So you want to put zebra striped vinyl siding on your house and it’s in the Hopedale Village National Register District?  The good news is, yes, you can.  The bad news is, yes, you can.  The following is from a pamphlet put out by the Massachusetts Historical Commission.                              

                                             There’s a Difference!

There are substantial differences between a Local Historic District and a National Register District.  This brochure has been prepared by the Massachusetts Historical Commission to help clarify these differences.

                                        National Register Districts

A National Register District is part of the National Register of Historic Places.  The National Register of Historic Places is the list of individual buildings, sites, structures and objects, as well as districts, deemed important in American history, culture, architecture or archaeology.  It is a federal designation and is administered by the Secretary of the Interior through the Massachusetts Historical Commission as the State Historic Preservation Office.

Listing in the National Register:

recognizes that the area is important to the history of the community, state or nation.allows the owners of income-producing properties certain federal tax incentives for rehabilitation.provides limited protection from adverse effects by federal or state involved projects.

If there is no state or federal involvement in a project (such as federal licenses, permits or funding) and no pertinent local or regional regulations (such as a local historic district), then listing in the National Register of Historic Places does not limit an owner’s handling of the property at all.

There are over 900 National Register Districts in Massachusetts.

The National Register of Historic Places, begun in 1966, promotes an appreciation of our diverse cultural heritage.  Communities with National Register Districts take great pride in this federal designation.

Note: A National Register District cannot be listed if a majority of the property owners submit notarized objections.  Every owner of record of private property has the opportunity to comment and/or object to the nomination, and has one vote regardless of whether they own a single property, multiple properties, or a portion of a property.

                                          Local Historic Districts

In general, local historic districts are far more effective at preventing inappropriate changes than a National Register District.  In a local historic district, proposed changes to exterior architectural features visible from a public way are reviewed by a locally appointed Historic District Commission.  For instance, if a building addition was proposed in a local historic district, the property owner would submit an application to the Historic District Commission.  The Historic District Commission would hold a public hearing and make a determination on whether the new addition was appropriate.  If the addition was appropriate, the Historic District Commission would issue a Certificate, allowing the work to progress.  Many Historic District Commissions have prepared Historic District Guidelines that clarify how proposed projects should respect the existing historic character.

Local Historic Districts in Massachusetts were first established on Beacon Hill and Nantucket in 1955.  There are now over 200 local historic districts in Massachusetts.  Local Historic Districts have been very effective at saving historic structures, neighborhoods and villages from inappropriate alterations and demolition.

Following the steps outlined in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40C, Local Historic Districts are established by a two thirds majority city council or town meeting vote.

By establishing a local historic district, a community recognizes the importance of its architectural heritage and how vulnerable it is to inappropriate alterations without this local regulation.

Many proposed changes are exempt from review.  In a local historic district, there is no review of interior features.  In addition, a variety of exterior features are often exempt such as air conditioning units, storm doors, storm windows, paint color and temporary structures.  The decision on which features are exempt from review depends on how the local bylaw or ordinance is written and passed by your city council or town meeting vote.

Can a property be designated as part of a National Register District and as a part of a Local Historic District?

Yes, in this case property owners receive all the benefits from the federal listing and the assurance that the local law or ordinance will protect the historic area from inappropriate alteration.
If my property is within a National Register District, will it eventually be designated a Local Historic District as well?

Not necessarily.  An M.G.L. Chapter 40C Local Historic District is established only by a two thirds majority vote of your city council or town meeting.  It is a completely separate local process.

                                   State Register of Historic Places

Properties within Local Historic Districts and National Register Districts are automatically included on the State Register of Historic Places.

Listing in the State Register:provides limited protection from adverse effects by state-involved projects. When available, provides owners of municipal or private non-profit properties opportunity to apply for 50% matching state grants through the Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund.

William Francis Galvin
Secretary of the Commonwealth

  Hopedale historic districts proposed for Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park 2018 

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Whereas; Robert “Zeke” Hammond has been the Town of Hopedale’s unofficial historian for many years and is often seen as its unofficial mayor as well, and

Whereas; Zeke has tirelessly devoted his time and energy to beautifying one of the town’s most valued treasures – the historic and pristine Hopedale Village Cemetery, and

Whereas; Zeke has been a constant source of inspiration and guidance on local history for the town’s youth through his annual visits to sixth graders at Memorial School, and  

Whereas; Zeke has embodied the spirit of Hopedale volunteerism through his long and active affiliation with the Hopedale Historical Commission, Friends of Historic Hopedale and the Hopedale Council on Aging, and

Whereas; Zeke has been a regular, welcomed fixture on Hopedale Street and a good friend to the Town of Hopedale and its Citizens, and

Whereas; Zeke rarely accepts accolades for his great work but deserves more than we can possibly  write here, NOW THEREFORE

BE IT RESOLVED; With great pleasure and honor, we hereby proclaim today, Saturday, April 26, 2003, in Hopedale, Massachusetts

                                                Robert “Zeke” Hammond Day

Hereunto, we set our hands this Twenty-Second Day of April, in the year Two Thousand Three.

                                                                                    Michael E. Collins, Chairman
                                                                                    Michael A.. Milanoski
                                                                                    Alan J. Ryan
                                                                                    Hopedale Board of Selectmen   

                Dedication of the “Hopedale Village National Register District”

                                                 April 26, 2003 1:00 P.M.

Invocation Rev. Richard Drinon
Welcome Francis Larkin, Master of Ceremonies
Flag Ceremony Boy Scouts from Troop 1 Hopedale
National Anthem Hopedale High School Band
Overview of Day’s Events and Committee Recognition – Sue Gallagher,Chair of Dedication Event
Introduction of Invited Guests Merrily Sparling – Chair, Hopedale Historical Commission
Massachusetts Representative – Marie Parente
Chairman of Board of Selectmen – Michael Collins
Greetings to the Community – Rev. Christopher Dodge, Union Evangelical Church
Official Unveiling of Historic District Sign – Merrily Sparling
Reading of Essay on Hopedale – Jennifer Jarvis,  Hopedale High School Class of 2003
Presentation of Historic Proclamation – Selectman Alan Ryan to Robert “Zeke” Hammond
Presentation of House Tour Proceeds – Tara O’Connell, treasurer of Holiday House Tour committee
Recognition of Special Efforts – Susan Gallagher, Dedication Chair Barbara Kochon and Historic House Tour Committee Cheri Hardiman – Celebration Committee Chair
Benediction – Father William Konicki, Sacred Heart Church

Afternoon Events  1:45 P.M. Laying of Wreaths – Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts Historic Tours of Hopedale by Double-Decker Bus  2 :00 P.M. 80th Birthday Celebration of Hopedale Community House Exhibit of Art, Poetry and Essays by Hopedale Students at the Community House  2:30 P.M. – 3:30 P.M.Hopedale High School Jazz Ensemble performance at Community House  3:00 P.M. Reenactment of the Hopedale Utopian Community at the Unitarian Church by the Friends of Adin Ballou  2:00 P.M. – 4:30 P.M. Tours of the Red Shop.   Bancroft Library open extended hours. Self-guided Parklands Trail Hikes

The Hopedale Historical Commission wishes to thank the following individuals and organizations for their assistance and efforts in today’s Community Celebration and Hopedale’s year-long celebration of the historic district. Hopedale Historical Commission members Merrily Sparling, chair, Judith Phillips, Alan Ryan, William Hardiman, Tara Chambers, Frederick Oldfield, III, Robert “Zeke” Hammond  Red Shop Committee members William B. Gannett, Robert Brown, Merrily Sparling  Friends of Historic Hopedale members Barbara Kochon, chair, Judith Pagnini, treasurer  Celebration Committee Cheri Hardiman, Chair, Susan Galligher, Chair of Dedication Event, Tina O’Connell, Sally Decelles, Theresa Ryan, Dottie Milanoski  Historic House Tour Committee and Homeowners  Hopedale High School Band Band Director Anthony Beaudry.

Individuals and Other Groups: Francis Larkin, Sue Ciaramicoli, Elaine Malloy, Daniel Malloy, Debbie Wells, Nancy Lee Fuller, Boy Scout Troop 1 and leader Toby Booth, Girl Scouts and leader Mary Cockroft, Friends of Adin Ballou, Rev. Richard Drinon, Rev. Christopher Dodge, Father William Konicki, Community House trustees and staff, Police Department, Highway Department, Senior Citizens at the Council on Aging, Council on Aging Director Carole Mullen, Massachusetts Historical Commission, Betsy Friedberg and Philip Bergen, Wild About Flowers, Holliston, and the John H. Chafee Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission.

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