The National Register considers age, style, and context when determining a house historic. Structures more than fifty years old that are architecturally significant because of the design or building type or historical association may be eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Determinations of a building's historic significance are most often made by the Newton Historical Commission and the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
If your house was built before 1907, the Newton Historic Properties Survey form will give date of construction along with a brief history of the house. Further information may be gathered from City Directories, Atlases, and other sources -- see the Guide to Researching Your House. In addition, selected 20th century properties have been surveyed, along with a number of early 20th century subdivisions.
In Newton's four local Historic Districts, Auburndale, Newton Upper Falls, Newtonville and Chestnut Hill, exterior changes to buildings and landscape features must be reviewed by the relevant Historic District Commission. If the property is not in a district, a homeowner may have to undergo a demolition review through the Historical Commission, but can still make changes in accordance with city zoning and building codes. For information about Historic District regulations, call the Planning Department at 617-796-1120 or consult the Website.
The Newton Housing Rehabilitation Fund (NHRF) has funding for low to moderate income families for general rehabilitation and preservation work.
The Museum has a large collection of Newton photographs. Occasionally there will be photographs of individual houses. Copies of most photographs may be purchased from the Museum.
There are several resources including the printed Vital Records to 1850, City Directories which begin in 1868, printed assessor's records from the 1850s and 60s, and secondary source materials in the collection. Information may also be available from the Newton City Archives, the Newton City Clerk, the Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point in Boston, and the National Archives-New England Region in Waltham, Massachusetts.
There are three, city-owned, historic cemeteries in Newton, the East Parish Burying Ground, River Street, and Winchester Street. Historic Newton has alphabetical lists of burials and plans showing the locations of markers. See the Guide to Genealogy and Gravestone Research.
Yes! Please email research requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Due to limited staffing, requests may take 2-3 weeks to process.
If you are researching your home please consult the Guide to Researching Your House before making an appointment with the archivist.
The Jackson Homestead and Museum, which houses the Archives, is located at 527 Washington Street on the north side of the city between Newtonville and Newton Corner near exit 17 on the Massachusetts Turnpike.