The 2016 House Tour Exceed all of our Expectations
Historic House Tour. As always we worry about everything coming together, but we hit success on all fronts. We had an beautiful fall day cool and sunny, amazing homes offered by members of our community, and incredible attendance. We exceeded our 2014 participation by over 15% and our margin by 20%. This outcome was amazing given that in 2014 we had increased over margin by over 40% over 2012. This means we have more money to contribute to our key causes including Zoning, and an Historic District, improving Memorial Hall, advocacy for Charlestown and maintaining Preservation Park. We want to thank everyone who helped especially our Official and Gold Sponsors, Hammond Realty and Coldwell Residential Brokerage and the many Charlestown residents and visitors who spent the day with us.
The 2016 CPS Historic House Tour is coming September 24th 2016.
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 district: The 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.