Historic District Commission

Framingham’s Historic District Commission (HDC) is an appointed board of residents that oversees the preservation and stewardship of buildings in the city’s designated Local Historic Districts. The HDC reviews proposed changes to designated properties and works with property owners to balance the needs of modern living with the historic integrity of their buildings and surrounding neighborhood contexts.


Historic Districts

Local historic districts in Massachusetts have three main purposes:

  1. To preserve and protect the distinctive characteristics of buildings and places significant to the history of the Commonwealth’s cities and towns.
  2. To maintain and improve the settings of those buildings and places.
  3. To encourage compatibility with existing buildings when new buildings are planned in the districts.

The purpose of a local Historic District Commission (HDC) is not to halt growth, but to allow for thoughtful consideration of change.

Framingham voted at its 1978 Annual Town Meeting to protect the Framingham Centre Common area and establish a local historic district for the area pursuant to MGL Chapter 40C. The Centre Common Historic District has been expanded since then, most recently in 2015. The Jonathan Maynard Historic District was established at 1994 Annual Town Meeting’ the single-property Sarah Clayes House Historic District at 2008 Annual Town Meeting; and two single-property districts were established at 2016 Fall Special Town Meeting, the Pike-Haven-Foster House Historic District and the H.H. Richardson Depot Historic District.

PURVIEW & PROCESS 

The HDC has purview over any changes to the exterior of a designated building that is visible from a public way. Such modifications require application to the HDC for a Certificate of Appropriateness, and an approved Certificate is necessary before beginning work. If the work is regular maintenance that maintains the design, materials, and finish of an element, a certificate is not necessary. The City’s Preservation staff can advise property owners about how to distinguish between projects that required HDC review. Email them at: HistoricPreservation@framinghamma.gov or call: 508-532-5455

 

As property owners contemplate changes to their buildings, the following guidelines can be a helpful reference for evaluating specific elements, materials, circumstances, and approaches.
 (
Link to Guidelines).

Once a project is ready for review, owners should file an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness with the City’s Planning and Community Development Department.

The HDC meets monthly on the first Tuesday of the month. Agendas for each meeting close several weeks in advance, so applicants should plan to submit their application and supporting documentation in enough time to afford proper review.

A brochure summarizing the HDC process can be found here.

Framingham’s HISTORIC DISTRIcts

Historic Districts Map 2020-01

MEETING SCHEDULE & Members

  1. 2022 Meeting & Due Dates
  2. Members
  3. Meeting Agendas & Access
Meeting Date
Applications Due
Notes
January 4
December 14, 2021
N/A
February 1
January 11
N/A
March 1
February 8 N/A
April 5
March 15
N/A
May 3
April 12
N/A
June 7
May 17
N/A
July 5
June 14
N/A
August 2
July 12
N/A
September 6
August 16
N/A
October 4
September 13
N/A
November 1
October 11

December 6
November 15 N/A
  1. Centre Common
  2. Jonathan Maynard
  3. Single Property Districts
Property Address Date
Framingham Centre Common

N/A 1735
The Brandolini House 2 Auburn Street 1955
The Stone Gardner's Cottage 4 Auburn Street 1850
Office Building 5 Auburn Street 1970
The Whitney-Wiggins House 10 Auburn Street 1826
The General George Henry Gordon House 936 Central Street 1850
Office/Bank Building 35 Edgell Road 1969
The Framingham Bank 39 Edgell Road 1833
The Grossman House 61 Edgell Road 1960
The O'Brien House 63 Edgell Road 1961
The Jason Hall House 65 Edgell Road 1850
The Otis Boynton House 85 Edgell Road 1825
Plymouth Church 87 Edgell Road 1968
The E. Cloyes House 121 Edgell Road 1836
The George A. Weeks House 122 Edgell Road 1865
The Charles Train House (Plymouth Parsonage) 125 Edgell Road 1836
The Daniel Hemenway House 151 Edgell Road 1800
The Rinaldo House 31 Grove Street 1970
The Mrs. Gordon House 33 Grove Street 1810
Lothrop Wight House 8 Library Street 1860
John and Sarah Clark House 12 Library Street 1860
Village Hall 2 Oak Street 1834
Edgell Memorial Library 3 Oak Street 1872
Civil War Monument 3 Oak Street 1872
Tilton-Wheeler Store 1 Vernon Street 1830
Harriet Carter House 3 Vernon Street 1853
Julia Wight House 5 Vernon Street 1860
The Edgar Wheeler House 6 Vernon Street 1850
The Clark Builders Trust House 8 Vernon Street 1969
Caroline B. Clark House 9 Vernon Street 1852-1853
The Jonathan Maynard Building 12 Vernon Street 1916
Framingham Academy 14 Vernon Street 1837
The Capt. Eliphalet Wheeler House 18 Vernon Street 1818
The Train-Vernon House 20 Vernon Street 1848
First Parish Church 24 Vernon Street 1926
First Parish House 24 Vernon Street 1959
The J. J. Marshall House 3 Warren Place 1800
The Tarbox House 4 Warren Place 1836
The Stalker House 8 Warren Place 1768
The John Mann House 11 Warren Place 1867
Wight-Esty Block 931-937 Worcester Road 1832-1850
Van Duzer Hardware Company Block 939 Worcester Road 1935

For more detailed information on individual properties, you can search the Massachusetts Historic Commission's MACRIS database of cultural resources.