"Haverhill is a very old city with creaking bones and a sagging face which is currently taking long sips from the 'fountain of youth.'
Haverhill's renaissance is focused on the rebirth of old shoe shops into apartments, and restaurants and the building of a new parking garage. Restaurant Row is drawing people from a wide area into the downtown district. Public art from whimsical shoes, a reminder of Haverhill's shoe-making past, to metal sculpture by Dale Rogers, the creator of the 'Big Red Dog' seen on Rte. 495, to murals celebrating events from earlier days grace walls and windows in the downtown area.
"Several festivals -- from Kids' Fest in May through a Trolley Tour to the Cultural Treasures in June, River Ruckus in the summer, the Italian Festival in the fall, the Santa Parade and Christmas Stroll -- draw crowds to the downtown area.
"Outside the downtown core, Haverhill's Cultural Treasures: John Greenleaf Whittier's Birthplace, Tattersall Farm, Haverhill Firefighting Museum, Winnikenni Castle and The Buttonwoods Museum invite visitors to encounter the city's rich past and to explore acres and acres of recreational land. Haverhill is home to two colleges, Northern Essex Community College and Zion Bible College, six golf courses, a ski area and a hospital.
"The Merrimack River courses through the center of town. For years an industrial sewer, it is now suitable for recreational boating and is studded with docks, both private and public, from Rocks Village through the center of town.
"Grassroots organizations are working to revitalize the area. Their influence is starting to truly show. Haverhill is an old city which seems to have discovered Viagra and is re-discovering its youth."
WGBH SERIES: WHERE WE LIVE