Landmarks Frequently Asked Questions

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Preservation, restoration, renovation - what’s the difference?
Where can I find someone to do work on my historic property?
Why was the Boston Landmarks Commission created?
What is the difference between the Boston Landmarks Commission and the local Historic District Commissions?
Can I get funding to rehabilitate a historic property?
Historic Districts and Commissions
Is my building in a Historic District?
I’m going to be doing work on a building/property located in a local historic district. How do I get an application and information on design review and approval?
I live in a historic district, but my building itself isn’t an individual Boston Landmark. How does this affect me?
What is a Landmark District?
What is an Architectural Conservation District?
What do the local Historic District Commissions do?
How can I become involved with my local Historic District Commission?
Are there pre-approved paint colors, products and/or contractors and architects for the districts?
Applications and Design Review
My project needs zoning relief in addition to design review. Which do I seek first?
I’d like to do some minor exterior work to my historic building. Do I still have to apply through the Commission?
Do I have to apply for a Certificate of Appropriateness for interior work?
What happens after I file my application?
What is an architectural violation?
Certificates of Appropriateness
How long is a Certificate of Appropriateness valid?
The work I want to do is not visible from the street. Do I still need a Certificate of Appropriateness?
How long does it take to receive a Certificate of Appropriateness?
Is a Certificate of Appropriateness the same as a building permit?
What types of work require a Certificate of Appropriateness?
National Register of Historic Places
Is the National Register of Historic Places different from local Landmarks or Districts?
What types of properties are listed on the National Register?
Research Resources
Do you have information on my house? If not, how can I learn about the history, or the style, or appropriate paint colors?
I would like to research a historic building or district. Can I do this at the Boston Landmarks Commission offices?

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