Historical Commission

Meetings


  • 7 p.m.
  • Third Wednesday of every month
  • Museum Cottage
    4 Boston Road
    Westford, MA 01886

Agendas and Minutes


Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
          View Agendas
          View Most Recent Agenda
          View all meeting minutes
The Historical Commission was established January 21, 1975, by unanimous vote of Special Town Meeting under the provisions of Section 8D, Chapter 40 of the Massachusetts General Laws. It has 7 members and 2 alternates, each appointed by the Board of Selectmen to 2-year terms.

Commission Charter


The Westford Historical Commission is chartered with the preservation, protection and development of the historical and archeological assets of the town. It may research places of historic or archeological value and coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes. For the purpose of protecting and preserving such places, it may make such recommendations as it deems necessary to the selectmen and to the Massachusetts Historical Commission that any such place be certified as an historical or archeological landmark. The Historical Commission may hold hearings; may enter into contracts with individuals, organizations and institutions for services; may accept gifts, contributions and bequests of funds from individuals, foundations and governmental bodies; may make and sign agreements; and may do and perform any and all acts necessary or desirable for the purpose of furthering the Commission's program.

Parking


There is limited parking available at the Museum and Cottage for patrons of these 2 facilities. Other parking is available on Lincoln Street and behind the J.V. Fletcher Library. There is also space adjacent to the Town Hall on Main Street.

Westford Historic Documentation Project 2013


The Historic Commission is currently transferring historic information to be accessible on the Town and Historic Commission website. Starting with Main Street, the forms are being scanned from original binders that are in the Town Collection. This is not the entire collection but will allow most historic records to be accessed remotely. For more information email David Gutbrod, Historic Commission.

September 2012 Historic Resources Showcased in Westford


Imagine: the original Westford Academy (now the Westford Museum) was built during the first few years of The United States creation. Its construction date of 1794 was just a few years after the ratification of the Constitution, and a decade after the end of the Revolutionary War where Westford Residents fought and sacrificed for the success of the nation.
It is of no small historic note, that the famous silversmith and revolutionary Paul Revere sent his youngest son John to the young but prestigious Westford Academy. Many local history buffs are surprised to learn that the Father of American Civil Engineering Loammi Baldwin sent his son Loammi Baldwin Jr. to the new school in Westford. The Baldwin family name is also synonymous with the delicious Baldwin apple cultivated on the family property in Woburn. The Baldwins became well known for many engineering projects but are perhaps best known for designing the Middlesex Canal. The agricultural topics and engineering principles practiced inside this building abounded, and still spark the imagination as one walks through the building today.

What is truly amazing though, is the surviving building, that remains as a treasure in the heart of Westford. Part of the memory of Westford, and nearly torn down decades ago, it has become a testament to the adaptive qualities of the Westford Farmer, business man, and even the present citizens of this changing community. Recently, this building narrowly escaped degrading beams and attacks from beetles, water, and even raccoons and squirrels. With the diligence of the Town Historic Commission and equal input by the Historic Society and Town Management, it has survived its latest challenges to live another generation.

With the cooperation of many historic preservation experts, the building has become a symbol of the participation, hard work and devotion to the preservation of town historic resources. 1 tool applied to the ongoing restoration in order to keep the town informed about the progress and truly amazing qualities of the Westford Museum is a 3D scan. This was achieved with the new technology of LIDAR, or using laser scanning, to record the building. With this information, it will be possible for generations to come to stabilize, restore and share the architectural dimensions for maintenance, emergency rebuild, and other unforeseen events. From recent ice storms and power outages to full blown hurricanes, the knowledge that this building has taken the necessary steps for preservation is evidence of the town-wide commitment to historic resources to be passed on to future generations.

View the Westford Museum Summary (PDF) of the digital scanning work underway at the Westford Museum.

July 2012 - Request For Proposals (RFP) Issued for Historical Preservation Planning Support
September 12, 2012 update: the Historical Commission is reviewing the proposals received and expects to recommend selection of a consultant later this month.

Preservation Efforts

 
  • Preservation Plan Draft
  • Executive Summary
  • History of the Community
  • History of Planning in the Community
  • Our Community Today
  • Inventory
  • National Register
  • Public Perception

  • Municipal Regulations
  • Municipal Policy, Management and Capital Improvements
  • Action Plan
  • 2003 WHC Questionnaire (Survey Results)
  • Demolition Delay Bylaw
  • Demolition Delay Summary
  • Scenic Roads Summary
  • 275th Anniversary Committee