top of page
marketplace - Copy_edited.jpg
Williams' Trading Post (1949),
556 Wareham Street,
South Middleborough NR Historic District

National Register of Historic Places

One of the preservation tools with which the Commission works is the  National Register of Historic Places. The National Register affords limited  protection for listed resources and resources determined to be eligible  for listing by permitting the Commission an opportunity to comment  upon Federal, Federally-licensed and Federally-assisted projects  impacting those resources. 

The National Register of Historic Places is the official Federal list of districts, sites,  buildings, structures, and objects significant in American history, architecture,  archaeology, engineering, and culture, and worthy of preservation. Authorized by the  National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Register of Historic Places is  administered by the National Park Service and the Massachusetts Historical Commission  as part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to  identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources. National  Register properties have significance to the history of their community state, or the  nation. Nominations for listing historic properties come from State Historic Preservation  Officers, from Federal Preservation Officers for properties owned or controlled by the  United States Government, and from Tribal Historic Preservation Officers for properties  on Tribal lands. Private individuals and organizations, local governments, and American  Indian tribes often initiate this process and prepare the necessary documentation. A  professional review board in each state [the Massachusetts Historical Commission]  considers each property proposed for listing and makes a recommendation on its  eligibility. 

National Register listing in no way limits the owner’s use of the property, and places  absolutely no restrictions or conditions on changes made by a private property owner unless  there is state or federal involvement in a project, or unless some other regional and/or local  regulation is in effect. Nominations to the National Register are usually initiated by a  property owner or by the local historical commission, and do not require any local  government approval. Property owners have the right to object to listing on the National  Register; a district will not be listed if the majority of owners formally object. 


Benefits of Listing 

In addition to honorific recognition, listing in the National Register has the following  results for historic properties: 

Consideration in planning for Federal, Federally licensed, and Federally assisted  projects: -- Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966  requires that Federal agencies allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation  an opportunity to comment on all projects affecting historic properties either  listed in or determined eligible for listing in the National Register. The Advisory  Council oversees and ensures the consideration of historic properties in the  Federal Planning process. 

Eligibility for certain tax provisions -- Owners of properties listed in the National  Register may be eligible for a 20% investment tax credit for the certified  rehabilitation of income-producing certified historic structures such as  commercial, industrial, or rental residential buildings. This credit can be combined  with a straight-line depreciation period of 27.5 years for residential property and 31.5  years for nonresidential property for the depreciable basis of the rehabilitated  building reduced by the amount of the tax credit claimed. Federal tax deductions are also available for charitable contributions for conservation  purposes of partial interests in historically important land areas or structures. Consideration of historic values in the decision to issue a surface mining permit  where coal is located in accordance with the Surface Mining Control Act of 1977;  and Qualification for Federal grants for historic preservation, when funds are  available. 

Owners of private property listed in the National Register are free to maintain,  manage, or dispose of their property as they choose provided that no Federal  monies are involved. 

What are the restrictions, rules, regulations for historic property owners? From  the Federal perspective (the National Register of Historic Places is part of the National  Park Service), a property owner can do whatever they want with their property as long  as there are no Federal monies attached to the property. However, before this occurs,  you can, or the property owner should contact the State historic preservation office  (SHPO.) The SHPO is the state agency that oversees historic preservation efforts in  their state. There may be state or local preservation laws that they should be aware of  before they undertake a project with a historic property. 

If Federal monies are attached to the property then any changes to the property have  to allow the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation to comment on the projec



Middleborough Waterworks Historic District (3/2/1990) 

This district includes 2 resources that have been demolished since listing – Barden Hill Concrete Standpipe and East Grove Street well cover 

Muttock Historic and Archaeological District (5/18/2000)  

Middleborough Center Historic District (6/15/2000) 

This district includes resources that have been demolished since listing,  principally the C. P. Washburn, Central Fire Station, Old Colony Railroad Freight  Depot, as well as others) 


South Middleborough Historic District (6/19/2009) 

This district includes resources that have been demolished since listing. NR Properties (individually listed) 


Wapanucket Site (6/4/1973) 

Peter H. Peirce Store (Middleborough Police Station), North Main Street (5/30/1976)

Middleborough Post Office, Center Street (10/19/1987)


Tom Thumb House, Plymouth Street (4/16/1993)

C. P. Washburn Grain Mill was individually listed April 8, 1980, but has since  been demolished. 

Massachusetts State Register

Properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places are automatically listed upon  the Massachusetts State Register of Historic Places. Listing on the State Register affords limited protection for listed  resources and those resources determined to be eligible for listing by  permitting the Commission an opportunity to comment upon state,  state-licensed and state-assisted projects impacting those resources.  The regulations that the Commonwealth has established outlining  project review and permitting procedures for state register-listed  properties are known as 950 CMR 71.00.

Enabling Legislation 

MGL c. 9, §§ 26-27C 

Section 26C. The commission shall establish and maintain a state register of  historic places, known as the state register. The state register shall contain the  following properties: (1) all districts, sites, buildings, or objects determined eligible for  listing or listed in the National Register of Historic Places; (2) all local historic districts  established pursuant to chapter forty C or a special law; (3) all landmarks designated  under local ordinance or by-law; (4) all structures and sites subject to a preservation  easement approved or held by the commission pursuant to section thirty-two of chapter one hundred and eighty-four; (5) all historical or archeological landmarks certified  pursuant to section twenty-seven and (6) all districts, structures, buildings, and sites  listed in the state register of historic places pursuant to section twenty-six D. The  commission shall periodically update the state register. 

Section 26D. The commission shall promulgate regulations as may be  necessary for:-- 

(1) nominating properties for listing in and removal from the state register of historic  places; and 

(2) establishing criteria for properties to be listed in the state register of historic places.  The commission shall use the criteria for listing in the National Register of Historic  Places as a guide in establishing criteria for listing in the state register. The commission may accept a nomination from any local government or state agency  for listing of a property in the state register of historic places. The commission may  include in the state register of historic places any property for which a nomination is  made if the commission determines that the property is eligible in accordance with the  regulations promulgated under this section.


bottom of page