A PERSONAL MESSAGE TO OUR HISTORIC DISTRICT RESIDENTS
From our “mother tongue” to our father’s faith,
from medical risks to natural hazards,
where we start our journey has much to do with our future. – Harm de Blij, The Power of Place
Your friends at the Historical Commission dedicate this page to you and to your commitment to historic preservation. As the founders of the Harvard Historical Commission established in the early 1970’s, we today, together with you and your neighbors, continue the sentiment and appreciation for Harvard’s history and its historic places. These form part of the unique culture that defines Harvard. Preserving these historic places is costly and difficult work, but the returns and the rewards more than compensate us in our grandchildren’s generations ahead. Please know that we are available to you as a resource to use in planning a renovation or remodeling project.
We may be Commissioners… but we are also taxpayers, volunteers and yes, your neighbors.
We are interested in making your experience with preserving your historic place and living in our historic districts an enjoyable success! Please feel free to download any of the documents on your “District Residents’ Page“…
We welcome your suggestions for any other document or article that you would find useful to have here ‘at the ready‘.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF A HISTORIC DISTRICT?
One of the strongest qualities of local historic district designation is that it can be tailored to the specific needs and distinct identity of the community, and helps to protect and preserve local resources, even while the community is changing. Development that enhances a historic district is important to the community’s evolution since it ties past, present and future together. Change further indicates a healthy and lively community, and reflects the united pride and investment the residents have in their neighborhood. There are numerous other advantages to establishing a local historic district:
- Local districts protect the investments of owners and residents. Buyers know that the aspects that make a particular area attractive will be protected over a period of time. Real estate agents in many municipalities use historic district status as a marketing tool to sell properties.
- Local districts encourage better design. It has been shown through comparative studies that there is a greater sense of relatedness, more innovative use of materials, and greater public appeal within historic districts than in areas without historic designations.
- Local districts help the environment. Historic district revitalization can, and should, be part of a comprehensive environmental policy.
The educational benefits of creating local districts are the same as those derived from any historic preservation effort. Districts can help explain the development of a place, the source of inspiration, and technological advances. They are a record of ourselves and our communities.
- A local district can result in a positive economic impact from tourism. A historic district that is aesthetically cohesive and well promoted can be a community’s most important attraction. The retention of historic areas as a way to attract tourist dollars makes good economic sense.
- The protection of local historic districts can enhance business recruitment potential. Companies continually re-locate to communities that offer their workers a higher quality of life, which is greatly enhanced by successful local preservation programs and stable historic districts.
- Local districts provide social and psychological benefits. A sense of empowerment and confidence develops when community decisions are made through a structured participatory process rather than behind closed doors or without public comment.
> FIXING UP YOUR HISTORIC DISTRICT PROPERTY ?
THREE STEPS TO MAKE IT HAPPEN
- Informing the Historical Commission: DO I HAVE TO? …AND WHEN?
- Understand the DO’s AND DON’Ts of working on your property
- Learn how to get APPROVAL to work on your house
> ADVICE ON FIXING YOUR HISTORIC HOME: Preservation Briefs
> ACTIVE APPLICATIONS FOR CERTIFICATE
Following are the projects that are in progress, from the Latest to the Oldest…
- 74 Shaker Road, construct shelter for electricity meter (16 Nov 2015)
- 13 Fairbank Street, Repair retaining stone wall (10 Nov 2015)
- 15 Littleton Road; replace basement window (20 Oct 2015)
- 13 Mass Ave, Harvard Methodist Meeting House; gutters, porch floor, paint (1 Oct 205)
- 27 Oak Hill Road, Install play house (18 Sep 205)
- (74 Shaker Road, Shaker Carpenter Shop, Install 16 storm windows 3 Sep 2015)
- 13 Mass Ave, Harvard Methodist Meeting House, build new garage (27 Aug 2015)
- 25 Fairbank Street, K.M. Bigelow House (30 Mar 2015)
- 2 Littleton Road, Whitney House (3 Mar 2015)
- Town Hall, Harvard Common Historic District (12 Jan 2015)
- Powder House, Harvard Common Historic District (14 Nov 2014)
> OUR HISTORIC DISTRICTS
> OFFICIAL FORMS
> RECOMMENDED RESOURCES:
- Basics of the National Register of Historic Places video
- Historic Preservation Tax Credits video
- Historic Preservation Financial Incentives
- QUESTIONS ON FUNDING TO PRESERVATION ADVICE AND ASSISTANCE FROM PRESERVATION MASSACHUSETTS…
- PreservationMass: A statewide organization with a website listing consultants in various historic preservation and restoration specialties: http://www.preservationmass.org
- A Field Guide to American Houses by Virginia & Lee McAlester. Alfred A. Knopf New York 1997
- The Architecture of the Shakers by Julie Nicoletta. The Countryman Press, Woodstock, Vt. 1995
- Old House Journal Magazine and publications
> RESOURCES ON LANDSCAPING:
- Restoring American Gardens, an Encyclopedia of Heirloom Ornamental Plants 1640-1940 by Denise Wiles Adams, Timber Press, Inc. Portland, OR. 2004
- Landscapes and Gardens for Historic Buildings, Rudy J. Favretti and Joy Putman Favretti. Second edition, revised. AltaMira Press, CA. 1991
- Tower Hill Botanic Garden and library, 11 French Drive, Boylston, MA http://www.towerhillbg.org
> HISTORIC HOUSE REPAIR, REMODELING and REHABILITATION
- General Note. The following list of businesses offer services in the repair, remodeling and restoration of old and historic buildings. We present this listing as a service to our district residents. However, by including a particular business in our listing, we make no claims nor do we endorse that business. We encourage our district residents to investigate and inform themselves before contracting with any particular business entity.
- Carpentry, Structural Repairs:
- OLD HOUSE MECHANIC, Renaissance Restorations LLC, 35 Grove Ave, Leominster, MA 01453-3107, phone: 978.840.9054, www.oldhousemechanic.com
- House Inspections: