Historical Commission

What We Do

The Watertown Historical Commission was established in 1985 to preserve, protect, and advocate for the Town’s historical or archaeological resources.

Our responsibilities include implementing the Demolition Delay Ordinance, researching places of historic or archaeological value, educational outreach to the community, building upon the base of historic knowledge already in existence, and establishing long-lasting protection of these resources for future generations.

The Commission cooperates with the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the State Archaeologist and renders opinions and recommendations to the Town Council, Town departments, and the public.

To be added to the list of recipients of all Historical Preservation announcements, please visit the Watertown Home web page and sign up for notify me under Historical Preservation.

Historic Plaque Program

Did you know that you can order a historic plaque to display on your home which identifies the year it was built, the architect or builders name, or the name of the original owner? You may clique on this link to access a historic plaque application (PDF) here. A member of the commission will conduct the research on your home if you are not aware of the history of your home already.

The Historical Commission announces that the NEW AND IMPROVED  Nominations Process for the 2020 Historical Preservation Awards is now open!

The Historical Commission has modified their nomination package so that it is now easier than ever for you to nominate a project, or a(n) individual(S) to be a recipient for a Historic Preservation Award. Members of the Commission will now assist you in selecting a category for an award if their help is needed!

A Historical Preservation Award may be given to any individual, organization or project that has contributed to the preservation or recognition of Watertown’s Historic resources. 

An award ceremony will be held at the Commander’s Mansion on Talcott Avenue in May of 2020, on a date that will be announced at the March 12, 2020 Historical Commission meeting. A visual presentation of all the projects and individuals being awarded will take place at the ceremony, and a delightful reception and social hour will follow.  The ceremony will be held at the majestic Commanders Mansion.

To access the new and improved nomination form please click on the following link below. If you would like forms sent out to you by email or US mail, please contact the office at the inks above.

2020 New and Improved Historical Preservation Award Nomination Package

See the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards below

The 2017 Watertown Historic Preservation Awards were held on May 18, 2017.

The winners of the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards names are listed below, along with two individuals who received special certificates of appreciation for their outstanding contributions to the Historical Commission over the years.

To view the entire awards ceremony here on line, Watertown Cable Access has graciously provided us with a link from their coverage on the night of the ceremony.

Link to the 2017 Historical Preservation Awards Ceremony

2017 The Richard E Mastrangelo Memorial Award

Brittany Byrd and Brita Zitin, Watertown Free Public Library

2017 Environmental Presentation Award

Butler and Sons Tree Service, Professional Tree Services

2017 Community Spirit Award

Dan Hogan and Andrea Santopietro, Watertown Cable Access

2017 Citizenship Award

Carole Katz, Watertown Savings Bank

2017 Historical Resources Preservation Award

Meg Winslow, Mt. Auburn Cemetery

2017 Watertown Historical Commission Certificate of Appreciation

J.B. Jones, Former Member of the Watertown Historical Commission

2017 Watertown Historical Commission Certificate of Appreciation

Christopher J. Hayward, Preservation Agent

To read about the 2016 awards ceremony, you may click the following link to an article from the Watertown Tab from the 2016 Historic Preservation held last May 19, 2016. Watertown residents receive historic honors

If you have any questions feel free to contact the Clerk for the Office of Conservation and Preservation, Susan C. Jenness at 617-972-6426 or email her at sjenness@watertown-ma.gov.

Sweet Auburn Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn

Of special note, please follow the link below to an article recently written by David Russo, Chairperson of the Historical Commission. Russo wrote this article about his experience preparing 226 inventory forms for registration with the Massachusetts Historical Commission, through the resources available at the Mount Auburn Cemetery. The article appeared in the Spring 2017 edition, Volume I of Sweet Auburn, a Magazine of the Friends of Mount Auburn.

The article can be seen here (PDF).

This article was shared with permission and courtesy of the Friends of Mount Auburn.

Historical Commission Meetings

Agendas and Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings.

Most Recent Agenda | View All

Minutes are available following approval.

Most Recent Minutes | View All


  • Joseph Panto
    11 Ladd St. Unit 3
    Term Expires: October 1, 2020
  • Thomas Melone
    115 Russell Avenue.
    Term Expires: October 1, 2019
  • Elisabeth H. Loukas, Chair
    324 Common St.
    Term Expires: October 1, 2018
  • Marilynne K. Roach
    141 Marshall Street
    Term Expires: October 1, 2020
  • David J. Russo, Jr., Vice Chair
    117 Irving Street
    Term Expires: October 1, 2020
  • Susan T. Steele
    77 Russell Avenue.
    Term Expires: October 1, 2018
  • Matthew Walter
    140 Church Street
    Term Expires: October 1, 2019

For more information regarding historic resources in Watertown, please view our Useful Links.

The Commission Is Not A Society

The Watertown Historical Commission was established by the Town as a regulatory commission. We are an all-volunteer commission which is part of the Town government, appointed by the Town Manager.

A common misconception is that we are the Historical Society of Watertown, a private non-profit organization. You can contact them at: 28 Marshall St., Watertown, MA 02472 617-923-6067 or Historical Society of Watertown