Projects and events

The Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS) supports and creates special projects that exemplify the organization’s mission areas of Historic Preservation and Education.

PROGRAMS

PRESERVATION PROJECTS

The Charlestown Preservation Society (CPS) supports and creates special projects that exemplify the organization’s mission areas of Historic Preservation and Education.

Currently we are working with the Abraham Lincoln Post 11 as they develop capital plans for the renovation of the 1791 Samuel Dexter House, now known as Memorial Hall located at 14 Green St. We are currently planning a fundraiser kick-off party for the fall of 2017. CPS members should watch their emails for a Save the Date to come soon!

2013 we worked with the Friends of the Training Field to secure a grant from the City of Boston for a Cultural Resources Plan and renovation for the Charlestown Training Field. Our beloved “outdoor living room” dates from the 1640′s and was in dire need of attention. Issued in February 2014, the Plan studied the dismal soil and drainage, tree health, circulation, and universal access conditions, as well as the granite and fencing elements. This included the first archaeological dig with many Charlestown volunteers and revealed many artifacts and some areas of sensitivity. A dynamic group of consultants prepared a thorough document with recommended treatments including soil remediation, installation of an irrigation system, expanded drainage, and curbing to foster healthy lawn and trees without soil runoff. In June 2014, City Council approved the Mayor’s $629,330 budget for the renovations which were completed in the fall of 2016.

2012, the CPS published the informative booklet Charlestown History and Architecture, a handbook and resource for Charlestown homeowners, residents and visitors.

In 2010, we led a project to install interpretive signage in the Charlestown Training Field.

In 2008, we sponsored the professional conservation of the historic Soldiers and Sailors Monument, a classic Civil War commemorative statue in the Training Field.

In 2006, the CPS renovated Preservation Park at the Thompson Triangle. We continue to maintain and improve this park to this day.


HISTORIC MARKER PROGRAM

CPS issues Bronze Historic House markers to buildings and homes in Charlestown. These markers are a unique way to recognize your historic house and share its history. The markers include the date your house was built and – if records allow – information such as the name of the builder or original owner. This program is critical to CPS’s mission of preserving our historic character and educating the public on the neighborhoods history and wealth of historic buildings and sites.

Since it’s inception, CPS has approved and installed approximately 200 Historic Markers on buildings and homes around Charlestown, our latest round in 2013-2014 installed 32 markers.

CPS accepts applications once a year, with a due date of May 31st and installation dates expected in the fall.

To receive a marker your house must meet CPS eligibility requirements and you must provide documentation on your house’s age from historic records such as a deed or tax record. Historically the process was cumbersome and could take many trips to the Registry of Deeds in both Suffolk and Middlesex Counties. Thankfully most of the information you need can be found online now, so the process is quicker and easier. We host an informational workshop on how to research your old house in early December and have published tips and tricks that you can follow. We are available by email to help with any issues you have along the way.

If you are interested in researching your house in anticipation of the next round, please contact us to let us know about your plans and your research progress.

Click here to download the application and to find our publication on How to Research Your Historic House.

Questions and Answers About Historic Markers

CPS Historic Marker Questions and Answers

Click here to download a Cheat Sheet.


EVENTS

Every year CPS hosts a variety of lectures, workshops and walking tours in Charlestown that focus on our 350 years of history and architecture.


WALKS, TALKS AND WORKSHOPS

Our walking tours take you through Charlestown’s history and house styles. Informal talks and workshops cover everything from researching your old house to energy efficiency in older houses. We also host guest lecturers that have provided valuable insight on our history as well as modern day restoration projects and neighborhood development goals. For example, we hosted guest lecturers that covered topics about the City of Boston’s development goals for Charlestown as well as the restoration of the USS Constitution. Joe Bagley, the city of Boston’s archaeologist is a frequent guest lecturing on Charlestown’s evolving shoreline and has hosted a Walking Tour of Charlestown Archaeology, covering over 3,000 years of Charlestown history. 

CHARLESTOWN, HISTORIC NEIGHBORHOOD HOUSE TOUR

Our house tour is one of the most recognizable events in Charlestown. The tour, held every other year in September 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 visitors travel through Charlestown by foot or by tour bus, partakers can leisurely wander through some of 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.

CPS ANNUAL MEETING

The CPS Annual Meeting is held yearly in June.  It is a chance to meet preservation-minded neighbors, review the accomplishments of CPS and elect officers and board members.

All event locations and details are announced by email to our membership.  They are also published by the Patriot Bridge Newspaper.

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Let us know what you’re interested in by filling out our Volunteer/Member Interest form.