Historical Preservation & Commemoration
Boston Commemoration Commission
As someone who grew up giving tours of Boston's historic sites, and earned my PhD in history before becoming a Councilor, I'm proud to represent a district with such a rich history. Our history can teach us so much about ourselves, but historical preservation and commemoration don't happen on autopilot. It needs real investment and care. I’m excited to make sure that we’re being proactive and intentional about how to use events, curricula, exhibits, and preservation tools to uplift the great unfinished work of liberty and civic activism in Boston, and to focus especially on the histories, both difficult and vibrant, that often go untold -- including the history and landmarks of Boston’s Black community, immigrant communities, indigenous peoples and tribal nations, the queer community, and many others.
During the initial hearing, Councilors and community partners set out our intentions for an inclusive Commemoration in Boston, as well as to start a more technical discussion on amending the state and local legislation that governs our ability to landmark buildings and structures in Boston.
Local Landmarking for Boston
In the lead-up to the 1976 Bicentennial fifty years ago, Boston led the way as one of the first cities to begin landmarking buildings for the purpose of historical preservation, with the Boston Landmarks Commission created by state legislation in 1975 largely in response to widespread demolitions of historical buildings. Since then, there has been no update to the Landmark Commission’s enabling legislation to allow for the preservation of a more diverse set of buildings, despite recognition by the historic preservation community of the need for a more inclusive process with more robust public input and greater regard for local community history.
Most other municipalities in the country have local landmarking abilities. I've introduced a home rule petition which would change the Landmark Commission's enabling legislation and allow sites that are historically significant to Boston to be landmarked.