Falmouth Historic District Design Review Guidelines


Location: 59 Town Hall Square, Falmouth MA 02540
Applicant: Falmouth Historical Commission
Grant: $13,000
Year/Article: April 2008, A18

Falmouth’s seven local historic districts were defined and established in 1975 to promote the Falmouth community through the preservation and protection of historical buildings, places and districts of historical interest, as well as through the development and preservation of appropriate settings for such buildings and areas. The Historic Districts Commission (HDC), established under the Falmouth Historic Districts Act, holds a regulatory role for ensuring appropriate treatment for over 1000 historically significant parcels in the historic districts. Owners of buildings in the historic districts must obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness from the HDC, before making changes or adding signage to properties lying within a historic district. With the goal of ensuring consistency in treatment of historical properties, it reviews applications for building alterations, additions, demolition, new construction, and signage.  In 1995 the HDC prepared “Guidelines for Maintaining Character in Falmouth’s Historic Districts” and updated the publication in 2002 and 2007.

In 2010 the HDC applied to and received from the CPFund $13,000 in support of a $20,000 project to update the guide in what became the “Historic District Design Review Guidelines.” Additional funding came from the Massachusetts Historical Commission’s Preservation Project Fund. These more comprehensive updated guidelines, available on the HDC webpage on the Town’s website (www.falmouthmass.us), provide definitions and diagrams of various historical architectural styles; the Commission’s policies for architectural features such as windows, chimneys, skylights, solar panels; and so forth. This publication is the governing document for HDC decision-making.

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