Cambridge Historical Commission | Projects & Services | Preservation Awards

Cambridge Historical Commission Preservation Awards Program

Preservation is alive in Cambridge!

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The Cambridge Historical Commission is pleased to announce the recipients of the eighteenth annual Cambridge Preservation Awards. Inaugurated by the Commission in 1997, the program celebrates outstanding historic preservation projects and the commitment of the individuals who worked on those projects, thereby making Cambridge a more attractive and desirable place in which to live and work.

This year’s awards ceremony will take place on Thursday, May 22, from 6:00-8:00 PM at Biogen Idec at 225 Binney Street. Biogen Idec has recently completed the construction of a new facility at this location, the design of which incorporated two historic buildings on Fifth and Sixth streets. The public is invited to attend. Due to building security, all visitors will be issued Biogen visitor ID badges. Please RSVP to 617-349-4683 or by e-mail to so that badges may be produced in advance. Guests who do not RSVP should bring identification and will need to wait while badges are prepared.

Projects to be recognized include residential restorations at 15 Ash Street, 2 Brattle Circle, 24-36 Fulkerson Street, 28 Garfield Street, and 146-148 Magazine Street. Winning institutional projects include The Jarvis apartments at 27 Everett Street and Stone Hall at Quincy House by Harvard College; the restoration of 78-80 Oxford Street by Lesley University; the adaptive re-use of 130 Brookline Street and the restoration of the Metropolitan Storage warehouse at 134 Massachusetts Avenue by MIT Investment Management Company; the sensitive addition of emergency egress and exterior renovation of the Harvard Lampoon building at 44 Bow Street; and the adaptive re-use of the former Police Headquarters at 5 Western Avenue, now the Alice Wolf Center.

The winning projects by Cambridge non-profits are the Blacksmith House at 56 Brattle Street by the Cambridge Center for Adult Education, the Hooper-Lee-Nichols House at 159 Brattle Street by the Cambridge Historical Society, and the Cambridge YWCA at 7 Temple Street.

The Anthony C. Platt Award, which is given each year for a project in a neighborhood conservation district, will recognize the renovation of an Italianate Style double house at 12-14 Avon Place in the Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District.

Several participants in the Cambridge Community Development Department’s Façade, Signage, and Lighting Improvement Program will receive Certificates of Merit. The winning projects this year include 26 Brattle Street (Dickson Brothers Hardware), 221-225 Concord Avenue (Local Root-The Kitchen Store, Majestic Yoga Studio, and the Observatory Hill Studio), and 185 Mount Auburn Street (Beyt by 2b design).

The Cambridge Preservation Awards Program was initiated in 1997 by the Cambridge Historical Commission to celebrate outstanding efforts to preserve Cambridge's historic character and built environment. Awards are given in each May for projects completed within the previous calendar year.

Award-winning projects embody the goals of preserving, protecting and celebrating Cambridge's historic architecture and unique sense of place. May is National Preservation Month. In 2011, the national theme of Preservation Month, chosen by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, was "Celebrating America's Treasures."  For more information about national Preservation Week activities, go to the  National Trust's web site. 

The seven project categories eligible for Cambridge Preservation Awards are: restoration, rehabilitation, adaptive use, neighborhood conservation, landscape preservation, archaeology, and education/outreach. Awards are presented on the basis of the following criteria:

Previous award winning projects have included residential, commercial, and industrial properties and historic landscapes.

The restoration and adaptive re-use of the Kendall Boiler and Tank Company building at 275 Third Street (see photo below) was recognized with a preservation award in 2000 and was the site of the program's reception in 2002. The winner of the 2010 Anthony C. Platt Award was 9 Walnut Avenue, a meticulous restoration of an 1887 Queen Anne style home in the Avon Hill Neighborhood Conservation District.

Kendall Boiler & Tank Co. Building, 275 Third Street
Preservation Award winner in 2000

Niles/Ferraro House, 9 Walnut Avenue
Preservation Award winner in 2010

NOTE: The Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) organizes a statewide Preservation Award program.
For more information about the MHC's award program and nomination process, click here.


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