The Beautiful People

So when does the invasion, or the perception of, the beautiful people actually happen? My personal educated guess would be around 1990, give or take a year or two.  This was about the time when the old homes on Liberty and Middle St were all getting renovated, and the craze was renovate the old and flip it for a profit.


Growing up in the 70’s and 80’s the term beautiful people really didn’t resonate through the town.  We knew that certain parts of town had newer homes and that made us believe that the families living in them were better off.  High St is not included in this topic as the homes on this main thoroughfare are in a different class.  We just knew they seemed to have money, but they weren’t beautiful.  For the rest of us who didn’t live on Rawson Ave, Turkey Hill, and Phillips Dr, well we just lived in old houses.  Our homes were built around the many factories in town, many within walking distance to one.

Before I Get Carried Away

Definition of Beautiful People – Elitist and or Artsy and or $$  individuals who were better off financially, who decided to claim Newburyport as their Kingdom, and turn it into a vision of white collar workers being able to showcase their homes and gardens to whoever drove by.   They would forsake all others who had lived there for years with family businesses,  driving them out of the neighborhood if the business did not meet the new rezoning requirements for the condo units going in across the street.  They would vote in their own, and take a once financially diversified city and turn it into a landscapers and boat owners paradise.

They Call It Progress

The so called eye sores were pointed out, demolished, and new half million dollar homes and condos arose from the dust making a few rich.  The remaining people who bought their homes off their parents  became poor due to the huge increase in property taxes they never had to pay before.  Their house was still a $120,000 home, but they began paying taxes on inflated worth.   It became more of an investment than a home.  This was not only happening in Newburyport, but in most every town across Essex County and most of the region.  Amesbury, second in line with Seabrook to get torched for having the most abandoned garden style (aka chicken coop) apartments all of a sudden showcased $400,000 riverfront town houses.

John Kerry’s People…

Newburyport is still a great place to live.  Unfortunately, most of the people who grew up there could not afford to buy a home after college.   People from other communities targeted Newburyport as the Beacon Hill of the North (I’m exaggerating a bit, but you get the point), but slightly less expensive.  Homes in the 1980’s that you wouldn’t pay $120,000 for; in the 90’s got a fresh coat of paint, crown moulding,  stainless steal appliances and a new realitor that calculated the value of the home to be $300,000+ for a 1700 square ft home.  A lot of work was done on these old homes as new homes popped up everywhere.    The trend of home buying was moving to the North Shore.

Big Brushes Rule…

Obviously I poke fun at the recent real estate history of Newburyport and always enjoy painting with a broad brush.  Shame on me.  However, this was the opinion of a great majority of the last remaining natives  of this city.

Opinions We All Have One…

I love where I live now…A place I can plant a tree without someone complaining it’s not a tree pre-approved by the select few.  The present condition of Newburyport is why I had to make this site.  I enjoy seeing people with no elbow room to breath, paying huge taxes and mortgages on homes with stone foundations, (I.E 1860 <> built) and unknown to them rotting sills.  Just kidding…maybe…

Final Suggestion…

When people ask me where I am from I always include my hometown of Newburyport.  They seem to perk up and say, “REALLY.”  Then they’ll say that’s a nice place we’d like to visit someday. I’ll just say if you want a pic just buy one on Ebay, because you’ll never find a place to park to take one. Of course they don’t get the joke, because they chose to visit Portsmouth instead of Newburyport on their last trip to the area.

“Excuse me sir, where is the parking garage located?” …Portsmouth Ma’am.

Long Live Newburyport!

“A place I”d move back to if I did enjoy eating out so much and saving for retirement!



This entry was posted on Friday, August 20th, 2010 and is filed under Featured, Opinion / Editorials, Real Estate. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

5 Responses to “The Beautiful People”

  1. J. Frost on August 21st, 2010 at 10:37 am

  2. p. j. nichypor on September 5th, 2010 at 2:04 pm

  3. Rollie on September 12th, 2011 at 7:23 pm

  4. Maria Hayes Gilfus on February 26th, 2013 at 1:56 pm

  5. krm on May 23rd, 2013 at 11:25 pm

Leave a Reply

Upload Files

You can include images or files in your comment by selecting them below. Once you select a file, it will be uploaded and a link to it added to your comment. You can upload as many images or files as you like and they will all be added to your comment.

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.

Thanks for visiting Re-live your history, contribute, add posts, photos and comments – circa 1950 -1990

Photographers / Photos Wanted

If you want to be listed on a new page as a writer or photo contributor please email me at We are looking for pics from about 1950 to 1995 that tells the History of NBPTMa.


SIGN UP HERE NOW! Use Facebook or Wordpress to login.


Random Memory Quotes

“At an early age I recall being intrigued by the stories I heard about the Clark murder.”
by p. j. nichypor – History Your Way Newburyport Ma Circa 1950-1990 » Murders, Suicides, Unfortunate Accidents

Click For Next Quote




Updated Posts

Recent Posts

Recent Comments

People Places and Things




High School





Newburyport Blogs/Sites

Tagged Posts