In 2017, the Historic Preservation Commission and city staff began a project to update design guidelines. These documents have been approved, and the Historic Preservation Commission would like to thank you for your input.
Click the links below to download approved sections of the Historic Preservation Guidelines.
Penny Introcaso - Alternate Term Expires: July 10, 2027
Tim Crosby Term Expires: May 8, 2027
Bronte Lake Term Expires: August 31, 2025
Greg McNamara Term Expires: August 31, 2027
By statue, the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) has as its basic purpose the preservation of sites, structures, and districts of historical, cultural, archaeological, architectural significance together with their appurtenances and environmental settings. It is charged with implementing Cambridge's Historic Overlay Zoning (adopted as Ordinance 814 and amended to the Zoning Code in 2003 per Article IX, Part VI, Section 185-196).
The Commission's mandate is to safeguard Cambridge's heritage and its broadly visible waterfront within the Historic District.
To accomplish this task the HPC is required to review and issue Certificates of Appropriateness (COA's) for all exterior alterations to property in the historic district, including alterations that cannot be seen from the street or water based on Guidelines adopted by the City. This includes restoration, rehabilitation, new construction, renovations, and major landscaping as well as replacing building components, such as roofs, doors, windows, porches, railings, and curb cuts. The Commission does not review paint color.
The Historic Preservation Commission consists of five members and one alternate appointed by the City Council. A majority of the members shall be City residents. Appointees must possess professional or academic qualifications or, have a demonstrated special interest in historic preservation through training, education, employment, experience or membership in a related organization.
National Register of Historic Places-Nomination Report: Cambridge Historic District Wards I and III, Dorchester County, D-699
The Department of Public Works provides staff support to the Commission and can assist property owners within the District for the application of COA's. In addition, staff administers and enforces Historic Overlay zoning, issues building permits and responds to property code violations.
For information on the application process, deadlines for submission or meeting schedules or to report a violation, call the Cambridge Planning Office at 410-228-1955.