Preservation Agreements

Featured: Owners of the Philip Call house on High Street were the first to establish a preservation agreement with the Town of Ipswich.

Since 1969 the Ipswich Historical Commission has been responsible for a voluntary program of binding Preservation Agreements between the Commission and homeowners to preserve the structure’s architecturally significant features. Under the voluntary agreement provisions, the homeowner agrees not to permit any alterations to the designated interior or exterior features of his home agreed upon in the “covenant.” The contracts are between the town of Ipswich, owners and future owners until the year 2100. Current owners of historical properties may contact the Ipswich Historical Commission about creating such an agreement. The owners of the house at 17 Mineral Street established a preservation agreement in 2019, and may include the most current language suggested by Massachusetts law.

Ipswich Something to Preserve

Something To Preserve was published by the Ipswich Historical Commission in 1975 and is a report on historic preservation by the acquisition of protective agreements on buildings in Ipswich, Massachusetts. This important book described the process by which the town of Ipswich began to preserve at-risk historic homes after the town rejected efforts to set up a legal historic district.

Preservation restrictions are drawn up in accordance with MGL Chapter 184, Sections 31-33. Ipswich has the largest preservation restriction program in the Commonwealth with 44 properties protected in this fashion, including a fine collection of First Period through early 20th Century buildings.

The wording for preservation agreements was thoroughly researched and finalized as set forth in Chapters 5 and 6 of Something to Preserve, published in 1975. Under state law the Chair of the Historical Commission signs for the Historical Commission, “Acting on behalf of the Town of Ipswich pursuant to General Laws Chapter Laws Chapter 40 Section 8-d.” Chapter 40 8d states: “The commission …. may make and sign any agreements and may do and perform any and all acts which may be necessary or desirable to carry out the purposes of this section.”

Chapter 666 of the Acts of 1969 provides the legal framework for Preservation Agreements and assures that the preservation agreement can withstand a legal challenge if the State Historical Commission has approved it.

Chap. 666: An Act Protecting Conservation and Preservation Restrictions

  • Section 31: “A preservation restriction means a right, whether or not stated in the form of a restriction, easement, covenant or condition, in any deed, will or other instrument executed by or on behalf of the owner of the land or in any order of talcing, appropriate to preservation of a structure or site historically significant for its architecture, archeology or associations, to forbid or limit any or all (a) alterations in exterior or interior features of the structure, (b) changes in appearance or condition of the site (c) uses not historically appropriate, or (d) other acts.”
  • Section 32: “No…preservation restriction, as defined in section thirty-one, held by any governmental body or by a charitable corporation or trust whose purposes include preservation of buildings or sites of historical significance or of a particular such building or site, shall be unenforceable … provided (a) in case of a restriction held by a city or town or a commission, authority, or other instrumentality thereof it is approved by the commissioner of natural resources if a conservation restriction or the Massachusetts historical commission if a preservation restriction…..This section shall not be construed to imply that any restriction, easement, covenant or condition which does not have the benefit of this section shall, on account of any provision hereof, be unenforceable.”

Massachusetts General Laws, MGL Chapter 184

Other resources and information:

Preservation agreements with the Ipswich Historical Commission and other organizations

Goodale house, Argilla Rd.
Rear of the Goodale house on Argilla Road

Isaac Goodale House,153 Argilla Road (1670) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 2007)

Tilton-Smith House, 168 Argilla Rd. (1720) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1976)

Jeremiah (Benjamin) Kinsman House, 59 Candlewood Road (b.1756) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1976)

Memorial Hall, 33 Central Street (1921) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 2003)

Col. Nathaniel Wade House, 88 County Rd. (1727) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1971)

Appleton Farms Old House, County Rd. (Trustees of Reservations, 1970)

The Proctor Estate, 240 County Rd. New England Biolabs (1895) Great Estates Bylaw

Thomas and Grace Dennis House,7 County St. (b. 1670, alt. 1750) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1971)

Dennis – Dodge House, 10 County St. (b. 1740-50) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1968)

Benjamin Grant House, 47 County Street (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1980)

Captain Matthew Perkins House(b. 1701-9), 8 East Street (Historic New England, 1981)

Baker-Newman House 14 East St. (b. 1725) (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1978)

Lakeman-Johnson House (b. 1835), 16 East Street (Historic New England, 1981)

Dodge House (b. 1725), 18 East Street (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1980)

Polly Dole House, (1687 – 1710) 26 East St. (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1978)

Wainwright -Treadwell House, (b. 1727) 62 East St. (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1971)

Perkins-Hodgkins House, (b.1700), 80 East St. (Ipswich Historical Commission, 1971)

Rev. Nathaniel Rogers House, 1 High Street (1727) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1992)

John Gaines House, 3 High St. (b.1725) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1972)

Joseph Willcomb House, 13 High Street (b. 1668) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1990)

Philip Call House, 26 High St. (b. 1659) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

Waldo-Caldwell House, 33 High St. (b. 1660) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

Lord-Baker House, 37 High Street (b. 1720) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1976)

Elizabeth and Phillip Lord house, 85 High Street, (1774) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1987)

Joseph Fowler House (100 High Street (b 1725-75) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1975)

Merchant-Choate House, 103 High St. (1670) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

John Kimball House, 104 High Street (b. 1715) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1975)

John Kendrick House, 3 Hovey Street (1665) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1975)

Charles Searle Estate, Jeffreys Neck Road (owned by the Sisters of Notre Dame, subject to the Great Estates Bylaw)

Paine House and Greenwood Farm, Jeffreys Neck Road Conservation restriction administered by the Trustees of Reservations.)

Ross Tavern – Lord Collins house 52 Jeffreys Neck Road (c 1690) (Trust for Public Land, 2002)

Shatswell Planters Cottage, 52 Jeffreys Neck Road (c 1646) (Trust for Public Land, 2002)

Linebrook Parish Church, 391 Linebrook Rd. (1848) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1990)

Elizabeth Howe Perley House, 419 Linebrook Rd. (Ipswich Historical Commission 2002)

Adamowicz House, 17 Mineral St. (1885) (Ipswich Historical Commission pending)

Col. John Appleton House, 2 North Main Street (b. 1707) (Ipswich Historical Commission, successor to the Ipswich Heritage Trust 1966)

Thomas Manning / Old Parsonage, 19 North Main Street, (b. 1799) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1976)

Probate Court – Odd Fellows building, 29 North Main Street (Ipswich Heritage Trust, assigned to Ipswich Historical Commission 1974)

Dr. John Manning House, 36 North Main Street (1769) (Ipswich Heritage Trust, assigned to Ipswich Historical Commission 1966 /1982)

Old Post Office, 38 North Main (1769) (Ipswich Heritage Trust, assigned to Ipswich Historical Commission 1966/1982)

Treadwell – Hale House, 52 North Main Street( 1769-99) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1976)

Day-Dodge House, 57 North Main Street (b. 1737) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

Captain Richard Rogers House, 64 North Main St. (b.1728) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

Hall – Haskell House, 36 S. Main St., (Town of Ipswich Visitor Center) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1986)

John Heard Mansion 54 S. Main St. (Administered by the Ipswich Historical Society / Ipswich Museum)

Samuel Dutch House, 69 South Main Street (b. 1723) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1978)

The Whipple House, 1 South Village Green Administered by the Ipswich Historical Society (Ipswich Museum)

Col. John Baker House South Village Green (b. 1761) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1976)

Benjamin Kimball House, 3 Summer Street (b. 1721, alt. 1803) (Ipswich Historical Commission 1974)

Turner Hill, Topsfield Road, owned by Turner Hill Associates. (Subject to the Great Estates Bylaw)

Burnham-Patch House, 1 Turkey Shore Rd. (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

Heard-Lakeman House, 2 Turkey Shore Rd. (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

William Howard House, 41 Turkey Shore Road (1640) (Administered by Historic New England, formerly known as SPNEA)

Stephen Boardman house, 67 Turkey Shore Rd. (Ipswich Historical Commission 1976)

Preston-Foster House, 6 Water St. (Ipswich Historical Commission 1971)

Glazier – Sweet house, 12 Water Street (1728) Preservation agreement with the Trust for Architectural Easements

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