Historic District Proposal to be a Conservative One

The boundaries for a preliminary map of the district include the area shaded in purple. The green area is the existing Olmsted District. The pinpoints designate properties for which historical inventories have been completed.

This week the Swampscott Historic District Study Committee is scheduled to meet for the 15th time since its members were appointed by selectmen last April.  

The committee, which is studying the feasibility of preserving historic properties including those on parts of Humphrey Street, will host a public hearing to present its findings in the coming months.

It also plans to bring forth a proposal at Town Meeting in the spring.

The district's regulations will protect historical buildings and the district's character but will not be as restrictive as those in towns such as Marblehead that have longstanding historical districts, committee member Sylvia Belkin told Historical Commission members at a recent meeting.

The regulations will be less concerned with a structure's particulars, such as its color, than it will be with its continued presence, said Peter Kane, Swampscott's town planner and an ex-officio member of the study committee.

The district would protect historical properties within its boundaries from the wrecking ball, he said.

The committee's plan is to submit the plan for the warrant, he said.

It would then be up to selectmen to approve its placement on the warrant. If approved it would go to a public hearing and Town Meeting where the article would need a two-thirds majority vote for approval, he said.

Study committee Chairman Jer Jurma said the goal of the district is to preserve a sense of place and protect property values.

A preliminary map of the district, accompanying this post, includes part of Humphrey Street — the area shaded in purple. It does not include the green shaded area — the existing Olmsted District. The pinpoints on the map designate properties for which historical inventories have been completed.

The study committee includes representatives from the Swampscott Historical Society, the local Board of Realtors, and the American Institute of Architects, according to the committee's web page.
The committee has met with a representative from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, who toured the proposed area, reviewed the historic district process with the committee, and provided materials to aid the committee's work, the page states.

For more information on the study committee visit its web page on the town web site.

Links to historic photos of Humphrey Street



Historical Study Committee

NAMEROLE Dana Anderson Sylvia Belkin Clerk Mary DeChillo Chair Jer Jurma Vice Chair Edward Moll EX OFFICIOSROLE S. Peter Kane Town Liaison Glenn Kessler Board of Selectmen Liaison
Terry Date (Editor) January 29, 2013 at 02:35 PM
We'll ask the town planner, Louis.
Sean Hale January 29, 2013 at 03:28 PM
Does anyone know how the completed historical inventories can be accessed? Are they in the library?
David Arsenault January 29, 2013 at 04:30 PM
The lovely Olmsted district won't be spared from Mother Nature's wrecking ball.
Terry Date (Editor) January 30, 2013 at 02:06 AM
We will have answer on Patch tomorrow morning Sean.
Mick January 30, 2013 at 07:18 PM
Why are pictures from the October flooding a part of this story?
John January 30, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Ask Dave ....
Terry Date (Editor) January 30, 2013 at 08:11 PM
A reader, David Arsenault, added the photos and left a comment. The comment is above.
David Arsenault January 30, 2013 at 08:26 PM
I live in the Olmsted district, Looks like a flood map to me/the pin marks being a guide for flood Ins co. to use as a refrence for higher premiums. I witnessed 1A fill up 8x last summer, this area isn't a one time flood problem, happens every yr! The artical mentions the district project as a goal to preserve property values. Town should have a better sense of preserving this area! My house and others in my neighborhood within this "Historic" district will eventually be worthless and dilapidated. The artical to me is upsetting. Just added another pic to give the true feeling of living in this part of town. Sorry to burst anyone's bubble of a characteristic quaint New England town.
David Arsenault April 20, 2013 at 12:19 AM


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