Seven years ago, when the grass roots movement to protect The Pink House began, supporters knew that among the many hurdles and moving parts, we would need state recognition of the historical significance of The Pink House’s iconic building exterior and setting.
This recognition, which can only come from the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC), is also the only thing which can allow for a perpetual (forever) preservation restriction under state law.
The beginning of the state’s process is to submit to the MHC a “Form B,” a building inventory form designed by the National Park Service to record historically and culturally significant properties. The form requires details of the history of the property, the building’s architecture, and exacting photography.
The Pink House History
STPH board member Sandra Tilton, with assistance from STPH founder and board member Alison Odle, began immediately to research the building’s history. They were joined by Newburyport Preservation Trust researchers, resulting in a comprehensive, deed-researched history of the The Pink House by 2019.
The Pink House Architecture
In the Spring of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, STPH began the process of creating and officially filing the “Form B” with MHC and preparing a draft preservation restriction. With funding from the Newburyport Preservation Trust, we were able to hire historic preservation specialist Eric Dray for invaluable help with both tasks. Eric told us it was important to document the particular architectural style of The Pink House — a Foursquare — and its rarity and significance in Newbury. Although unable to visit himself during the pandemic, Eric, with the Town of Newbury, guided STPH volunteers in photographically documenting existing, and still pristine, Foursquares in Newbury. The Pink House is rare indeed!
The Pink House Photographs
The Pink House has been photographed extensively for the purposes of the “Form B” and the next step - the draft preservation restriction. Sandra Tilton’s photographs led the way.
The resulting “Form B” is now part of an important next step to protect The Pink House as generations have seen it. It is included in a draft preservation restriction still subject to approval by the MHC and the Town of Newbury.
While the complex process to protect The Pink House is not over yet, The Pink House “Form B” is a key milestone, and we want you to see it!
Editor's Note: We'll write another blog about the next step of a Preservation Restriction mentioned here, if you'd like to follow the progress and learn more. So keep an eye out here, or bookmark this page. Feel free to subscribe to our newsletter as well!
Written by Stephanie Niketic, Preservationist, Support the Pink House Advisory Board