To the Editor:

Newburyport is a historic community unlike any other. At nearly 20 Newburyport Preservation Week events, May 14 to 22, hundreds of residents and visitors learned a bit more about the city's history, elements of our cityscape they may not have noticed, and took away a greater appreciation for the cultural and architectural heritage of the Port City. The Newburyport Preservation Trust, dedicated to raising public awareness and advocating for local historic preservation, spearheaded this endeavor.

With record attendance at several events, Newburyport Preservation Week was a huge success, thanks to dozens of volunteers and a dedicated Newburyport Preservation Trust planning committee that put in countless hours to present the community a diverse and robust offering of mostly free events. We also thank our expert presenters and our partners: Historic New England and the Custom House Maritime Museum, and the Newburyport Cultural Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

This year's theme, "Newburyport: Up from the Ashes," acknowledged the 200th anniversary of the Great Fire. While devastating at the time, no single event had a greater impact on the city. The well-preserved brick facades and charm of downtown are a result. The theme aptly demonstrates the purpose and need for the Newburyport Preservation Trust. Preservation of cherished old buildings and heritage landscapes helps define who we are as a society and anchors our quality of life. We encourage everyone to visit or visit our table at the Newburyport Farmers Market on July 3 to learn more about the Newburyport Preservation Trust. Your new or renewed memberships and proceeds from our self-guided walking-tours book, "Walk Newburyport," (available online, at Historic New England's Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm and The Book Rack) help support the work of the Trust, a 501c3 nonprofit organization.

We all have a stake in protecting the extraordinary, yet endangered, authentic historic character of Newburyport.

Bonnie Sontag

Preservation Week Planning Committee

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