Custom House Maritime Museum A View of the Museum from Water St.

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FREE Walking Tour: "Saved from the Wrecking Ball"

September 21, 2017

Free Downtown Walking Tour: SAVED FROM THE WRECKING BALL!

 

 

FREE

Downtown Walking Tour

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SAVED FROM THE WRECKING BALL!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

 

 

Mayor George Lawler, the 'Savior of the Downtown

 

It's hard to imagine there was a time when the city's historic downtown was just a mayor's signature away from being bulldozed and replaced with strip malls and parking lots.

Newburyport stood on the brink of wrecking-ball-style Urban Renewal in the 1960s, but unlike many cities that saw their downtowns demolished, Newburyport sought a different path that would eventually gain recognition as a national model for historic preservation.

That fascinating history will be the subject of a FREE walking tour on Saturday, September 30th.

Entitled Saved from the Wrecking Ball, the hour-long tour will walk visitors through the key places and events that turned Newburyport's downtown from the brink of wholesale demolition to a national model of urban historic preservation.

View from Market Square 1974

The tour is sponsored by the Custom House Maritime Museum, where interested tour goers should meet by 10:30 am on Saturday, September 30th.  The tour departs from the museum and will proceed along a half-mile route.

John Macone will be your tour guideYour tour guide for Saved from the Wrecking Ball is John Macone, former editor of The Daily News, and is based in part on a 40-part series called Port in Progress that Macone and his News colleagues produced in 2007 -- as well as further research Macone has conducted since the series was published.

Along the tour, John reveals a number of historic photos of downtown Newburyport taken during the urban renewal period, some of which have neither been published nor publicly displayed. These photos provde a clear view of how dramatically and fortunately, the downtown has changed since the 1960s.

Admission for the tour is free, but donations to the museum are welcome.

FREE TOUR DATE!

Saturday - September 30th at 10:30 am

Tour departs from the Custom House Maritime Museum

 

Mid 1960's Urban Renewal Downtown Model

PHOTOS FROM TOP: MAYOR GEORGE LAWLER, OFTEN REFERRED TO AS THE 'SAVIOR OF THE DOWNTOWN'; VIEW LOOKING EAST FROM MARKET SQUARE IN 1974; TOUR-AUTHOR AND GUIDE; JOHN MACONE; MID-1960'S URBAN RENEWAL MODEL FOR AN IN-TOWN SHOPPING MALL.
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