Good News from A Great City
It’s like waiting for Christmas, or so it seems to The Heartbeat of Haverhill when you are waiting for something extra special. Time moves so slowly. And the sneak peek of the new Harbor Place boardwalk proved THOH is not alone in that thinking. It seemed like a thousand people converged to take the stroll down the new Harbor Place boardwalk along the Merrimack River and past the yellow brick wall (so colored by remnant bricks from the Woolworth Building), because we know it will be after Christmas, in fact, January before we get access to the boardwalk again. In the few minutes it took to drive by Harbor Place and the few early birds already on site, to then park in the upper Goecke Deck and walk back to Harbor Place was enough to see the plaza go from being sparsely attended to burgeoning with spectators and dignitaries alike.
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The smiles were robust and the speeches relatively short given the number of people who need to be thanked for bringing this amazing Haverhill asset to life. No one was more graciously thanked than Chairman Brian Dempsey of House Committee on Ways and Means. Everybody wanted to thank him for working with Ron Trombley and Sally Cerasuolo O’Rorke of the Greater Haverhill Foundation, Lisa Alberghini president of the Planning Office of Urban Affairs, Mayor Fiorentini and Bill Pillsbury among others at the City of Haverhill, Chancellor of UMass Lowell Jacquie Moloney, State Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives, State Reps Linda Dean Campbell and Diana DiZoglio who serve Haverhill, Pentucket Bank and Haverhill Bank, and even HC Media. It took more than a village to pull this off when due to the amazing scope of the dream.
Even though the end of the boardwalk brought visitors to donuts and cider graciously offered by Haverhill Bank, people were in no hurry to end their stroll. They watched the construction workers finishing the plaza, and learned where the restaurants will be, they took in historical photographs and chatted with old and new friends, looked for the yellow Woolworth bricks, relaxed in convenient benches to watch the mighty Merrimack flow by. They discussed the progress of the new improved rail trail across the river. Pretty much the same things they will do when the boardwalk opens for real.
Oh, and they were buzzed by an airplane towing a banner wishing Chairman Dempsey and Greater Haverhill Foundation’s Sally Cerasuolo O’Rorke each a happy birthday. Gotta admit this was one heck of a way and even a better reason to celebrate, because something this big only comes along once in a generation.