|These beautiful line drawings are by Blake Hughs and available for sale at the Newburyport Printmaker, Inn Street, Newburyport.
To a very significant degree, High Street remains unaltered and unchanged, maintaining the elegant and stately residential quality with which it has been equated since the late 18th century. Virtually all the physical characteristics and spatial relationships (street to buildings, sidewalks to buildings, parks to street) evident today along High Street were well-established by the late 1800s.
Federal Period houses and their historic gardens mix comfortably with those of the Greek Revival, Queen Anne, and Italianate and Mansard styles. Contributing to the aesthetic are numerous homes with large sweeping lawns and specimen trees. In fact, many properties retain their formal ensemble arrangement of house, outbuildings, gardens, lawns, and fences. High Street, and indeed Newburyport as a whole, retains a remarkable collection of period fences and well-aged brick sidewalks. Individual and subtle, important reminders of the time before the automobile remain in the form of granite hitching posts, carriage mounting steps and two horse watering troughs. The handful of 20th century houses (and two gas stations) do not materially distract from the overall effect of large scale grandeur.
The only real change has been the loss of the arching canopy of stately elm trees depicted in historic photographs. However, along some sections of the street there remain enough mature deciduous trees to maintain a semblance of the effect.
The wholly intact nature of the setting allows the High Street of today to impart the same sense of spaciousness, beauty and dignity that it did 100 years ago.
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