Statewide Preservation Priorities

Cruising the Commonwealth

Cruising the Commonwealth was a series of meetings across the state during the summer of 2017, hearing directly from local partners, organizations and individuals about issues, needs, thoughts, challenges, wishes, successes and ideas for the future related to historic preservation.  


Preservation Massachusetts' staff ventured out to hear how you envisioned a statewide organization serving you better, what programs would be helpful, what you really need to make preservation possible in your communities. We wanted to hear not only from those involved with preservation, but other groups whose work intersects or correlates with preservation activity statewide, or anyone who is interested but would not necessarily call themselves "preservationists".  Armed with a full tank of gas and a laptop, we were prepared to do a whole lot of note taking and listening.

The results were very eye opening, informative and inspirational.  Through our 10 meetings and our online survey, we got a lot of great insight into what the preservation community feels is important now, and also how we can be a better resource, partner and statewide organization. 

Cruising the Commonwealth:
Top 4 Preservation Priorities:

1.) Education: Expand and promote education, understanding and awareness about historic preservation.

2.) Building Connections & Partnerships: Staying connected, networked and growing our relationships in our communities and beyond.

3.) Improved Access to (more) Resources and Information.

4.) Reactive vs. Proactive: How can we be more effective as a movement?

View the detailed priorities here.





Cruising the Commonwealth Notes

Each of our meetings had different tenors, attendees, conversations and thoughts. While there were a lot of similarities in concept and ideas, there were some very regional specific discussions and also some great ideas and models. The notes from each of our meeting stops can be found below for your information.

Preservation Summit

The end result of Cruising the Commonwealth was to not have an finished end result. This was not a report to be bound and placed on a shelf. Rather the point of Cruising the Commonwealth was to start a larger conversation about preservation in Massachusetts. 

The priorities listed out are the overarching issues we heard statewide, but each region, from the Cape to the Berkshires are incredibly unique. What we heard at each meeting will help us tremendously with our work across the Commonwealth. 


A Preservation Summit was held in October, 2018 in Worcester. It involved a number of stakeholders from the preservation, landscape, history, consulting, design, architecture, advocacy and regulatory areas.  The day was full of stimulating discussion and thought provoking panel discussions. The group gave lots of notes, ideas and suggestions for two main goals and action steps to make those goals a reality. The plan is to convene the group again in 2019 at the statewide preservation conference, check in on our goals and involved more stakeholders in ongoing conversations and action. 

We look forward to sharing our goals and action steps with you shortly!