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April 14, 1988...

On this date, 30 years ago, Senator Paul E. Tsongas was honored with his namesake award by the preservation community at an event hosted by Historic Massachusetts, Inc. A lot has changed in 30 years (including our name) but one thing has remained constant, a dedication to historic preservation, restoration and community character in Massachusetts. Preservation Massachusetts is privileged to recognize the very best of preservation in our Commonwealth with the Paul & Niki Tsongas Award. Over the past three decades this award has honored people, organizations and projects that are a source of pride for our organization and an inspiration to the preservation community and beyond. We continue th

CPA Updates: Acton Ruling & Latest Trust Fund Matches

There has been a lot going on in the world of the Community Preservation Act lately. From a ruling in the Caplan v. Town of Acton suit to the Department of Revenue releasing an estimate for the CPA Trust Fund match, there is a lot of news! So here are some quick yet very important catch ups. Caplan vs. Town of Acton - Update A 10-tax payer lawsuit filed in Acton in 2016 challenged the use of CPA funds on an historic church (that included religious imagery) as a violation of the Massachusetts' Constitutions anti-aid provision. The lawsuit progressed through the court system up to the State Supreme Court. Preservation Massachusetts along with many of our preservation partners including Histor

Windows Windows Everywhere! PM View from the Field

In mid-March, in Greenfield, over forty people gathered for the most recent meeting of the Western Massachusetts Historical Commission Coalition (WMHCC), to learn more about why and how to repair historic windows. Attendees included members of local historical commissions, historical societies, representatives from municipal government, architects, planners, professionals working in historic trades, and preservation advocates. The WMHCC, organized in 2014, meets 2-3 times each year and offers opportunities for members of local historical commissions, and other historic preservation advocates, to network with colleagues and explore current challenges and successes in the field. Meeting locati

Walking the Halls

Every March for well over a decade, Preservation Massachusetts has joined other organizations, agencies and individuals in Washington DC for National Preservation Advocacy Week. The reason for the trip, as you rightfully infer, is to meet with congressional delegations and discuss important federal policy and programs that impacts historic preservation. But it’s more than just setting up meetings and walking the halls, its constant education to those in our highest levels of government that preservation is important, it is a tool for communities and how it benefits their districts and our state. A lot of “lobby week” coverage has been given to the protection and eventual protection of the

Windows: To Repair, Not Replace

Repair Not Replace Your Historic Windows It is a common question. Why repair rather than replace the windows in an historic building? Here are 6 reasons: 1. The original windows were built for and fit your historic building in just the same way that original doors, hardware, porches, clapboards, mantels contribute to the look and character of your building http://www.lowermerion.org/home/showdocument?id=4480 2. Historic windows were constructed out of old growth wood which will last hundreds of years, if properly maintained. Reproduction wood windows made of wood harvested today, although preferable to vinyl replacements, will not last as long as the original windows. See this article to lea

Childhood Calling

Looking up the bell tower, you may think you are standing outside some grand European cathedral. Maybe the grey skies call to mind England, Scotland or Ireland (I’ve never been but they’re on the bucket list). Despite outward appearances, this landmark is not across the Atlantic but tucked away on Massachusetts’ South Coast, in the seaside town of Fairhaven. The beautiful and captivating Gothic Revival structure is the Unitarian Memorial Church, designed by Charles Brigham and completed in 1904 but more notably associated with Henry Huttleston Rogers. Rogers was a native son who became an executive with Standard Oil in the late 19th century. He commissioned and bequeathed a number of incre

Re-Imagine "Endangered" - Survey

This year Preservation Massachusetts celebrates the 25th Anniversary of the Most Endangered Historic Resources program. In that time the program has helped bring statewide focus on historic buildings, landscapes and resources that were facing uncertain futures. Over the years the program has tried to adapt to the times and promoting its focus as public relations and educational has been important. It has been our goal to make the program collaborative, working together with the nominator, local groups and the owners and stewards of the resources to find the best preservation outcome. It is not a smear or shame campaign. Positivity and possibility are at the core of this program that is of

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