Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust

About the Trust

The $1.35 million Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust is the result of a negotiation between the Town and the MBTA.  The purpose of the trust is to offset any negative impacts caused by the Greenbush Commuter Rail line on the Town’s historic resources and unique character.   The trust fund is administered by the Town Treasurer in consultation with the Historical Commission.

The Historical Commission awards a maximum total of $100,000 annually. Funds from the trust may be used for building, structure or landscape preservation, stabilization, protection, rehabilitation, and restoration; for physical improvements to public spaces; or to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal, state or local building or access codes. Eligible Applicants include the Town, individual property owners, and non-profit organizations that own or lease an historic resource.  Projects must be undertaken on properties located in the historic districts abutting the Greenbush Right of Way. Routine maintenance projects are not eligible.   More detailed information is contained in the Guide and Application documents (see below).

Important Dates for the 2020 Round of Funding

  • Friday October 23, 2020 - Application deadline 
  • Monday November 2, 2020 at 7:00 P.M. - Project Presentations (via Zoom)
  • Monday November 16, 2020 at 7:00 P.M. – Grant Awards determined and announced (via Zoom)

Application Process

  1. Contact the Historical Commission Administrator Andrea Young to ensure that your project meets eligibility requirements.  Email:  younga@hingham-ma.gov  Phone: 781-741-1492
  2. Read the Greenbush Historic Preservation Trust Guide and complete the Application. Attach all necessary documentation such as photographs, project estimates, and other applicable information.  Nine (9) copies of the application package are required.
  3. Submit application packets in one large envelope addressed to Historical Commission. Note “Greenbush Trust Application” on the envelope.  Because Town Hall is not currently open to the public, drop the large envelope into the Town Hall mailbox located at the end of the circular drive in front of Town Hall or mail it to 210 Central Street, Hingham, MA 02043.

Please Note:

  • Grants from the Trust are REIMBURSEMENT grants.  Paid invoices must accompany requests for reimbursement after the project has been completed.
  • Grant recipients are required to sign a grant agreement that sets forth the terms and conditions necessary for reimbursement.

Past project Examples

These are examples of a few projects that have recently been funded:

  • The Coop and Artisans in the Square on South Street -- restoration of the original storefronts of the historic building they occupy;
  • New North Church -- handicapped-accessibility;
  • The Isaac Lane House on North Street, a private residence – antique window restoration;
  • South Shore Country Club maintenance building conversion into a handicapped-accessible facility offering amenities such as food, beverages, and restrooms at the ninth hole;
  • St. Paul Church – handicapped-accessible ramp restoration;
  • Welcome Lincoln House and Carriage House, South Street – window restoration and other work;
  • Hingham Cemetery Corporation – bronze identification plaques at the entrances noting that the cemetery is on the National Register of Historic Places;
  • Glastonbury Abbey – continued work on the towers, including resolving accessibility issues;
  • Whitney Wharf Bridge beautification project, including planters and signage detailing the rich history of the harborfront area.
  • A potential mural on the back of one of the buildings situated along the Greenbush tunnel cap in Hingham Square, to be completed by high school students if the project is approved and receives funds from the trust.
  • Hingham Community Center – handicapped accessibility.

History of Greenbush Preservation Funds

The town’s former Greenbush Special Counsel Alexander Macmillan negotiated the trust fund several years ago for the benefit of the town, with the then-Selectmen’s approval. The purpose is to offset negative impacts from the train going through the heart of the downtown area.

Other communities affected by the rail restoration project subsequently followed Hingham’s lead in asking for money for the same purpose.

There are hundreds of buildings on the inventory of historic properties in that area that could be eligible for some of the funds. An agreement between the Town of Hingham and the MBTA, approved by the Massachusetts Historical Commission, provided for a sum of $1.35 million to be placed in a trust administered by the commission.

Not wanting to fund one large project that used up the entire amount, the commission decided earlier to award $100,000-worth of grants a year. The remaining funds are invested by the town treasurer.