We are pleased to announce that on December, 2014, First Parish Meetinghouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places by the United States Department of the Interior.
Achieving placement on the Register is a lengthy and involved process. The Department of the Interior sets the following criteria for evaluation and listing:
The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archeology, engineering, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:
A. That are associated with events that have made a significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
B. That are associated with the lives of significant persons in our past; or
C. That embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
D. That have yielded or may be likely to yield, information important in history or prehistory.
Ordinarily properties used for religious purposes are not considered eligible for the National Register unless they fall in the following category:A religious property deriving primary significance from architectural or artistic distinction or historical importance.
First Parish met that category and also qualified based on criteria A and C, above.
Listing in the National Register of Historic Places provides formal recognition of a property’s historical, architectural, or archeological significance based on national standards used by every state. Results include:
– Becoming part of the national Register Archives, a public, searchable database that provides a wealth of research information.
– Encouraging preservation of historic resources by documenting a property’s historic significance.
– Providing opportunities for specific preservation incentives, such as federal and state preservation grants, when funds are available, for planning and rehabilitation.
Finally, National Register listing places no obligations on private property owners and does not require public access.