April 17, 2020 Mattapan’s Fowler Clark Epstein Farm Listed on the National Register of Historic Places
Historic Boston is pleased to announce that the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm in Mattapan has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places – the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation for their historic significance. The program’s goal is to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
Fowler Clark Epstein Farm’s nomination to the National Register began in 2017 when our historic preservation consultants at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) submitted nomination materials to the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) for review. In addition to extensive photographs illustrating the property’s historic integrity and historic maps depicting the property’s evolution over time, many details must be provided about the nominated property that make the case for its eligibility, including architectural and construction characteristics, information about its owners and occupants, and its historic significance in its community. The MHC reviews the draft nomination materials and frequently asks clarifying questions or requests additional documentation. Once the nomination materials are finalized, the nomination is presented to MHC’s State Review Board, which meets quarterly, for a vote of eligibility. Following an affirmative vote, the complete nomination along with certifying recommendations are submitted by the MHC to the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. for final review and, if approved, listing by the Keeper of the National Register of Historic Places. The whole process can take anywhere from one to three years. For more information on the eligibility requirements and the nomination process: https://www.nps.gov/subjects/nationalregister/upload/NRB-15_web508.pdf
While inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places is a great honor, listing places no restrictions on what a property owner may do to the property, unless the property has received Federal funding within five years, such as historic rehabilitation tax credits. NR listing also provides no protections from demolition. Only a local designation, such as City of Boston Landmark, protects a historic property from demolition.
The rehabilitation of the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm and conversion into a working urban farm for the Urban Farming Institute of Boston was completed in March, 2018.