Exterior — and in some cases interior — changes must be reviewed and approved by a Commission to:
- pending and designated Individual Landmarks, and
- to properties within Local Historic Districts.
We approve thoughtful change that follows guidelines more quickly. Occupancy and use are not subject to review. We will not issue construction permits for work on designated properties without Commission approval.
We have this list of designated and pending landmarks, and denied or demolished historic properties. Contact BLC@boston.gov for further information.
How to designate a Landmark or District
Petitioners must fill out a draft petition and send it to BLC@boston.gov. The Executive Director will review the draft and contact the spokesperson to set up a meeting.Petitioners take an active role in the process:
Before filling out the draft petition, find out as much as you can about the history of the resource you'd like to landmark. For guidance, please review our research and technical assistance resources.
In general, the process to Landmark a significant historic resource begins with a complete petition. This petition must be signed by ten registered Boston voters. A Landmarks Commissioner or the Mayor can also submit a petition.If the Landmarks Commission votes to accept the petition:
The property is added to the pending Landmarks list. The next step is to prepare a Study Report. After a Study Report is completed, the commission votes on the designation. The Mayor and City Council also vote on designation.
An Individual Landmark: This is an individual property or physical feature with significance above the local level.
A Landmark District: This is an area with significance above the local level (state or national).
An Architectural Conservation District: This is an area with significance at the local level.
A Protection Area: This is an area adjacent to and contributing to the physical environment of:
- an Individual Landmark
- Landmark District, or
- Architectural Conservation District.
Please note: There are substantial differences between:
- Local Landmark designation, and
- listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
National Register listing recognizes history, but does not protect it.