Historic Preservation


Issue summary

Wabanites have passionately expressed, as have residents from other villages, the importance or preserving many of Waban's historical landmarks such as the Library, the Strong building which hosts most of our village's businesses, Waban Hall where Starbucks currently resides, and many homes that contribute to the historical character of our village. The high value of land and the lack of protection by Newton's zoning laws have made many of these historic homes vulnerable to demolitions. Several properties are currently at risk and neighbors have the opportunity to voice their opinions. We also have the opportunity to officially landmark structures to protect them in perpetuity. The Highlands is currently creating a historic district to protect their unique homes and Waban started a committee to investigate the same. Please contact Rena Getz (chair), Chris Pitts, and Isabelle Albeck to participate.

Issue full description

Newton City - Waban Landmarks

Established in 1993 under City Ordinance Chapter 22, Sections 22-60 through 22-75, Newton’s Local Landmark Ordinance authorizes the Newton Historical Commission to designate individual properties as Newton Landmark Preservation Sites. The Landmarks Ordinance in the City of Newton provides the highest level of protection for properties determined to be the most architecturally or historically significant in the city. Under the Landmarks program, the Newton Historical Commission identifies buildings, structures, landscapes, and places, which define the historic character of the city and have, over time, helped to establish a sense of place.

In addition to the Newton Historical Commission, the Mayor, members of the Board of Alderman, the Director of Planning and Development or the Commissioner of Inspectional Services may nominate properties as landmarks. Landmarks are designated at a public hearing of the Newton Historical Commission after a 3/4 vote of the Commission. In order of be eligible for Landmark status a property must be listed in or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.

The Newton Historical Commission reviews proposed changes to landmarked properties as if they were included in a local historic district. This means that any alterations to the exterior of the structure, such as demolition, additions, renovations, deterioration by neglect, or new construction, must be reviewed and approved by the Newton Historical Commission. All of these properties have landmark reports on file with the Newton Planning Department. For project review information please see the Project review and application forms page.


Landmark reports for all of Newton’s designated City Landmarks are listed below and available for download.

1734 Beacon Street, Waban - Frederick A. Collins House 

401 Woodward Street, Waban - Eleazer Hyde House 

50 Fairlee Road, Waban - John Woodward House

1615 Beacon Staples-Craft-Wiswall Farm

Below is a presentation from Historic Preservation expert Gretchen Schuler, representatives from the 4 Local Historic Districts of Newton, a representative from the Highlands initiative, and a Q&A session.