Town Wide Matters

Click any of the following topics for more information below:

Westport Historic Inventory

The Massachusetts Historical Commission website has a file on each property, parcel, and cemetery. Click here to visit their website.

To seach that database, click acknowledgement, enter Town, and follow directions.

You may also find a listing of properties on spreadsheet below:

Properties on National Historic Register

National Historic Register:
Cadman White Handy House
Westport Point Historic District

Demolition By-Law & Application for Demolition

Westport Demolition By-Law

5301. Intent and Purpose
This By-Law is enacted for the purpose of preserving and protecting historically and/or architecturally significant buildings within the Town; to encourage owners of such significant buildings to seek out persons who might be willing to purchase, preserve, rehabilitate, or restore such buildings rather than demolish them; and by furthering these purposes to promote the public welfare, to preserve the resources of the Town, and to make the Town a more attractive and desirable place in which to live.

To achieve these purposes the Westport Historical Commission (the “Commission”) is empowered to advise the Building Inspector with respect to the issuance of permits for demolition of significant buildings. The issuance of demolition permits for significant buildings is regulated as provided in this By-Law.

5302. Definitions

5302.1 Building
Any combination of materials forming a shelter for person, animals, or property.

5302.2 Demolition
Any act of pulling down, destroying, removing, or razing any building or a substantial portion thereof.

5302.3 Significant Building
Any building included on the Historical Inventory compiled by the Historical Commission. This list is kept at the office of the Westport Historical Commission.

5302.4 Preferably-Preserved Significant Building
Any significant building whose demolition has been determined by the Commission to be detrimental to this historical or architectural heritage or resources of the Town.

5302.5 Commission
The Westport Historical Commission.

5303. Procedure

5303.1 Upon receipt of an application for demolition permit for a significant building the Building Inspector shall forward a copy thereof to the Commission. No demolition permit shall be issued at that time. The Commission will notify the applicant of its next scheduled meeting at which it will vote on whether to recommend issuance of a demolition permit.

5303.2 The Commission shall notify the Building Inspector and the Applicant within 30 days of receipt of its copy of the application whether (a) a demolition permit may be issued by the Building Inspector without further consultation with the Historical Commission or (b) a demolition permit may be issued up to and/or after 365 days of the Commission’s receipt of the application if the Commission has determined at a public hearing that the building is a Preferably Preserved Significant Building; the Commission may shorten that time period if it determines that a shorter time period is appropriate, on a case by case basis.

5303.3 In the case of (b) the applicant may request a hardship permit of the Building Inspector with the consent of the Commission.

5303.4 Upon receiving notice that the building in question is a Preferably-Preserved Significant Building the applicant shall be encouraged to exercise continuing and bona fide efforts to locate a purchaser willing to preserve, rehabilitate, or restore the building. It shall be the task of the Commission as well to assist the applicant in these efforts.

5304. Emergency Demolition

5304.1 Should a building or structure pose an imminent threat to public safety due to its deteriorated condition, the owner may request issuance of an emergency demolition permit. In this event the Building Inspector will apply to the Commission for a hardship demolition permit.

5305. Enforcement and Remedies

5305.1 The Commission and the Building Inspector are each authorized to institute any and all proceedings in law or equity as they deem necessary and appropriate to obtain compliance with the requirements of this By-Law, or to prevent a violation thereof.

5305.2 No building permit shall be issued with respect to any premises upon which a significant building or a substantial portion thereof has been voluntarily demolished in violation of this By-Law for a period of two years after the date of the completion of such demolition. As used herein “premises” includes the parcel of land upon which the demolished significant building was located.

Application for Demolition of Property on Historic Inventory

Historic Plaque Program

Handy House Historic Preservation Restriction

Click below to view the Preservation Agreement from Mrs. Eleanor Tripp, 1991, restrictions overseen and enforced by the Westport Historical Commission:

Oscar Palmer Farm

Click here to visit the Trustees website for information on the Historic Oscar Palmer Farm.

Wolf Pit School Preservation Agreement

To be loaded later.


The Head of Westport: A Brief History and a Walking Tour Guide to its Historic Houses
by Richard Wertz, Westport Historical Commission

Pa and I: Memoirs of a Country Boy at Westport Point
by Carlton T. Manchester, Sr.

Westporters and the Civil War
by Andrew C. Macomber and Richard W. Wertz