Haverhill’s Ghosts of Urban Renewal to Make Their Presence Known at City Council Meeting Tonight

Streets to be discontinued generally appeared behind these Main Street buildings demolished in 1973. Looking west, old City Hall appears at top right.

As the Haverhill City Council will discover tonight, the ghosts of urban renewal have a way of haunting developments that replace much of what was lost during extensive demolition during the 1960s and 1970s.

During construction of Pentucket Medical’s new building during the early 1980s, for example, the foundation of old City Hall was struck by excavation equipment which stalled construction until obstacles could be removed.

Although it’s just paperwork, Haverhill city councilors Tuesday night discuss the nearly lost names of missing downtown ways such as Fleet and Court Streets; Haseltine, Pecker, Saltonstall, Masonic, Mechanics, City Hall and Academy Courts; and the downtown portion of Pecker Street, between the former Bailey Street and Merrimack Street.

Haverhill Economic Development and Planning Director William Pillsbury Jr. called the formal removal of the streets from the downtown map as “confirmatory” to ensure developer Salvatore N. Lupoli has a clear title to the property he bought. The streets are described as within the footprint of the Herbert H. Goecke Jr. Memorial Parking Deck on Merrimack Street. The city believes all streets but Haseltine and Academy Court were already stripped from the downtown map.

Members of the Haverhill Planning Board last week signed off on discontinuing the streets.

Lupoli is paying $1 million for the city property and plans a $160 million mixed housing and retail redevelopment of the 4.5-acre parcel.

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