About the Boston Landmarks Commission

The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) is the municipal preservation agency for Boston's historic buildings, places, and neighborhoods.

As one of the oldest American cities, Boston has long played an important role in the development of the nation and is home to a wealth of important cultural resources - there are more than 8,000 properties located with the City’s nine local Historic Districts or designated as individual Boston Landmarks.  These are the buildings, structures, sites, and areas that inform us about the people that have lived and worked in Boston and the events that have shaped the City from its beginning to the present.

The Boston Landmarks Commission, along with the local Historic District Commissions, provides information and assistance concerning the regulatory process, historic preservation planning and protection, archaeology, sources for historical information, and technical assistance.

This website is provided as a service to those interested in Boston’s historic buildings, districts, and sites. It is not a substitute for the advice of staff, nor is it a substitute for formal review of an application by the applicable Commission, as required by law.

You can find out if your property has local Landmark status or is in a historic district by typing the address into our interactive map. If your property is in a district, you can find the historic background and design review guidelines for the specific district in the Historic Districts section of our website. And all Landmarks have study reports with their special guidelines in the Publications section of our website.

Frequently Asked Questions


In 1975, state legislation (Chapter 772, M.G.L. 1975, as amended) created the Boston Landmarks Commission as Boston's City-wide historic preservation agency.  The many functions it performs include identifying and preserving historic properties, reviewing development and demolition activities proposed in the City, providing public information and assistance on historic preservation practices, and providing staff support to the local Historic District Commissions.  The BLC also administers the City's Demolition Delay process, Article 85 of the Zoning Code.

Mission Statement

From the Boston Landmarks Commission enabling legislation:

The purposes of this act are:

  • (a) to protect the beauty of the city of Boston and improve the quality of its environment through identification, recognition, conservation, maintenance and enhancement of areas, sites, structures and fixtures which constitute or reflect distinctive features of the political, economic, social, cultural or architectural history of the city;

  • (b) to foster appropriate use and wider public knowledge and appreciation of such features, areas, sites, structures and fixtures;

  • (c) to resist and restrain environmental influences adverse to such purposes;

  • (d) to encourage private efforts in support of such purposes; and

  • (e) by furthering such purposes, to promote the public welfare, to strengthen the cultural and educational life of the city and the commonwealth and to make the city a more attractive and desirable place in which to live and work.