Portsmouth safekeeping


safe ·keep ·ing \ˈsāf-ˈkÄ“-piÅ‹\   noun

the act of keeping something safe

What do you hold dear? Many of us would immediately think of family and friends, perhaps some long-held traditions, or even particular material possessions. Reflecting on what we hold most dear helps us to prioritize our daily lives and guide our life decisions.

Likewise, as downtown champions, it is equally important to reflect upon what we hold most dear in our downtowns. The leaders of Portsmouth, New Hampshire discovered this a very long time ago. In 1802, a devastating fire destroyed parts of their core downtown. And in 1806, it happened again. And in 1813, there was yet another wide-spread fire. So in 1814, Portsmouth enacted the Brick Act of 1814. Their intent was to institute mandatory safekeeping of their downtown architecture through the requirement of brick construction. And today, Portsmouth stands as an eclectic and vibrant downtown, built on brick.

Beyond the threat of fire and natural disasters, that may be unavoidable, what other threats can you protect against. What are the things that are most dear to your community? Have you investigated façade protection easements, zoning (see quaint), or sacred view-shed preservation? What deserves safekeeping in your community?

Portsmouth safekeeping