Official websites use

A website belongs to an official government organization in the City of Boston.


Secure .gov websites use HTTPS

A lock or https:// means you've safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Last updated:

Highland Park Architectural Conservation District

The Highland Park Architectural Conservation District was designated in 2022.

Apply for Design Review Online 

We're still deciding on when the Highland Park Architectural Conservation District Commission will meet each month to review exterior alterations. Interested in becoming a commissioner? Please see details about nomination in the district's Study Report and check the commission information section at the bottom of this page. If you see an "apply online" button, we have an opening on the commission and you're able to apply for it.


District Standards

The following activities requiring an application and full Commission review:

  1.  Full or partial demolitions
  2. Major architectural alterations
  3. Major landscape alterations
  4. New construction
  • For more details, please review the district Standards and Criteria. If you still have questions please contact staff. 
  • Review all instructions and documentation requirements before submitting your application to ensure it is complete. Incomplete applications will not be added to a public hearing agenda.
  • Submit your application online well in advance of a filing deadline in case additional or revised information is needed.
  • Staff won't be able to review applications for completeness immediately upon submittal.
  • Do not begin any work, or buy materials, until after confirmation that your project was approved by the Commission.

Read the Study Report

The Highland Park neighborhood is also called Roxbury Highlands or Fort Hill. It covers about 170 acres of steep terrain with puddingstone outcroppings. This historic area of Roxbury was characterized by prehistoric Native settlements and sparsely settled farmland by European settlers. The highlands of Roxbury served a strategic role in the Revolutionary War. After the war, the area developed as a fashionable 19th-century streetcar suburb. Roxbury was annexed to the City of Boston in 1868.

During the 1950s, large numbers of white residents, predominantly of Russian Jewish heritage, left Roxbury. They moved to western suburbs — such as Brookline and Newton — or south to Dorchester and Mattapan.  By the 1960s, the neighborhood was predominantly occupied by Black families. These families moved from the American South and other Boston neighborhoods, including the North and South Ends. In recent decades, more Latinx people have also moved into the neighborhood. Today, Highland Park is a vibrant and diverse neighborhood that residents are proud to call home.

The neighborhood includes excellent examples of late 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century architectural styles. These include:

  • Federal
  • Greek Revival
  • Gothic Revival
  • Italianate
  • Second Empire, and 
  • Queen Anne.

Additionally, archaeological resources may still exist from earlier periods.

For many years, neighborhood residents and Boston's historic preservation community have shown strong support for this historic district. In 1989, the Roxbury Highlands area was named a National Register district, a federal honor that unfortunately does not confer any local protection. The Landmarks Commission accepted a petition to create a Highland Park district back in 1978. For further historical background, please check out the Highland Park Architectural Conservation District Study Report.

  • 20 City Hall Avenue
    Floor 3
    Boston, MA 02108
  • Neighborhood:
  • Public Hearings

    The Highland Park District has not yet established a commission. Until further notice, all applications for Highland Park will be reviewed by the full Boston Landmarks Commission.

  • Boston Landmarks Commission Online Portal

    All of our applications for the Landmarks Commission and Historic Districts are now online! Utilize our online portal to:

    • Apply for Design Review
    • Apply for Article 85 (Demolition Delay)
    • Review Past Demolition Delay Applications
    • Report a Violation
    • Submit a Public Comment
    • Translated Applications
  • Stay Connected


1. Check to see if you're in the District:
2. Find out what work is allowed:
3. When can my application get on the agenda?
4. Apply for work
  • Once your application has been ruled on by the commission, your decision letter will be emailed to you.
  • If approved, use the decision letter to obtain your building permit with the building department. Be sure to display your approval placard on site, visible to the public, for the duration of the project. 
2022 Agendas
  • To be added
2022 Agendas
  • To be added
2022 Hearing Recordings
  • To be added

Commission Info

Current members

Member Appointed Expires Status
Ernest Coston 3/1/2023 6/30/2024 Active
Suleman Gajere 3/1/2023 6/30/2024 Active
Angela Paige Cook 3/1/2023 6/30/2025 Active
Andrew Shelburne 3/1/2023 6/30/2025 Active
Back to top