The Worcester Historical Commission, under MGL Chapter 40C, has voted to study the possible creation of a Local Historic District (LHD) in the Elm Park Neighborhood. This area includes the Worcester campus of Becker College and neighboring residential and commercial areas located next to and east of Elm Park. This neighborhood includes many varied examples of mid-nineteenth and early-twentieth century residential architecture.
The study is a formal process to gather information on the properties within the area under consideration, engage in dialog with neighborhood residents, property owners and the public at large and plan a recommendation on the formation of a new district. Creation of a new Local Historic District would be determined by a vote of the City Council following completion of the study.
The study will be conducted during spring and summer 2021 by the Worcester Historical Commission, assisted by staff from the Planning & Regulatory Services Division. The study will include following steps.
The Study Committee has proposed initial boundaries for consideration, which may be refined as the study progresses. These boundaries are preliminary and only show the areas studied for potential inclusion within the district.
Preliminary Proposed LHD Boundaries
The Committee will assess the architectural and historical significance of the general environs and the buildings within the proposed district.
To gauge community interest and support for the proposal, as well as inform potential components and governing rules, a neighborhood-wide opinion survey will be conducted.
The study findings will be documented in a Preliminary Study Report, which will be released for public review and submitted to the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) for comments.
Following acceptance of the Preliminary Study Report by the MHC and Study Committee, a public hearing will be held on the proposal.
Following the public hearing, the Committee will make a recommendation for consideration by the City Council, who will determine whether to establish a new Local Historic District in the neighborhood, its boundaries and its governing rules.
Local Historic Districts are established to protect historic buildings and structures from demolition or inappropriate alterations. In a Local Historic District, most changes to exterior architectural features, including additions, changes in materials, other alterations or demolitions, are reviewed by the City's Historic Commission.
Worcester currently has three Local Historic Districts: Massachusetts Avenue, Montvale and Crown Hill.
Additional information and opportunities to participate will be posted to this webpage as the study progresses.
Michelle Johnstone, Preservation Planner