Certified Local Government

Thanks to the efforts of the Marblehead Historical Commission, the Town of Marblehead was recognized as a “Certified Local Government (CLG)” by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and the Dept. of the Interior (National Park Service) in January, 2015. Marblehead is now one of 23 Certified Local Governments in Massachusetts (as of 2016).

The Certified Local Government Program is a federal, state and local government historic preservation partnership. The National Historic Preservation Act, as amended, (16 U.S.C. 470 et seq) is the federal statutory basis for the Certified Local Government Program.

The National Historic Preservation Act Amendments of 1980 initially authorized the creation of the Certified Local Government program, and 1992 amendments modified the requirements for the Certified Local Government Program. The purpose of this program is to provide for greater community participation in federal and state historic preservation programs.  The Massachusetts Historical Commission administers this program, along with the U.S. Secretary of the Interior, and is responsible for the certification of local governments wishing to participate.

To become certified, a local government must demonstrate that it meets basic program requirements. This includes the establishment of a local historic preservation law, the appointment of a qualified historic preservation commission, the initiation or continuation of a program for the survey and inventory of local historic resources, and to provide for public participation in local historic preservation programs.

Certification offers local governments:

  1. Eligibility to apply for a portion of the State’s allocation of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF), specifically earmarked for certified local governments.
  2. A stronger role in the process of nominating properties to the National Register of Historic Places.
  3. The opportunity for increased technical assistance from the Massachusetts Historical Commission, including training workshops specifically targeted to certified local governments.
  4. Official acknowledgement of the local government’s commitment to historic preservation.


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