Bonnie Hurd Smith, CEO of HistorySmiths recently wrote an article and published it on her website, HistorySmiths.com. Read the full article. Here's what she had to say about Windhill Realty and Shawn Cayer, the owner:
My second story takes place in Ipswich, Massachusetts, and although the business involved has not been around for 30 years as Biff Michaud's has, their recent actions ensure the stability of historical resources that are well over 30 years old and will last for another 130. I am talking about Windhill Realty, and Shawn Cayer, who recently received the prestigious annual Community Service Award from the North Shore Association of Realtors.
To be honest, I am not aware of everything Windhill does in their community, but knowing Shawn, it's considerable. The history-related project I want to call attention to is the "Old Ipswich News Building" on Market Street in the heart of downtown Ipswich.
A couple of years ago, this small wooden building was decimated by fire. What would happen to what was left of it? Everyone in town was concerned. Arguing ensued, followed by a demolition delay, lots of angst, opinions, and letters to the editor of the local paper. Finally, Shawn Cayer bought the building after securing the assistance of his colleague Mat Cummings, the Ipswich architect who specializes in preserving and renovating old houses. With backing from The First National Bank of Ipswich, Shawn and Mat transformed a blighted hole in downtown Ipswich into a jewel of an office building that looks like it's been there since 1840. Truly.
Shawn could have done pretty much anything he wanted to with the building because Ipswich, unfortunately, has very few restrictions and no historic district. Shawn could also have hired a less reputable and accomplished architect. Instead, every one of his decisions ensured that this building would help preserve the historic character of Ipswich's Market Street. What a wonderful steward! And by the way? Windhill Realty's offices are now housed there, so you can go inside and see for yourself what Shawn and Mat achieved - and what will still be there for many years to come.
Well, done, gentlemen!