, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 12, 2012

Guiding the proposed LHD

White led study group for divisive measure

Editor’s Note: As the discussion over a proposed Local Historic District in Newburyport continues through the fall and makes its way to the City Council for final review, The Daily News will be profiling several of the principals involved on both sides of the debate in the coming days.

The following is a look at Sarah M. White, who is chairwoman of the Local Historic District Study Committee, which created the proposed ordinance.

NEWBURYPORT — For a person who majored in Spanish in college and spent her early career in technology, Sarah M. White today finds herself immersed in history and architectural preservation.

As chairwoman of the Local Historic District Study Committee, she has presided over scores of meetings and written numerous memos and drafts involving new guidelines relating to historic structures.

Named to the committee in 2007 and ascending to its helm a year later, the High Street resident has spent as much time studying the issue as anyone in the city.

“There will be a sense of relief when this is over, but it has been a great experience,” said White, a native of Connecticut who moved here a decade ago.

“I’ve met many knowledgeable people and learned a great deal. There are so many aspects to historic preservation.”

After majoring in Spanish at Smith College, Smith then held several positions in the software quality assurance field. She was a senior consultant with Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting), and also held the title of technical adviser at Harvard Business School and Houghton Mifflin Publishing Co.

Her interests shifted to preservation in recent years. From 2007 to 2011, she served as president and chairwoman of the Newburyport Preservation Trust.

As part of her new interest, she received a certificate in historic preservation studies from Boston Architecture College in 2010. She soon will receive a master’s degree in that field.

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