Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission awards honor local projects

CAMBRIDGE — The second annual Cambridge Historic Preservation awards took place on May 18, at the City Council Chambers at 305 High St. Cambridge Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) at the small event celebrated the contributions of organizations and individuals who have dedicated significant effort and resources into projects that restore a piece of the city’s past.

Preservation projects that are considered for the awards are judged for their effectiveness at promoting, preserving and protecting the unique history of Cambridge.

The HPC’s mandate is to safeguard Cambridge’s heritage and its broadly visible waterfront within the Historic District. To accomplish this, the HPC is required to review and issue Certificates of Appropriateness for all exterior alterations to property in the historic district, including alterations that cannot be seen from the street or water based on specific guidelines. This includes restoration, rehabilitation, new construction, renovations, and major landscaping as well as replacing building components, such as roofs, doors, windows, porches, railings, and curb cuts. The commission meets on the third Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers.

Nominations were accepted from the community for projects that had a positive impact on historic resources in Cambridge. Also judged are the quality of completed work, the project or individual’s ability to serve as an example for historic preservation, and the project or individual’s contribution to educating the public.

Deborah and Gaver Nichols accept their award for the renovation of 106 Franklin Street, presented by HPC Chair Ron Berman.

The Nichols project at 106 Franklin Street was a complete renovation that retained the lines of the house but features vast upgrades in materials and function.

Gaver Nichols, architect, has earned the Compatible Historic Renovation award for his work to renovate 106 Franklin St. This is a new award category that recognizes properties that have been renovated in a way that is sensitive to their historic character. Mr. Nichols took a residence that literally looked like it was only suitable for demolition and turned it into a showcase. In the process, the original lines of the building were respected and enhanced.


Catherine Morrison accepts her award for the Bayly House at 207 High Street, which is a regular stop on the Cambridge walking tours.

The Bayly House, at 207 High Street, is the oldest house in Cambridge. It was built in Annapolis in 1760, and relocated to Cambridge. Catherine Morrison won an award for her renovation work on the property.

Catherine Morrison took on the challenge of restoring the Bayly House at 207 High St., which is the oldest house in Cambridge, and her work to date has earned her the Residential Preservation Award. The building was constructed in the 1760s in Annapolis, deconstructed and moved to Cambridge. Through her efforts, Ms. Morrison is making sure that this important resource will be around for many years to come.

The Dorchester County Historical Society won an award for for its research, education, and interpretation program and for its preservation of Meredith House and the Goldsborough stable.

The Dorchester County Historical Society was awarded the Preservation Service award for its research, education, and interpretation program and for its preservation of Meredith House and the Goldsborough stable. The society’s public outreach program sponsors several educational programs throughout the year on subjects relating to local history, genealogy, and historic preservation. They currently have one of the best collections around for researching family history and are an invaluable resource to the community.

Nominations for next year’s HPC awards are already being accepted via email, and can be sent to Planning Assistant LaSara Kinser at

Paul Clipper is the editor of the Dorchester Banner. He can be reached at

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