The Medford Historic District Commission was established in 1985 under Section 4 of Chapter 40C of the Massachusetts General Laws and Chapter 48 of the Medford Municipal Ordinances. This Commission is the official City body charged with administration of the city-designated Historic Districts. This Commission’s role is to ensure that any visible changes to properties within the Historic Districts enhances, rather than detracts from, the area’s historic character. The Commission can issue certificates of appropriateness, certificates of non-applicability, and certificates of hardship with respect to construction or alteration of buildings and structures within the historic districts.
By preserving the historic character of the Historic Districts and Medford in general, the goal of the Commission is to sustain and improve the significance of Medford’s place in American history and to increase the cultural and monetary wealth of Medford residents. Studies have shown that properties located within Historic Districts have increased more in value over time compared to similar properties outside of the districts. Carefully managing the appearance of historic neighborhoods has benefits for all property owners.