Concerns are being raised throughout Ipswich regarding state-mandated density zoning and concentrated multi-family developments that are affecting the historic neighborhoods of Ipswich and other areas of town. The Ipswich Historical Commission and the Architectural Preservation District Commission (APDC) are working on updates to the APD bylaw, and possible zoning amendments to be presented to the Special Town Meeting in fall of 2021.
While the four traditional neighborhoods on the National Register of Historic Places are included in the APD, the adjoining 19th Century neighborhood that includes Central, Manning, Mineral, Liberty, Maple, Brown and Washington Streets remains vulnerable. Residents of that neighborhood have requested that it be added to the Architectural Preservation District. The Historical Commission intends to offer an article to that effect at the fall Town Meeting, but will need widespread support from residents for it to be successful.
After the railroad came to Ipswich in 1839, the center of commerce moved from North Main Street to Market Street, and marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The population of Ipswich swelled as immigrants came to work in the mills.
Worker housing was constructed in Pole Alley and former farmland creating the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, and are recognized in the National Register of Historic Places, along with High St., the East End, the South Green and Meeting House Green.
In the 1872 Ipswich map, Central Street had just been constructed. Manning High School opened two years later, and stores began to be constructed. Ipswich Town Reports during the second half of the 19th Century show payments for hauling gravel from the now-depleted gravel pits near Washington St. and Topsfield Rd. The Town experienced a building boom, and by 1884, the Victorian neighborhoods that line Central, Hammatt, Manning, Mineral, Brown, Cottage and Liberty Streets had been created. This distinctive Ipswich neighborhood is includes historic houses and streets, but has not received historic designation.
Brown Square and Granite Street