Review Districts & Permitting
The Lowell Historic Board (LHB) was created by Special Act of the Massachusetts Legislature in 1983 to promote the educational, cultural, economic, and general welfare of the public through the preservation, protection, and enhancement of Lowell's unique historic resources. Strengthening and expanding historic preservation review and regulations was a key requirement that Congress placed on Lowell when creating the Lowell National Historical Park in 1978 in order to ensure that community actions and development activity would be consistent with the establishment of the National Park, the federal investment in Lowell, and preservation goals. Creation of the LHB satisfied this federal requirement.
The LHB has design review, permitting, and enforcement authority in 11 districts including the Downtown Lowell Historic District (DLHD) and ten additional neighborhood districts.
In addition to the DLHD dating from 1983, a second review district, the Acre Neighborhood District, was created in 1999 to assist in the implementation of the Acre Neighborhood District, was created in 1999 to assist in the implementation of the Acre Neighborhood Revitalization and Development Plan. Eight additional neighborhood districts were created in 2005 in already-existing National Register districts, with one other in 2001, in order to review demolition and new construction projects.
Design review meeting
Original building plans and photographs often assist in design development
Claflin Block rehabilitation in DLHD (2005)
Holy Trinity Church dome restoration in DLHD
French House window restoration in DLHD
McCarthy Building in DLHD
Gorham Street apartments new construction in DLHD
New construction on Hanks Street in Rogers Fort Hill Park Neighborhood District
Counting House Lofts at Hamilton millyard in DLHD
Before Getting Started
If your property is located within one of the review districts, the best way to determine if the work you're contemplating requires LHB review is to contact the staff. The LHB and its staff are always available to assist you with any questions regarding design and process in the districts.
Click on any of the districts listed below to find out more about permitting requirements, design standards, approval processes, and other related information for each. You can also use the "Address Quick Find" to determine if your property is in a district and you're unsure.