Amesbury makes ambitious plans for museum, community center

Amesbury Carriage Museum

AS REPORTED IN NEWBURYPORT DAILY NEWS ON JUNE 12, 2015
BY JIM SULLIVAN

A project long in the making, the Amesbury Carriage Alliance presented its strategic master plan for the Lower Millyard’s Heritage Center to the public at a special unveiling at the Nicholas J. Costello Transportation Center.

“There has been an awful lot of work planning and work that has gone on for probably the past 20 years within the city between the city government, along with the Chamber of Commerce to come up with plans that would totally renovate the area,” ACA chairman Rick Bartley said. “This is the culmination that we are seeing of a lot of hard work over the years by a lot of different people.”

Jointly operated by the Amesbury Chamber of Commerce and the Amesbury Carriage Museum, the nonprofit ACA worked alongside the museum planning company Museum Insights in conducting a feasibility study last autumn which engaged much of the community including local business owners, educators and civic leaders. Last night’s presentation represented the culmination of those efforts according to Bartley, who added the project included a preliminary estimated $6 million capital budget.

Working alongside Finegold Alexander Architects, Bartley said that the new Heritage Center is designed to become a high quality exhibit and event space housing the Chamber of Commerce, a visitor’s center and the Carriage Museum which recently merged with the Salisbury Point Railroad Museum.

“As the city changes and grows, it is important to continue to expand the downtown and convert what used to be a more industrial area into a more amenable downtown atmosphere,” Bartley said.

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