Workshops share strategies for local preservation
May 17, 2016
To kick off Preservation Month on May 6, Historic New England and the Massachusetts Historical Commission hosted the first of three workshops in the series Leading Locally: Preservation Strategies That Work. The series is designed to help professionals and volunteers charged with the preservation of historic districts and buildings.
Thirty-five members of local historic district commissions, along with professional staff from ten preservation commissions across Massachusetts, gathered at Historic New England's Codman Estate in Lincoln for a training workshop focused specifically on the challenges they face.
Local historic district commissions, which review and approve exterior changes proposed for some of Massachusetts’ most significant historic properties and areas, operate under state statute but rarely have the chance to come together to share information about their work. The May 6 workshop covered all aspects of historic district commission operation. Most importantly, it gave the group a chance to collaborate and learn from professional staff on a range of issues they deal with every day, from the Secretary of Interior’s standards for preservation treatment, to case examples covering typical alterations, to a mock public hearing taken from an actual application.
By engaging this specialized audience around a central issue in preserving local heritage, Historic New England aims to share expertise and help strengthen preservation advocacy at the local level. Two more workshops on rarely discussed topics for local preservationists are scheduled for June 10 (Introduction to Establishing and Administering Preservation Restrictions) and September 9 (Caring for Municipal, Museum, and Non-Profit Property).