MSPiB ready for Tour of Historic Places


Main Street Portsmouth in Bloom rarely makes an ask or hosts events strictly for the beautification fund that benefits the entire downtown by planting seasonal pots and urns, park displays, hanging baskets, improving high trafficked areas, developing local parks, special projects such as their pyramids and butterflies, and more. One effortless ask they make each year is their Tour of Lofts and Other Historical Places. The event continues this year, with a rebrand of “Tour of Historic Places.”

The event is organized by Main Street Portsmouth in Bloom President, and one of the original founders, Sue Burke. Burke explained that the group loves to feature newly renovated historic buildings, whether it’s a loft, home or a business

Most of these buildings have seen multiple uses over the years and you might have visited them as a child. Many people have fond memories of the Martings building when they were growing up. Their Christmas displays and visiting the Martings Santa might have been the highlight of your Christmas memories. Seeing this landmark building of downtown Portsmouth being restored gives many people hope for future regrowth of our area.

Burke explained the places are all unique and people always leave the event in awe of the repurpose of these historic buildings

“Every year, we wonder if we’ve done enough or if we’ve shown enough spaces, but the crowds that attend are always very excited by the end of it,” Burke explained. “We see a lot of these properties year-round in the work we do, so we sometimes become numb to how amazing these spaces are. However, when they’re opened to the general public, and people are amazed by the preservation of historic architecture, as well as the juxtaposition of some slight modernization in places, it is always refreshing to be reminded how amazing our downtown is.”

This event is one of two that benefits the beautification fund Main Street uses each year, which is, impressively, over $30,000.

“While we get some money from the city, and some from the Commissioners, there is still a large gap in how much it takes to keep downtown looking beautiful. We also help with parks and sometimes the trees. Plus, we are always being enlisted into special projects. It gets expensive and events like Tour of Historic Places make the work possible. Cara Conley started decorating the old Monastery several weeks ago for Christmas & Sara Mauk has been busy decorating the Martings windows.

“It is a great way to get out and welcome the Christmas spirit, while exploring your town,” Burke explained.

The Tour of Historic Places will be held Sunday, December 3, between 1 and 5 p.m.

The locations include the Borden Dairy Building, the Bragdon Annex Loft, Marting’s, and the Old Monastery.

Tickets are $25 and are available online at the MSP in Bloom Donorbox, which can be assessed through h their Facebook page or website They are also available, in person, at 342 Second Street, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Reach Joseph Pratt at (740) 353-3101, by email at [email protected], © 2023 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.

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