Forum Connect

Historic streets

  • 1.  Historic streets

    Posted 11 days ago
    I was recently contacted by a Boston resident who resides part time on the historic island of Nantucket and is looking for some guidance regarding updates and modifications to historic streets.  (See below) Does anyone have experience in their communities that could be used as guidance here? Anyone involved with the NYC or Minneapolis plans she references?

    Greg Galer
    Boston Preservation Alliance

    ---------- Forwarded message ---------  
    If any of your colleagues nationally have information about repairing and maintaining historic streetscapes, I would so appreciate hearing from them. The Town of Nantucket is a protected Historic District and National Landmark, and has miles of 19th century cobblestone and belgian block streets flanked by distinctive brick and stone slab sidewalks.  Some are graced with 100+ year old American Elms. The streets are sorely in need of repair, and the town has an ongoing initiative to both repair them and make them more accessible. Unfortunately this has in places taken the form of a complete reconstruction, and some of the repair to date is less preservation minded than we would hope for. There have been changes to scale and design, and removal of historic materials without documentation.

    We are pressuring town elected officials to direct the Department of Public Works to engage with the Historic District Commission, and we believe this will happen in some form. But the HDC will need specialized advisors and a collaborative, cross-discipline approach if they are to succeed in bringing a preservation mindset to this significant public works project. Therefore, we are interested in any information about how other historic towns have maintained and adapted their 19th century streetscapes for both accessibility and preservation. We are also interested in referrals to consultants, architects, planners, and historians with expertise in historic streetscapes.

    We are aware of two plans: Towards Accessible Historic Streetscapes (New York City) and The Warehouse District Heritage Street Plan (Minneapolis). We'd love to speak with people who were involved with these plans. And we'd love to discover more examples like them. 

    Thank you, Greg, for sharing this appeal.  And thank you for everything you do for historic preservation in Boston!

    Greg Galer, Executive Director
    Boston Preservation Alliance

    The Otis House
    141 Cambridge Street
    Boston, MA 02114


    Protecting places, promoting vibrancy, preserving character

    **Be sure to visit our website to learn more.** 

  • 2.  RE: Historic streets

    Posted 11 days ago
    I would highly recommend reaching out directly to Robin Williams at the Savannah College of Art and Design. A few years ago he did a comprehensive study of historic paving materials, curbing, and which cities have been maintaining their historic infrastructure.

    Check out this short Tedx Talk he gave on historic pavements. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to meet him while he was traveling around researching and getting to show him the German Village Historic District.

    Sarah Marsom
    Heritage Resource Consultant
    Tiny Activist Project

  • 3.  RE: Historic streets

    Posted 10 days ago
    Historic Bosten is featured in January edition of Early Life Magazine.