Featured letter: preserve your historic propertyPreserving the architectural heritage of Block Island, a voluntary service of stewardship
Do you own a house, built before 1948, which is a contributing structure to the architectural heritage of Block Island and is outside the Historic District Zone (1)? Are you interested in preserving the structure(s) in the future? If the answers to those questions are yes, then the town has a program for preserving your property through historic architectural review.
The Town Council recently passed an ordinance which allows you to voluntarily designate your property as a Historic District, which means that any structural changes to the outside of the structure(s) would need to be reviewed and approved by the Historic District Commission in accordance with the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Historic Preservation.
The process is quite simple. Submit the Application for Nominating Property (2) to the Historic District Commission. The commission will hold a public hearing to review and take action on approving the application. Once it is approved, it is forwarded to the Town Council. The council will hold a public hearing to review and take action to designate your property as a Historic District under the Town’s Zoning Ordinances.
There are no financial benefits to designating your property as a Historic District. However, there are significant historic preservation stewardship benefits to the designation. You will know that the property will remain a part of the architectural heritage of Block Island in the future. It is often said that preserving the historic built environment of the island is just as important as preserving the natural environment.
Bill Penn, Chairman
Historic District Commission
(1) These structures are indentified on Block Island Historic House Survey, March 2008 which is on the town’s web site at new-shoreham.com.
(2) The Application is at new-shoreham.com.