Preservation Week is Back! The Newburyport Preservation Trust’s annual public celebration of the city’s architectural history and preservation is back in person after a two-year pandemic time-out. This year’s focus is our industrial history and the adaptation of old mills for new purposes.
Preservation Week 2022 is Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 20-22, and includes the return of a Friday in-person reception and keynote illustrated lecture at the Custom House Maritime Museum, two guided walking tours, and background information for two self-guided tours.
This year’s theme, “The Mills of Newburyport: The Dream That Ran Out of Steam,” spotlights the city’s industrial history, from the mid-19th-century hopes of textile mill profits, through a century of economic and technological change, to the more recent adaptation of the city’s old mill buildings for new uses.
The complete Preservation Week schedule is downloadable and printable at the NPT website: www.NbptPreservationTrust.org
Central to this year’s Preservation Week is the illustrated lecture on Friday evening, May 20, that “connects the dots” of the city’s industrial history and provides the background for Saturday’s guided walking tours and self-guided explorations. Advance registration is required. The Friday event, comprised of the reception (7:00 p.m.) and illustrated lecture (7:30 p.m.), is free to the public. Advance online registration is required so as not to exceed seating capacity. Secure your free seats at: www.MillsofNewburyport.eventbrite.com
The keynote presenter is historian and museum professional R.W. Bacon, who in his early career as a journalist covered the 1960s decline of inner-city industry in Rust Belt cities. More recently he is the author of The HABS and the HABs Nots: Documenting the Architecture of Newburyport in the Historic American Buildings Survey; and the book on research methodology used at more than 50 colleges worldwide, The Micro-Historian’s Guide to Research, Evidence, & Conclusions.
Two guided outdoor walking tours (with brief peeks of the interiors) are scheduled for Saturday, May 21. At 11:00 a.m. is the tour of the former Ocean Mills (1846) at Kent and Monroe Sts., presented by NPT board members Rita Mihalek and Bronson de Stadler. At 1:00 p.m. is a tour of the former Globe Steam Mill (1845) site on Federal Street, now the site of the Tannery Marketplace. This tour is presented by NPT
founder and co-president Linda Miller. Two additional self-guided tours are informed by background from the Friday evening presentation. Preservation Week explorers can refer to informative handouts with maps to navigate a public sidewalk tour of the Towle Building (Merrimac Arms, 1866) on Merrimac Street, and the James Steam Mill (1843) on Charles Street. To ‘blow off steam” at the closing of Preservation Week, NPT is opening the restored 1822 Powder House for guided tours with co-president Tom Kolterjahn and others on Sunday, May 22, 1-to-3:00 p.m. The Powder House is at Godfrey’s Hill, 57 Low Street.
The Newburyport Preservation Trust is an all-volunteer non-profit membership organization that brings together advocates for the city’s period architecture, neighborhood ambiance, heritage landscapes, and authentic historic character.