Historical Commission

Preservation Achievement Awards
The Historical Commission is seeking nominations from the public for their 2017 Preservation Achievement Awards. These awards honor projects that preserve and promote Framingham’s history and historic resources. Last year’s winners included Edgell Memorial Library, the Deluxe Depot Diner, the Revolutionary War tombs at the Old Burying Ground, and the 1812 House. Do you know of a recent (past five years) project that has preserved a building or site important to Framingham? Nominate it for a 2017 Preservation Achievement Award! Nomination forms can be found below and are due by February 3, 2017.

Background & Purpose 

The seven-member Framingham Historical Commission (HC) was established by a vote of Town Meeting on April 1, 1969, pursuant to MGL Chapter 40, Section 8D. The HC’s mission is to work alongside the Massachusetts Historical Commission to promote preservation, protection, and development of the Town’s historically and archaeologically important assets.
Specifically, its duties include:

  • Preserving elements of the built and natural environment which give the Town its unique character.
  • Balancing the protection of Framingham’s irreplaceable historic resources with its physical and economic growth and development.
  • Periodically compiling and updating a Historic Preservation Plan for the community in connection with the Community & Economic Development Division.
  • Advising the Board of Selectmen on matters concerning historic preservation.
  • Advising the Building Commissioner with respect to the Town's Demolition Delay Bylaw.
  • Informing and educating citizens and visitors about the heritage endowed to the present generation by the men and women who built this community.
Framingham Atheneaum

Do you have other questions about how the Historical Commission works?

Historical Commission Chair, and Town Historian, Fred Wallace gave a talk at the library in 2015 discussing the HC’s duties. You can watch his presentation here.

Cultural Resources Inventory

Since the 1970s, the HC has been identifying and researching Framingham’s many historic assets which include not only buildings, but also objects and landscapes, such as statues, parks and fields. Together they comprise the Cultural Resource Inventory, which is a comprehensive listing of all the historic resources in Framingham. For more information on the Cultural Resources Inventory, and to learn whether your building is included, contact the Community and Economic Development office or the Historical Commission Chair.


Demolition Delay Bylaw

At the 1991 Town Meeting, the Demolition Delay Bylaw (Article V, Section 21) was created. This Bylaw requires the HC to assess all buildings 75 years or older prior to issuance of a demolition permit.

If a building is included in the Cultural Resources Inventory, the HC can delay its demolition for one year.

If a building is not in the Cultural Resources Inventory, but the HC believes it is significant, the demolition can be delayed for 6 months.

A demolition delay is not intended to punish the owner, but rather it provides an opportunity for the HC to work with the owner to determine if the building can be saved.

A recent success story involves the 1812 House on Salem End Road, which Framingham State University opted to sensitively rehabilitate.