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Demolition In Massachusetts Historic Zones


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The topic of demolition, whether that be partial or complete, is often filled with innuendos and unclear regulations, especially when it comes to Historic Zones. Boston Demolition is here to address and educate upon this particular issue! We’ll be taking a look at the necessary steps required when modifying historic buildings and the proper way to approach unclear questions. Let’s take a look into Demolition in Historic Zones in Massachusetts!

The State of Massachusetts is rich in history. Established in the early 1600s as one of America’s initial colonies, the Bay State has benefitted from hundreds of years of occupation and transformation. From cobblestone roads to the Big Dig, Massachusetts is constantly evolving, yet maintaining its history-rich identity. This profound history comes with a long-lasting establishment of permanent residents, and thus, the construction of buildings. When traveling throughout the state, you’ll surely come across historic buildings. Townhomes, warehouses, post offices, and more – the variety of historic buildings throughout the state is vast.

Before starting any demolition project on a historic building, it’s important to follow the proper steps in order to operate legally and efficiently, particularly within the state of Massachusetts. 

The most essential component to any Historic Demolition project is hiring the proper company to accomplish the task! Boston Demolition and Removal has served Massachusetts and the surrounding states for nearly a decade. Responsible for completing hundreds of demolition-related projects, Boston Demolition and Removal is especially proud of the dozens of historic buildings which have been properly demolished according to local bylaws and regulations. 

When it comes to the precise steps to ensure success, it’s important that we first go online and google your specific city or town and its specific historic zoned property regulations, focusing on demolition. Many towns and cities provide step-by-step instructions online, such as Brookline, Newton, Medford, and Sudbury to name a few! If your specific town, city, or area does not have an online guide to Historic Demolition, you’ll want to check out the next step.

As mentioned previously, many towns provide online guides to Historic Zone Demolition rules & regulations, yet it is not guaranteed that all do. If that is the case, your next best step is to approach your local town hall and ask for written instructions. Historic Zones are often and nearly guaranteed to be managed by a specific historic committee. When that is the case, sourcing the proper officials, some said committees, is often an effective way to acquire the proper paperwork.

Following the acquisition of the precise instructions required to engage in Historic Zone Demolition, your next step is to file the proper paperwork. Compared to non-Historically zoned properties throughout the state of Massachusetts, Historically Zoned property demolition, whether that is partial or complete, can take in excess of 12 months for approval.

After receiving approval from the respective Historic Committees, Boards, and any additional forms of legislation required by your city or town, one may begin the process outlined in your application. It is important that the scope of work identified in your application to the Historic Committee remains as unchanged as possible in order to prevent future conflicts. 

  1. Source online sources for Historic Demolition guidelines and bylaws
  2. Utilize tangible resources such as town halls and local committees for paperwork
  3. Submit the proper paperwork and anticipate the multi-month grace period
  4. Commence project Demolition following approval from respective committees

If you’re unsure as to whether or not your building is considered historic, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System, also referred to as MACRIS.
The renovation and rebuilding of Historic Properties are essential to the preservation of the state of Massachusetts. Whether you’re completing a partial or full demolition, Boston Demolition and Removal is here to help! Our industry-leading experts and vast experience in the space make for the perfect combination. Take a look around our website and check out our pages dedicated to demolition services, service areas, and past projects. Additionally, please feel free to reach out and contact Boston Demolition at any time. There is nothing more we’d like to do than help you complete your next Historic Demolition Project!


Don’t hesitate to reach out and contact us with any questions, comments, or requests for quotations. We look forward to hearing from you!

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