Newton Historical Commission

In 1975 the City of Newton established the Newton Historical Commission under Massachusetts General Laws chapter 40, section 8D for the preservation, promotion and development of the historical or archaeological assets of the City. The Commission consists of 7 permanent members and up to 7 alternates. All members are appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by the Board of Aldermen. One member is nominated by the Newton Historical Society; one is a registered architect nominated by the Boston Society of Architects; and one is a realtor nominated by the Newton Board of Realtors. The remaining permanent members and alternates are appointed at large. The Newton Historical Commission is the City of Newton’s advisory body on preservation matters. It also designates and manages changes to Newton City Landmarks, manages changes to properties with Preservation Restrictions, manages the Demolition Delay Ordinance and comments on projects and provides advice from a preservation perspective.

For project review information please see the Project review and application forms page.

Commission Members

The Commission has the following powers and duties:

  1. to cooperate with, consult, and serve as an advisory body on matters affecting the historical assets of the city to officers, departments, boards, commissions, committees and other agencies of the city, and to assure that the comprehensive plan embodies the appropriate preservation of those assets;
  2. to conduct a survey of Newton buildings and sites for the purpose of determining those of historic significance architecturally or otherwise;
  3. to propose as it deems appropriate the establishment of additional historic districts and changes in existing historic districts;
  4. upon recommendation of the historic district commission(s) established under section 22-40, and in accordance with the Historic Districts Act, to act as the historic district study committee for the establishment of additional historic districts;
  5. to offer assistance to and advise owners and occupants of historic buildings and structures on problems of preservation; 
  6. aquire in name of the city by gift, purchase, grant, bequest, devise, lease or otherwise the fee or lesser interest in real or personal property of significant historical value and may manage the same; and may administer on behalf of the city any properties or easements, restrictions or other interests in real property which the city may have or accept as gifts or otherwise and which the city may designate the commission as the administrator thereof.

The Commission meets monthly to review projects and discuss preservation matters. The Commission and its staff have engaged in a number of preservation projects throughout the City of Newton including reports, surveys and walking tours, some of which are posted online.  For more information, contact the Preservation Planner at 617-796-1120.