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Historic and Cultural Resources Working Group

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Historic and Cultural Resources Working Group (HCRWG)

This group is advancing Arlington Master Plan goals and objectives related to the Town’s Historic and Cultural Resource Areas. Operating under the purview of the Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) on behalf of the Arlington Redevelopment Board, the group includes representatives from the MPIC, as well as the Town’s Historical Commission, Historic Districts Commission, Arlington Historical Society, and Department of Planning & Community Development.

The group is now involved in a three-phase, historic preservation project. View the Historic Preservation Project Phase Summary here.

Inventory Update

Over the past few months, the Historic & Cultural Resources Working Group has engaged residents in a process that has culminated in an update to the "Inventory of Historically or Architecturally Significant Properties in the Town of Arlington." Funded by a grant from the Massachusetts Historical Commission and Community Preservation Act funds, and with guidance from consultant J.M. Goldson, the Town has updated the inventory with 135 historically-significant residential properties. On September 11, the Arlington Historical Commission voted to accept the new inventory forms. The Massachusetts Historical Commission is currently completing their review and processing. J.M. Goldson's final report was also submitted to the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

The vast majority of these properties are located in the neighborhood to the south of Arlington High School. These properties were chosen for the update because they are located in a neighborhood that is unusually and largely historically intact, but also largely undocumented. The Phase 1 Inventory Update Property List can be viewed here. Please contact klynema@town.arlington.ma.us, Senior Planner, in the Department of Planning and Community Development for a copy of any inventory form that was included in this Phase 1 project.

All other inventory forms may be viewed and downloaded from the Massachusetts Historical Commission's Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (MACRIS).

Survey Master Plan

In April, 2019, the HCRWG completed the Historic Preservation Survey Master Plan with the assistance of consultants Wendy Frontiero and Kathy Broomer. The purpose of the plan is to identify Arlington’s local historic resources, including historic buildings and places, cultural and archaeological elements, and other significant objects and structures, for inventory with the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC). The plan provides an overview of the Town’s historic development and existing inventory of historic resources, and offers recommendations for neighborhood areas and individual properties that merit study from a preservation planning perspective. It establishes priorities for evaluation and recommends phases of work to be completed in the near-, mid-, and long-term (5+ years) as potential funding sources arise.

Noting that the MHC Inventory of Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth evolves continually, the plan describes how over time and with changes in Town, Arlington’s priorities for preservation may shift. However, the highest priority task identified in the plan is to make corrections to Arlington inventory forms on file with the MHC (i.e., corrections to street addresses, notations of buildings demolished or moved) and concomitant coordination with Arlington Historical Commission records. The plan then prioritizes additional recommendations by neighborhood and by resource type (areas and individual properties) and provides cost estimates for completing inventory forms for the recommendations.

Historic and Cultural Resources Working Group Members

Peter Howard (Arlington Historical Society)
Ann LeRoyer (MPIC)
Steve Makowka (Historic Districts Commission)
JoAnn Robinson (Historical Commission)
Diane Schaefer (Historical Commission)

For more information, please visit the Arlington Historical Commission's website.

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