Frequently Asked Questions

What is Nantucket Preservation Trust?

Nantucket Preservation Trust (NPT) is a non-profit, membership-based organization that works to preserve the island’s unique architectural heritage for current and future generations.

What is the difference between the NPT and the HDC?

Nantucket’s Historic District Commission (HDC) is an elected town board of volunteer citizens charged with overseeing all construction and signage on Nantucket. The HDC was formed in 1955 and was one of the country’s earliest such oversight committees. While the HDC is a regulatory body that reviews all construction projects on the island, it has no oversight regarding historic interiors, historic building methods or our historic trees.

Nantucket Preservation Trust (NPT) is a policy and advocacy organization that works to educate the public about the importance of Nantucket’s historic structures. including historic interiors and traditional ways of building. NPT believes there is immense value in preserving the best of every era from a ’Sconset fish house to a mid-century modern beach house. NPT has oversight of 20 properties where homeowners have voluntarily entered into a historic preservation deed restriction agreement with NPT and the State. Some NPT staff and Board members serve in an advisory capacity to the HDC.

What period of time does NPT focus on?
NPT believes in preserving the best of every era: from a Sconset fish house to a mid-century modern beach house. There are many important aspects of Nantucket’s architecture worth preserving.

What programs and services does the NPT offer?

NPT offers:

  • A free, hour-long Nantucket House Consultation, where preservationists, contractors, and architects will visit your home for a walk-through. We’ll talk about the history of your house, its architectural style, its special features, details, and materials. We can offer recommendations about renovation and additional considerations.
  • House Markers: recognizing island structures 50 years or old that have retained their historic appearance. NPT will research the history of your house to determine the date of construction, and original owner or builder.
  • House Histories : NPT offers three “levels” of house history to choose from: a Brief History, a House Genealogy, and a Comprehensive House History. These histories ranged from six to eight pages to 75 pages, depending on the history selected. House histories are an important way to document your historic home, and include deed research, photographs, history of Nantucket, history of the neighborhood, and information about the historic inhabitants of your home.
  • Preservation Deed Restriction Easements: Easements protect the exterior and often the interior of your historic home and run with the deed of your house in perpetuity. This is a legal agreement made between the owner of a historic property and NPT, a qualified easement holding organization. Easements are an essential tool in our preservation toolkit.
  • Preservation Awards: NPT annually recognizes individuals and organizations that advance the cause of historic preservation on Nantucket. NPT Preservation Awards emphasize proper preservation, showcase the island’s craftspeople, and reveal the foresight of owns who care about our historic structures and landscapes.
  • Mary Helen and Michael Fabacher Scholarship: This scholarship for Nantucket high school graduates was established to encourage and promote traditional building methods essential for the preservation of Nantucket’s historic architecture and to provide educational opportunities to increase knowledge of these important crafts.
  • Events: NPT presents a semi-annual preservation workshop or symposium; lectures with noted architects, preservationists, and historians; tours of historic homes; and other educational programs throughout the year.