Greenfield Begins Updating Cultural and Architectural Resources Inventory
In April, the Massachusetts Historical Commission awarded a $20,000 matching grant to support the city’s updating of its historic properties survey. Through a competitive bid process, Brian Knight Research of Manchester, Vermont, was awarded the contract to undertake the task of updating and adding to our historical inventories. The firm specializes in historic preservation.
Specific project goals include conducting a community-wide survey to assess and document approximately 140 selected cultural and architectural resources, following the Massachusetts Historical Commission survey standards and methodology. A list of individual properties and/or districts will also be recommended for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places.
Cultural resources are the physical elements in the landscape that remain from historical patterns of human activity. Many components of a community’s historical development are associated with the location and type of surviving cultural resources. The community-wide survey relates cultural resources to historic patterns of architectural development, land use economic development, social and demographic history and events that had an impact on the community.
The community-wide survey will also recognize ethnic and cultural diversity within the community and seek to identify cultural resources associated with the history of underrepresented minority social and cultural groups and individuals that may have played a role in the community’s history.
Some of the focus areas for the survey include downtown Greenfield, the Main Street Historic District, the East Main-High Street Historic District and the “Green River Industrial Heritage Area,” which comprises River, Mead (formerly Mill) and Deerfield streets.
Significant themes of historical and architectural development will be identified, and resources will be related to these themes. One of the goals of this project is also to update or add inventory forms associated with African American history in Greenfield and reflect that the properties and their original occupants played in our community’s history.
Over the next six-to-eight weeks, a representative from Brian Knight Research will be conducting both walking and “windshield” (driving) surveying around the city. They will be carrying a letter of authorization for conducting the historical survey. If anyone has any questions or concerns, please contact the Mayor’s office at 413-772-1560.