The Andover Preservation Commission advises the Town concerning the preservation of its historic and architectural resources. Through historic preservation ordinances, the Commission reviews 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 required when a building permit is sought for a property that has been researched and listed on the Andover Historic Building Survey, the Massachusetts Historical Commission historic building inventory or the National Register of Historic Places. 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 required when a demolition permit is sought for a property that has been listed on the Andover Building Survey, the Massachusetts Historical Commission building inventory, or the National Register of Historic Places. 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, the Andover Center for History and Culture and the BallardVale Historic District Commission have given 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)
- Amy Bloom
- Eric Daum
- Leslie Frost
- Leo Greene
- Joann Michalik
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 by noon on Monday of the 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.
Preservation Commission Map
The Town of Andover's GIS department created this map of Andover with all the historic homes and districts included to date. Visit https://andoverma.gov/1185/Preservation-Commission-Map for the latest version, as well as for a PDF version of the map.