the Planning Board's rejection of its expansion plan in Massachusetts Land Court. Central to this appeal is its separate argument to invalidate the city's Downtown Overlay District law.

    - A brief history of our pro-preservation zoning ordinances. In 2013 voters across the city elected a slate of pro-preservation City Councillors. In April 2014, that new City Council unanimously approved two new zoning ordinances designed to protect Newburyport's historic character, from Joppa to Atkinson Common.

    - The Fowle's issue: It's also about people and public memory. For generations of Newburyporters, the Fowle's facade and signs are loaded with meaning beyond the material objects themselves. Preservation is more than just architecture, and more than just "stuff." It is people and public memory that give meaning to the "stuff" that cultures seek to preserve.

    - Bill Harris (1941-2021), a major force in Newburyport's waterfront preservation. Since first living in Newburyport in 1969, Bill Harris advocated for public access to the city's waterfront, even while in the midst of his career as an international lawyer and policy maker. Today, the very existence of Waterfront Park is part of his legacy.

  • 31 Jul 2019 11:30 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    The HABS and the 'HABs NOTS':
    Documenting the Architecture of Newburyport
    in the Historic American Buildings Survey
    by R.W. Bacon
    8.5 x 11.0 casebound; 160 pages;
    ISBN: 978-0-9977528-1-6; LOC: 2016920943

    "The newest must-have book on Newburyport architecture."
    - Northshore Magazine

    The HABS and the HABs Nots takes a look back at the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS), the federal program that advanced historic preservation in the 1930s. For viewing pleasure, the book presents the crisp analog photos and elegant measured drawings for surveys conducted in Newburyport, Mass., a small coastal city known widely for the riches of its authentic 18th- and 19th-century domestic architecture.

    The "HABs Nots" Gallery then takes a look at the future of preservation in the once down-and-out but rejuvenated port city. The city's smaller-footprint historic homes, never the subject of the HABS-like attention lavished upon Georgian and Federal-style showplaces, fill the city's 750-acre National Register Historic District and contribute to its ambiance. Yet their authenticity is at the greatest risk of being lost to the "march of progress."

    For additional context, the book includes chapters on the economic history of Newburyport; the origin of the HABS program; and the earlier efforts at documentation. Also included is an illustrated guide to 300 years of house styles in Newburyport, plus a bibliography-by-topic for history enthusiasts and preservation advocates.

    The book garnered publishing industry recognition as the recipient of the 2017 Book Award for Informational Nonfiction from the Independent Publishers of New England (IPNE).

    See and read sample pages here, including the front and back cover, table of contents, introduction, a typical HABS two-page spread, and the rationale for the "HABs Nots" Gallery that celebrates Newburyport's modest-sized historic homes.

    This award-winning book is available for online purchase ($35 includes shipping) from (1) the Newburyport Preservation Trust, (2)  directly from the publisher ($35 includes shipping), Variety Arts Press, and (3) at slightly additional cost, from

    About the author: Reginald W. Bacon is a museum and history professional with specialties in 17th- and 18th-century New England architecture and domestic life – and early 20th-century vaudeville and circus. His first career as a journalist, editor, and designer informs his current work in the museum field. A 35-year career as a touring professional acrobatic juggler and jazz/ragtime musician informed his performing arts research. He is the author of ten books on under-the-radar history, performing arts, and editorial/graphics topics. In a "busman's holiday" sort of way, he serves on the board of directors of several history and preservation organizations, including on the "working board" of the Newburyport Preservation Trust.

  • 31 Jul 2019 11:15 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    This news item is always current: Newburyport residents can monitor the pulse of preservation at meetings of the city's Historical Commission, City Council, Zoning Board of Appeals, and other boards and committees.

    The Newburyport Historical Commission meets on the first and third Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 60 Pleasant Street, Newburyport.

    The Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chamber, City Hall, 60 Pleasant Street, Newburyport.

    Confirm specific meeting dates and times for the City Council and other boards at the city's online meeting calendar.

  • 31 Jul 2019 11:15 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    A Measure of Change (1975) by Lawrence Rosenblum is a must-see eye-opener for every new arrival to Newburyport, and for those who may have forgotten the 1960s-70s. In just 29 minutes, the video documentary examines the landmark decision to use historic preservation principles for the first time in federal HUD urban renewal projects. Because of its relevance to multiple preservation topics, links to this video can be found in several places on the NPT web site, including the Preservation Resources & Links page. Or, you can go directly to the video here.

  • 31 Jul 2019 11:10 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    Visit the Newburyport Preservation Trust on Facebook! For the most up-to-date NPT news, members and website users are urged to visit and multiply.

    While the NPT website is a massive compilation of valuable content, our Facebook page promises wider and more immediate contact for our "calls to action" and preservation advocacy efforts. The very nature of Facebook, with contacts multiplying faster than rabbits, boosts the profile of NPT in Newburyport and beyond.

    To visit the public Facebook page and click your lasting affection, here is the link: Make sure to visit often to keep up with the latest developments on the preservation front.

  • 10 Jul 2016 10:48 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)
    Wipe off the frown ... and replace it with "Amazon Smile"!

    Do you buy stuff on Of course you do! Even if you don't shop there for all your thingamajigs and watchamacallits, you surely go to for access to scholarly tomes, obscure literature, and hard-to-find recordings.

    Now, when you shop at, make sure to sign in through the "Amazon Smile" program, and a whopping 0.5% of your purchase price will go to support the Newburyport Preservation Trust! Don't laugh --- it all adds up! So the next time you browse, wipe off the frown and click on this link to Amazon Smile.

    Better yet, copy the link to your desktop for even faster and easier access!

  • 25 Jun 2016 8:22 AM | Web Wrangler (Administrator)

    "Researching Your Historic Home" available online

    The June 25 presentation at the Newburyport Public Library, "Researching Your Historic Home," is now viewable and downloadable here in PDF format. Presenter Linda Tulley, a professional house researcher, made the 29-slide PDF file available to the Newburyport Preservation Trust as part of its Do It Ye Self series. The Newburyport Presevation Trust is among the sponsors of the Yankee Homecoming week event, "If This House Could Talk" (July 30 - August 6), and the house research presentation can help participants discover interesting facts for their homes to mutter, shout, or jabber (figuratively, of course) during that event.

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