Highland Park Architectural Conservation District
The Highland Park Architectural Conservation District Commission meets each month on the fourth Thursday at 5:30PM to review exterior alterations. Interested in becoming a commissioner? Please see details about nomination in the district's Study Report and check the commission information section at the bottom of this page. If you see an "apply online" button, we have an opening on the commission and you're able to apply for it.
DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS
The following activities requiring an application and full Commission review:
- Full or partial demolitions
- Major architectural alterations
- Major landscape alterations
- New construction
- For more details, please review the district Standards and Criteria. If you still have questions please contact staff.
- Review all instructions and documentation requirements before submitting your application to ensure it is complete. Incomplete applications will not be added to a public hearing agenda.
- Submit your application online well in advance of a filing deadline in case additional or revised information is needed.
- Staff won't be able to review applications for completeness immediately upon submittal.
- Do not begin any work, or buy materials, until after confirmation that your project was approved by the Commission.
The Highland Park neighborhood is also called Roxbury Highlands or Fort Hill. It covers about 170 acres of steep terrain with puddingstone outcroppings. This historic area of Roxbury was characterized by prehistoric Native settlements and sparsely settled farmland by European settlers. The highlands of Roxbury served a strategic role in the Revolutionary War. After the war, the area developed as a fashionable 19th-century streetcar suburb. Roxbury was annexed to the City of Boston in 1868.
During the 1950s, large numbers of white residents, predominantly of Russian Jewish heritage, left Roxbury. They moved to western suburbs — such as Brookline and Newton — or south to Dorchester and Mattapan. By the 1960s, the neighborhood was predominantly occupied by Black families. These families moved from the American South and other Boston neighborhoods, including the North and South Ends. In recent decades, more Latinx people have also moved into the neighborhood. Today, Highland Park is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that residents are proud to call home.
The neighborhood includes excellent examples of late 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century architectural styles. These include:
- Greek Revival
- Gothic Revival
- Second Empire, and
- Queen Anne.
Additionally, archaeological resources may still exist from earlier periods.
For many years, neighborhood residents and Boston's historic preservation community have shown strong support for this historic district. In 1989, the Roxbury Highlands area was named a National Register district, a federal honor that unfortunately does not confer any local protection. The Landmarks Commission accepted a petition to create a Highland Park district back in 1978. For further historical background, please check out the Highland Park Architectural Conservation District Study Report.
|Angela Paige Cook||3/1/2023||6/30/2025||Active|