Our mission is to preserve Charlestown's historic character by protecting our historic architecture and landscapes, advocating for preservation, guiding responsible development and educating people about the unique character of our community.

Programs/Events

Come to one of our events, learn from one of our programs or help us advocate for preservation and responsible development.

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Historic House Tour

The 2016 CPS Historic House Tour is coming September 24th 2016.

 

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The Charlestown Historic House Tour The Charlestown Historic House Tour is one of the most recognizable events in Charlestown. The tour, held every other year since the early 1970s, features houses that represent the full range of Charlestown’s architectural styles as well as some of its best-loved public spaces.  As you travel through Charlestown by foot or by our bus, partakers can leisurely wander through some of the Charlestown’s most well preserved, rehabilitated and remodeled homes.  They also stroll by famous locations from the settling of Massachusetts Bay Colony by John Winthrop in 1629 to the Bunker Hill Monument and parts of the famous Freedom Trail.

For the past few years we have attracted over 500 visitors including many lifelong residents, newcomers, as well as New Englanders who love the history and beauty of Charlestown. They arrive in Charlestown before 10am and stay for the Tour Party at 4pm.  The next tour will be Saturday, September 24, 2016.

House Tour proceeds and Our Mission

The House Tour proceeds help fund our strategic initiatives to preserve Charlestown’s architectural heritage and quality of life.  We are known for many important projects in Charlestown including the historical marker program, the Soldiers and Sailors Monument, and most recently the re-landscaping of the Charlestown Training Field (with the Friends of the Training Field).  The proceeds also support Preservation Park, the Charlestown Design and Review Committee,Memorial Hall Restoration, as well as recent publication of the very popular. Charlestown: History and Architecture: A Guide.

 

 

Moving forward we are focusing our efforts on three strategic efforts:

1.     The restoration of Memorial Hall: Memorial Hall also known as the Samuel Dexter House was built around 1792 and is one of our oldest buildings in Charlestown. We have often used Memorial Hall as the launch site for our House Tour.  This year we are working with the Abraham Lincoln Post 11, Grand Army of the Republic, and current caretaker of the Samuel Dexter House to develop a funding plan for restoring the Hall and finding new community uses for the building.

2.   The examination of Zoning laws that negatively affect Charlestown Preservation.  Current zoning laws also require that developers provide parking for residents in newly constructed properties.  These regulations can have negative consequences for densely populated residential streets in the older parts of Charlestown.  Developers use the current laws to their advantage and request curb cuts on streets that already have very limited parking thus reducing the number of spaces available for public use. The BRA also approves multiunit buildings without sufficient parking spaces.

3.  Creating an Historic districtThe application for a Historic District will likely require additional research on the history of undocumented buildings and historical locations.  The City of Boston has been reluctant to establish new Historic Districts but we believe the oldest city in Boston deserves such a designation.


 


 

House Tour flag

  house tour pic 2014

Preservation Projects

Protect Historic Charlestown -- A new committee launched to focus on projects related to zoning, demolition and preserving the historic character of Charlestown

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Resources

Here’s a comprehensive guide to preservation, development and Charlestown’s community resources.

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Publications

Charlestown History and Architecture: A Guide for Homeowners, Residents and Visitors is a guide to Charlestown history and architecture, plus a useful resource for homeowners.

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Design Review Committee

 The Design Review Committee was established over ten years ago to work with the BRA to review requests for commercial and residential requests for property changes. The DRC is a strategic committee within CPS for it’s keen efforts to preserve and protect our historic community and it’s architecture. the Committee is led by William Lamb and well known Preservation Architect who has contributed his talents for over 40 years to the Charlestown Community.Chair, William Lamb

The Design Review Committee (DRC) i hold monthly public meetings, usually at the Mary Colbert meeting room. Key Accomplishment 205-2016

Held public meetings and submitted design recommendations for upcoming projects to the Boston Redevelopment Authority and the Boston Zoning Board of Appeal.
Advocated design and zoning studies by the BRA to create an attractive housing and business community in the large area adjacent to Sullivan Square extending to the Mystic River.
Submitted testimony on the design of the proposed Charlestown North Washington Street Bridge to the State D.O.T.  and letters supporting plans for the Chain Forge Hotel to the Massachusetts Historic Commission.
Advocated reducing the exterior lighting of the proposed Wynn Boston Harbor casino in meetings with the Massachusetts Gaming Commission staff and Wynn Resorts
Members participated from the beginning in ongoing design sessions for the large Bunker Hill Apartments Redevelopment
Established with the CPS Board the Protect Historic Charlestown Task Force.
Goals for the coming year:
•Continue our design review functions.
•Actively participate in the Protect Historic Charlestown Task Force
Thank you DRC members for all your efforts: John Benson, Chris Collier, Jack Glassman, Dan Kovacevic, Mark Spaulding, Heather Taylor, Annette Tecce
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