The Andover Preservation Commission advises the Town concerning the preservation of its historic and architectural resources. Through historic preservation ordinances, the Commission has authority over changes to historic properties that would irreparably alter or destroy their character.
The Commission, composed of seven voting members, meets monthly on the second Tuesday of the month. Members are chosen for their experience and expertise in historic architecture and preservation, and are appointed by the Selectmen for three-year terms.
The Commission reviews proposed exterior changes to historically significant buildings in Andover. Review is triggered when a building permit is sought for a property that has been researched and listed on the Massachusetts Historical Commission historic building inventory. In a collaborative process, Commissioners discuss the proposed changes with the property owners and make recommendations that encourage preservation of the building’s defining features and historic integrity.
Demolition Delay Ordinance
Imposition of a demolition delay allows owners of historically significant properties to explore alternatives to demolition. Review is triggered when a demolition permit is sought for a property that has been listed on the Massachusetts Historical Commission building inventory or Andover Building Survey. The Commission determines if the building or portion of the building to be demolished is historically significant and if it should be preserved. If the building is preferably preserved, a demolition delay of up to twelve months may be imposed during which time the property owner and Commission members work together to seek alternatives.
Dimensional Special Permit / Historic Preservation
The Dimensional Special Permit / Historic Preservation zoning bylaw allows for special subdivision of a property to accommodate relocation and/or rehabilitation of an historically significant building. Since the bylaw was established in 2003, it has ensured the survival of threatened buildings, including the oldest house in Andover.
Annual Preservation Awards
Since 1990, the Andover Preservation Commission, jointly with the Andover Historical Society and the BallardVale Historic District Commission, has issued preservation awards in May to coincide with National Preservation Month. A listing of award winners can be found here.
Andover Preservation Plan
Although it was written more than 25 years ago, Andover’s preservation plan continues to serve as a resource and guide for the community. Prepared for the Andover Historical Commission (predecessor to the Andover Preservation Commission) by consultant Wendy Frontiero, it describes the architectural character of the town and provides recommendations for building community awareness and participation in preservation.
(The first 24 pages of the plan, which includes an Introduction, Goals, Objectives and Recommendations, are available online here. The appendicies and other parts of the Plan have not been digitized but are available at Memorial Hall Library.)
The full document is on file at Memorial Hall Library, in Community Development and Planning Office and the Andover Historical Society.
Andover Preservation Commission Members
- Karen Herman, Chair
- James Batchelder-emeritus (non-voting)
- Eric Daum
- Leslie Frost
- Craig Gibson
- Leo Greene
- Joann Michalik
- Joanna Reck
Architectural Review Process, Meeting Schedule, Application, and Window Information Guidelines
To initiate a review and be included on the agenda, the Preservation Commission application must be filed a week prior to the Preservation Commission meeting in the Town's Building Division Office. The Commission meets on the second Tuesday of each month, in Town Offices, Second Floor Conference Room, at 6:30 pm.