From time to time, town historical commissions in Massachusetts must compile an inventory of their historic structures - homes, barns, and even cemeteries - and that process has been getting underway in Lynnfield for the first time since 1976.
This week, Lynnfield Historical Commission Chair Nan Hockenbury told Lynnfield Patch about the project, which is being carried out by Salem State University student Megan Daley. Work on the project is part-time, and could take as long as a year or two to finish. Basically, Daley will be taking photos of the various historic homes and other structures in town while also checking details like the building style, the year it was built, and whether there are similar structures nearby. The Police Department has also been informed of the project, noted Hockenbury.
The Sherwood Forest area of town will be one area of interest for the inventory, added Hockenbury, because a number of the homes there were designed by famous architect Royal Barry Wills (1895-1962), who was especially known for his work designing Cape Cod-style houses and who reportedly was born in nearby Melrose. Hockenbury said that Wills also designed the Centre Congregational Church.
Hockenbury also emphasized that the inventory does not involve telling anybody what they can and can not do with their property. Instead, the project is more about advocating for a town's historic homes and trying to preserve them. The information is sent to the Massachusetts Historical Commission.
"We knew this was something we had to do," said Hockenbury, recalling how in recent years, the volunteer-driven historical commission had been more focused on trying to pass a community preservation act in Lynnfield and in working on the demolition delay bylaw for historic structures.