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83 to 93 High Street
In front of the Old South Church


This is not a spiritual appeal but for Heaven’s sake, turn this ugly thing into a brick sidewalk and be proud of the Old South as one of two international destinations in the city!

I encourage the DPS even with its tight funds to replace this stain on this heritage site.      Make it a priority over all the other spots that need it so bad.     At the very least, perhaps the Church can scrape enough up to hire a contractor to replace this tiny spot.

It is like a big, oily pimple on Newburyport’s face.

 Smack dap before some of our most impressive homes on the ridge is either blacktop or ugly concrete sidewalks.      And these paths are not even ADA-compliant.     The brick sidewalks still intact are up to five to seven feet wide while these modern stains are narrow and would never allow two wheelchairs to pass side-by-side.    And we’re better than our 19th century ancestors?

This little stretch from 93 to 83 High would go along way to improve Newburyport’s  image by having them replaced with the historic brick.       This will really give us bang for the buck.


George has had it.      With a look of worn disgust, he has had to face this disgrace 24/7.     There he is looking directly at it at all times in the City where he proclaimed High Street as one of the most beautiful ways in America.     

The Ten Most Needed Sites for Bricking


If we as a city would just do these ten sensitive areas, they would seriously boost the heritage tourism appeal of our city and make us look realy at our very best before the world.       These ten bricking projects would provide maximum affect which would translate into the best means to stretch our highway tax dollars.

Brick Sidewalks

Middle Street in front of Middle Street Foods

This was bad - in fact the blacktop had treacherous potholes in it that the pedestrian could actually fall in and twist their ankles.       The City's solution?     To put in concrete.


Brick sidewalks smoothly draw customers down Middle Street past the Grog toward Middle Street Foods.       But, now there is concrete, totally destroying the ambiance and discouraging a flow from the downtown.

The concrete needs to be lifted up and brick sidewalks put in to encourage visitors from busy State Street.

High Street across from the George Washington Statue
The Reddish Brick Road to Oz
Diagonally across from the Kelly School Building
Ashland to Merrimac
47 to 75 High Street
The Gateways
South End of State Street


People are drawn to our Market Square.    It is the epicenter of our business district and Newburyport Development, just one of our landlords can attest to the fact that closer to this center, the commercial rents go higher.   In contrast, the rents further away are lower.    So if you can find a way to draw away the allure of this highly desirable space, it translates into real dollars.     How do you do it?


You stretch out along the way the historic lampposts and continue the historic brick sidewalks like arms from an octopus.       In effect, you’re drawing the visitor away from the center of town and luring them with new experiences while continuing the underlying theme of an historic seaport.


Clever businesses such as Starboard Galley and Hall & Moskow have done just that by continuing the brick walkways all the way to Federal Street and investing in colonial streetlamps.    

It is no doubt the sidewalks of Newburyport are a statewide disgrace.      No where is our shabbiness reflected than in the inconsistent application of surfaces.      The pedestrian has to keep his eyes fixed on the ground because he may never know what he is facing:      Brick?    Concrete?    Blacktop?  Or, a twisted, mangled mixture of all of the above.



Whether crossing driveways, it is important for a pathway that is ADA-compliant to be consistent.      




In contrast, we not only have a blaring disruption, but this lies directly across from the historic Bartlett Mall and sticks out like a rude middle-finger in the neighborhood

You would think after all the hard work done to fix up the fencing on The Ridge, that you would want to make sure the area was consistently historic – no ugly blacktop to mar the historic scene – but unfortunately, this is Newburyport.


Because things have remained in such a condition for so long and no one has really pointed out the obvious; no one does anything because they are used to seeing it this way.


But if we want to enhance our heritage tourism and really bring the city up a notch, this little stretch facing The Ridge should be bricked.

At the very least, brick sidewalks should replace the blacktop to signify that an area with 2,765 homes and the beginning of several shipyards have been entered into.     Shipyards that produced a vast volume of ship tonnage over the entire span of the 19th century!


How much I would love to see the City purchase this empty lot and turn it into a park with a sign* indicating the beginning of this National Register district.       I honestly don’t know if SFLS Realty LLC would be interested in selling** but it would certainly boost our heritage tourism!    

If we want to maximize the importance of the Newburyport Historic District and the beginning of our grand boulevard, High Street, we need to greet out of town visitors with a consistent message. We need a message beyond a sign on a pole that says, “You have left Modern U.S.A. and you are now visiting a very special place. Prepare to meet a piece of America’s National heritage.


This kind of preparation of the soul is lacking right now. There is no real warning that things will change the moment you pass Famous Pizza and approach the three corners.

In addition to proper signage alerting the beginning of the historic district which the city desperately needs, there should be a grand entrance.


What better way to show that change than a clear demarcation of brick walkway.



Right now, there is no clear message that you are entering the Newburyport Historic District from the south. You drive from the Route 1 traffic circle and pass the Bank of Ipswich and then you enter.


In addition to signage, we need clear indications that a change has been made. People’s attitudes need to be changed.



Only through this means can we begin to install a different attitude toward our precious historic assets. the message should be clear, “Things are different here.”




It should be our goal to have a consistency – brick inside the district, concrete on the outside.





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