Permits & Applications

Photograph of 1-7 JFK (Boylston) Street under construction - photo #4167 from the Boston Elevated Collection

The Cambridge Historical Commission staff reviews permit applications for properties within historic and neighborhood conservation districts, as well as for landmarks, properties protected by preservation easements, demolition of structures over 50 years old, and properties under study for designation. Work on a protected property can not be initiated before issuance of a Certificate from the appropriate Commission.

The Historical department reviews exterior alterations to designated historic properties. Check the My Cambridge address tool (see button on the right side of this page) to determine whether a property is has a historic designation. Or give us a quick phone call at 617-349-4683 and we would be happy to look it up for you.

CHC Department Calendar 

Most projects involve only interior features or consist of repairs in-kind (matching existing) and can be approved administratively by staff without requiring a hearing of one of our commissions. Applicants are encouraged to meet with Historical Commission staff prior to applying for a permit. Staff can review the scope and discuss what type of review the proposal will require. The staff frequently make site visits to look at preservation issues and building questions in person with the homeowner or building or design professional.  The Permit Procedures Brochure (2012) provides more detail of the Historical permitting process.