The Nantucket Preservation Trust is a membership nonprofit organization dedicated to the protection of Nantucket’s sense of place.
Who We Are
The NPT is a nonprofit, membership-based organization with a focus
on the preservation of the island’s historic architecture. We provide programs that explore the architecture and history of the island, and strive to increase awareness of the importance and fragility of our architectural heritage. Of special concern are Nantucket’s historic interiors that are not protected by local government regulations and are often threatened by insensitive “gut rehabs.”
Nantucket Preservation Trust’s mission is to protect, promote and preserve the island’s unique architectural heritage and sense of place.
Nantucket Preservation Trust’s vision is that the island’s historic structures and sense of place are protected from historically insensitive alteration through documentation, education, policy, and preservation action. NPT will achieve these goals by working collaboratively with community leaders, organizations, and residents to ensure Nantucket remains a national and international model for historic preservation.
Home to more than eight hundred pre-Civil War era structures, the historic architecture of Nantucket is vital to both the island’s timeless sense of place and economic viability. Both rapid growth and development and sea-level rise threaten one of the country’s largest intact assemblages of historic structures. Gut rehabs destroy centuries of historic elements and insensitive new construction in the historic core threatens our streetscapes, viewsheds, and sense of place. Each year, scores of historic properties are altered without considering the irreplaceable qualities that led to Nantucket’s designation as a National Historic Landmark. Flooding is increasing every year in low-lying historic areas. Thoughtful, rigorous, creative, and historically sensitive planning and implementation is required to make the necessary adaptations without compromising the historic fabric of our island community.
There is no question that Nantucket’s historic structures are an intrinsic part of what makes the island special. Without our sense of place and vibrant historic downtown, Nantucket stands to lose vital economic resources.
Nantucket Preservation Trust is our community’s voice for preservation on the island.
What We Do
The NPT has developed a series of programs, publications and resources to assist property owners.
Let us show you what’s possible…
A Nantucket House Consultation
Homeowners and realtors are encouraged to take advantage of this complimentary program that highlights the evolution of a house and its historic fabric. The program is ideal for those contemplating a renovation project and owners and a realtors looking to learn more about the structure. Several members of the interview team (architectural historian, general contractor, and/or architect) visit the house and survey its features by walking-through it from the basement to the attic. We look for tell tale signs that help establish the history of the home, point out its architectural style and special features, and determine how it changed over time. The team can also offer recommendations about renovation and maintenance concerns. More>
The House Marker program provides the owner of a historic house with a NPT house marker and deed research to establish the construction date and ownership through time. The House Marker program reflects pride of ownership and is an important educational tool for the entire community. Most markers note the date of construction, the builder or an early owner/occupant and his or her occupation. More>
A House History follows the evolution of a house from its origin in the 18th, 19th or 20th century to the present. Records, deeds and other resources are investigated to complete the house history, and each are illustrated with historic images. More>
Annually since 2017, Nantucket Preservation Trust has hosted a multi-day Preservation Symposium conference The 2021 virtual Symposium, Rescuing History: Nantucket in Response to Rising Seas, explored issues related to historic preservation and climate change mitigation. Learn More>
Historic Preservation Easements
Preservation easements, known in Massachusetts as preservation restrictions, are an important tool for property owners who want to protect their properties for future generations. This tax-favored method of controlling the future development or appearance of historic houses and gardens also provides protection to historic interiors. Each easement is tailored to the individual preferences of the property owner. More>
Walking Tours and Events
Each year NPT offers walking tours focusing on architecture and neighborhoods—their history, development and significance. The publication A Walk Down Main Street—the Houses and their Histories also serves as a self-guided history tour of one of Nantucket’s finest residential streets. Tours are offered spring through fall and group tours can be scheduled throughout the year by appointment. More>