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What’s Up With That Wooden Wheel at Liberty Law

By Robert Ciampitti, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Rob Ciampitti is a co-founding attorney and partner at Liberty Law and represents a dynamic client base of lenders, investors, developers as well as buyers & sellers of real estate – across a variety of land use, zoning, and condo matters ranging from commercial & residential real estate to private financing, development and permitting and innovative deal-strategy. In October of 2020, Rob was admitted to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he will be completing Harvard’s Advanced Real Estate Management and Development graduate program. An active licensed pilot since 1989, Rob Ciampitti holds a Private Pilot’s License with an Instrument Rating and shares his passion for aviation with his wife and two teenage sons, Rob also enjoys scouting with his two sons and serves as a Scout Leader and Merit Badge counselor for Scout Troop 21 (Newburyport, MA) and is himself an Eagle Scout – recently joined in that honor by both of his sons. Rob Ciampitti was admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court in 2011 and remains an active member in good standing and has held a City of Newburyport Mayoral appointment to the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals since 2002 – where he currently serves as the Board’s Chairman.
Liberty Law, LLC.
Wooden Wheel, Hoist Wheel, Newburyport Liberty Law

If you have ever been to a real estate closing at  Liberty Law, you may have noticed a huge wooden wheel on the 3rd floor (hand-notched with evenly-spaced square holes – each carefully chiseled along the entire outside circumference of the wheel itself).  You may have also noticed the large ship-mast-like wooden spindle that spans enormous roof timbers all square-carved & fitted into the center hub of that wheel.  If so, then you may have asked yourself (or one of us), “What’s up with that wheel?”

The answer is interesting, though not unique in and around the old buildings of 19th Century Newburyport.  The history of this wheel – and surviving building elements like it around our City – is tethered back over nearly 200 years to Newburyport’s rich clipper ship & maritime heyday.   This wheel was called simply, a hoist-wheel and in the mid to late 1800(s), during the height of Newburyport’s global sailing trade, our 3 story building was used as a retail provisions shop.  Offered for sale inside were goods and wares ranging from the ordinary to the rarified – all arriving along our waterfront aboard locally built Clipper ships (things which today can be delivered by a drone right to your doorstep by 11AM tomorrow ….. but ONLY if you’re a Prime Member). 

If you could travel back in time and see this hoist wheel in say 1830 or so, you would have noticed that each of those notched holes supported a single wishbone shaped iron fork.  These iron forks keep a 2 story knotted rope-loop (a rope chain of sorts) threaded on the wheel itself.  Down below, you would have seen an operator pulling one end of that rope loop hand-over-hand on, which in turn would have spun booth the wheel and wooden spindle above.  Of course, as the spindle turned, it would have pulled another rope to create a manual elevator – lifting heavy goods and cargo to the upper floors.  Even today nearly 250 years later, that wheel still seems to spin with ease.

It was widely rumored during this era that some of this cargo, having survived a voyage from the Far East, West Indies or Europe all the way to our waterfront docks, somehow “got lost” along the final 100 feet of its journey to the Newburyport Customs House.  By whatever unrecorded means these goods finally made their way into the city’s commercial interior, we must count ourselves truly lucky today to be among the current stewards of these architectural treasures of our Clipper City’s maritime past.  These very ordinary yet amazing relics of our maritime past remind us of just how incredible it is to have the privilege to live and work under this rare canopy of such “living history.”

The next time you’re on Liberty Street whether for a real estate closing or “just because,” I invite you to come visit us here at Liberty Law – and check out this hoist wheel for yourself (with its 250 year old hand cut iron nails and notched holes).  By celebrating even the “ordinary” of our past, we help these wonderful treasures stay relevant in our present…and hopefully preserved and protected for our collective future.

Rob Ciampitti is a local history buff and the Co-Founder of Liberty Law located at 11A Liberty Street. Rob is also the Chairman of the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals, having proudly served on the Newburyport ZBA for nearly 20 years.

Wooden Wheel, hoist wheel, Liberty Law Newburyport

Liberty Law Website Re-Launch

By Robert Ciampitti, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Rob Ciampitti is a co-founding attorney and partner at Liberty Law and represents a dynamic client base of lenders, investors, developers as well as buyers & sellers of real estate – across a variety of land use, zoning, and condo matters ranging from commercial & residential real estate to private financing, development and permitting and innovative deal-strategy. In October of 2020, Rob was admitted to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he will be completing Harvard’s Advanced Real Estate Management and Development graduate program. An active licensed pilot since 1989, Rob Ciampitti holds a Private Pilot’s License with an Instrument Rating and shares his passion for aviation with his wife and two teenage sons, Rob also enjoys scouting with his two sons and serves as a Scout Leader and Merit Badge counselor for Scout Troop 21 (Newburyport, MA) and is himself an Eagle Scout – recently joined in that honor by both of his sons. Rob Ciampitti was admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court in 2011 and remains an active member in good standing and has held a City of Newburyport Mayoral appointment to the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals since 2002 – where he currently serves as the Board’s Chairman.
Liberty Law, LLC.
Liberty Law Website, Newburyport MA

Liberty Law & Title, LLC–one of the North Shore’s first concierge real estate & start-up law firms–is thrilled to announce the re-launch of the Liberty Law website at www.libertylawma.com. The new design for the Liberty Law website is teeming with valuable resources, useful checklists, and informative videos. We hope this fresh content and design will assist our clients, lenders, brokers and community partners to navigate the many facets of real estate.  Whether a client is buying, selling, investing, flipping, financing, or building from the ground up, Liberty Law is here to lend thoughtful strategy and expert guidance at every step along what is often a very challenging and complicated road.

We invite you to peruse our site and, as always, feel free to reach out with any questions by emailing co-founding attorneys Rob Ciampitti or Charlie Palmisano (or by contacting our Closing Team directly at Closings@LibertyLawMA.com)

CYBER-FRAUD IN REAL ESTATE DEALS – JOB POSTING: “Cyber-Crook Wanted: Great Pay & Flexible Hours, Internet a Must – No Gun Required”

By Robert Ciampitti, Newburyport.Com Correspondent
Rob Ciampitti is a co-founding attorney and partner at Liberty Law and represents a dynamic client base of lenders, investors, developers as well as buyers & sellers of real estate – across a variety of land use, zoning, and condo matters ranging from commercial & residential real estate to private financing, development and permitting and innovative deal-strategy. In October of 2020, Rob was admitted to Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, where he will be completing Harvard’s Advanced Real Estate Management and Development graduate program. An active licensed pilot since 1989, Rob Ciampitti holds a Private Pilot’s License with an Instrument Rating and shares his passion for aviation with his wife and two teenage sons, Rob also enjoys scouting with his two sons and serves as a Scout Leader and Merit Badge counselor for Scout Troop 21 (Newburyport, MA) and is himself an Eagle Scout – recently joined in that honor by both of his sons. Rob Ciampitti was admitted to the Bar of the United States Supreme Court in 2011 and remains an active member in good standing and has held a City of Newburyport Mayoral appointment to the Newburyport Zoning Board of Appeals since 2002 – where he currently serves as the Board’s Chairman.
Liberty Law, LLC.
Cyber-Fraud, Liberty Law, Newburyport

Seminar Description:  Today, it is easier than ever for scam-artists, through cyber-fraud, to quietly amass public information about us and our industry (called “Social Engineering”).  The latest national data confirms that these cyber-criminals are getting smarter and learning how to sound like us and behalf like us on-line, so that they can more easily target not just banks and closing firms, but also Real Estate Agents & Brokers.  Their sole purpose is to pose as you and trick your clients into diverting private information or worse, diverting MONEY!  In this instance, protecting yourself and your clients from cyber-fraud in real estate deals IS the new standard of care.  Whether we know it or not, if we work in real estate and in doing so, handle Non Public Private Information (“NPPI”), then we ARE duly-bound to serve as guard & century against all invaders (whether seen or unseen).

Seminar Purpose:  In response to this mounting cyber-fraud threat – and with input and assistance from leaders within the Massachusetts Licensing Commission as well as experts within the insurance and IT communities – LIBERTY LAW has developed this Training Seminar to assist our real estate colleagues in recognizing this very real, emerging threat.  Our goal through this Seminar is to share valuable new information about how the real estate community can protect themselves and their clients from becoming a victim of this new species of cyber-crime.

Seminar Take-Aways:  Through this 60 minute, Newburyport based seminar (along with a robust Q&A), attendees will learn the statutorily required steps that every agent and/or broker must take to protect themselves and their clients’ NPPI and funds.   If the worst should occur, attendees will learn the immediate reporting steps they are obligated to take (as licensed professionals) to report an incident to the Boston Field Office of the FBI and the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General.