Historic District Commission

The Melrose Historic District Commission (HDC) review all proposed architectural changes in the Downtown Historic District to preserve and protect the distinctive and significant characteristics of buildings and places; to maintain and improve the settings of those buildings and places; and to encourage new designs compatible with existing buildings in the district.  They review proposed changes to buildings, as well as signs, fences, walls, light fixtures, or similar devices that are visible from a public way. Building projects that must be reviewed include construction, reconstruction, demolition, and removal of architectural features. The Commission may review the kind, color, and texture of exterior building materials and the type and style of windows, doors, lights, signs, awnings, and other fixtures. The City’s Building Commissioner will not provide a building or demolition permit for any construction project or sign located in the Historic District unless the Commission has reviewed the project and issued a Certificate of Appropriateness.

The HDC is established by the Board of Aldermen in 1979, under the provisions of the Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40C, Historic Districts Act.  The Commission is comprised of seven members and two alternates who are Melrose residents that are appointed and serve as volunteers. The membership includes experts in architecture, real estate, history, and law.

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Denise M. Gaffey Director and City Planner (781) 979-4190
Emma Schnur Senior Planner (781) 979-4193

Board Members

Name Title
L. Bradley Hutchinson Chairman
Michael D. Coleman Member
Charlene A. Marinelli Member
Justine Sterling Member
Judith Q. Sullivan Member