Historical Commission

General Information

In accordance with the Charter passed at ATE, April 22, 1992, 6-4-1, the Board of Selectmen shall be the appointing authority. *By unanimous vote of the Board of Selectmen on 8/26/97,  the membership has been increased from 3 to 5 members with staggered terms. Meetings held as needed at Town Hall.

The Truro Historical Commission has been established under Massachusetts law "for the preservation, protection and development of the historical or archeological assets" of Truro.  To carry out this mandate, the Historical Commission has updated Truro's Community-wide Survey of Historic properties, listed several important historic resources on the National Register of Historic Places, and taken the following steps to make this information available as links to your left.

  • Historic Truro Self-Guided Tours-The Truro Historical Commission and Truro Historical Society commemorate the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in Cape Cod Bay in 1620 with this update of the 1984 guide that celebrated the 275th anniversary of the founding of Truro.  Printed copies of the booklet currently are available at the Truro Public Library, Truro Beach Office, Truro Chamber of Commerce, and Truro Vineyards of Cape Cod, and will be available at the Truro Town Hall, Truro Public School, Truro Historical Society’s Highland House Museum and Cobb Archive when those locations are open.
  • Historic Survey User Guide showing how to access historic survey results
  • Historical Survey report
  • Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System-Truro's updated community-wide historic resources survey (also available at the Truro Public Library and the Cobb Memorial Archive
  • Truro Historic House Plaques are available to owners of buildings listed on the historic survey
  • Truro's Mid-20th Century Modern Houses Report- lists documented mid-20th century modern houses in Truro

Facilitating Community Preservation Act/Historic Preservation Grants

The Historical Commission has advanced several preservation projects funded through the Community Preservation Act, including the following:

  • 1912 Cobb Memorial Library
  • 1827 Congregational Meeting House
  • Truro Historical Society's Highland House Museum
  • Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill/Charles W. Snow Farmstead and Edgewood Farm

Demolition Requests for Historically Significant Buildings

The Historical Commission administers the demolition delay bylaw Preserving Historic Properties.  The Historical Commission, combined in 2017 with the Historic Review Board, reviews applications to the Building Commissioner for the demolition of historically significant buildings in order to encourage owners to find alternatives to demolition.  The definition of "Significant Building" subject to review includes any building:

  1. Listed on the National or State Register of Historic Places, or found eligible for such a listing;
  2. Constructed at least 75 years before the date of application for a demolition permit;
  3. Determined by the Historical Commission to be historically or architecturally significant in terms of period, style, method of building construction, or association with a famous architect; or
  4. Determined by the Historical Commission to be importantly associated with one or more historic persons or events, or with the broad architectural, cultural, political, economic or social history of the Town of the Commonwealth.

The Historical Commission holds public hearings for properties that meet these criteria.  If the Historical Commission determines that a building or structure is significant to the Town's heritage, and if preferably preserved, it can impose a delay of up to 12 months to afford the applicant and the Historical Commission time to develop alternatives to demolition.  If the owner demonstrates that alternatives to demolition are not feasible during the review period, then the Historical Commission can authorize the Building Commissioner to approve the demolition request.  For more information on the demolition delay process:

  • Please refer to the Preserving Historic Properties Bylaw Guide link to your left for Significant Building Definition and Steps to Follow for Demolition Permit Applications
  • Clicking on the Cape Cod Commission Design Guidelines to your left helps owners preserve and renovate historic properties
  • Please refer to the Truro General Bylaws, Chapter VI, Preserving Historic Properties


Board Members

Name Title
Chuck Steinman Vice-Chair Appointment expires 6/30/2022
Matthew J. Kiefer Chair-Appointment expires 6/30/2021
Jim Summers Member-Appointment expires 6/30/2024
David Kirchner Member-Appointment expires 6/30/2022
Vacancy Full Member Member-Appointment expires 6/30/2023
Richard Larkin Member-Appointment expires 6/30/2023
Bart Mitchell Member-Appointment expires 6/30/2023