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Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I have just purchased a house which bears a New Bedford Preservation Society historic marker.  Does this mean there are restrictions as to how I might restore or renovate my home?
A. If your home is located in New Bedford's "Bedford-Landing Waterfront Historic District," which has been designated as a 40C "Local Historic District," exterior changes must be reviewed and approved by the New Bedford Historic Commission.  The Commission reviews proposed changes to exterior architectural features visible from the street, per Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40C.  The Massachusetts Historic Commission has provided a booklet entitled "There's a Difference!," which explains the difference between a Local Historic District and a National Register District.

However, if your home is located in one of the city's "National Register Districts;" such as the Fort Taber, Merrill's Wharf, North Bedford, Central New Bedford, Acushnet Heights, Howland Mill Village, Moreland Terrace or Buttonwood Park areas, your neighborhood has been recognized as important to the history of the city.  In these districts you are not limited in any way regarding the handling of your property.  However, the New Bedford Preservation Society has retained the right to remove its historic marker from any properties which no longer meet their criteria guidelines.  (See Historic Markers).  The society's criteria for historic markers are now in line with the Secretary of Interior's standards for rehabilitating, restoring and reconstructing historic properties.

Q. Can the New Bedford Preservation Society help me determine a proper paint color scheme for my historic house?
A.  The society maintains a small library which is an excellent resource for information on appropriate period paint color schemes, along with paint charts of historic colors.  Please call the society office (508-997-6425), if you would like to make an appointment to visit their library.  In addition, brief consultations may be arranged on a limited basis for homeowners seeking preservation advice.

Q. Can the society recommend contractors who are knowledgeable and have experience working on old houses?
A. Yes, the society maintains lists of several local contractors.  Please call the office for names and phone numbers.





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New Bedford Preservation Society 2007