We’re proud to participate in diverse historic preservation projects in Falmouth that other organizations are driving, that we can support collaboratively with our labor, outreach, talents and energy. And we drive some projects, too. We make choices on how to best use our time and energy based on these three priority areas:
In order to preserve the historic character of Falmouth, we believe we must educate residents regarding our local history and our historic assets. If residents are aware of our historic character, they will be more likely to care about historic preservation and its value to the economic engine of the Town. We would like to broaden our current efforts focused on adults to include middle-school and high-school students as well.
As the economy improves, there is increasing pressure from developers to remove historic structures to make room for housing or commercial buildings. We’ve lost several historic structures over the recent past because no move was made to offer ‘adaptive re-use’ of such buildings. We will try to re-focus Town Government and the public sector on how preservation and adaptive re-use are important to the success of the Town.
Members of the public must interact with Town Hall when they have projects that have an impact on historic properties, in or out of historic districts. In addition, the operational and strategic plans of several departments have a bearing on historic preservation and the possibilities for adaptive re-use of historic assets. We are working to improve the usefulness of interactions between the public and various departments of Town Hall for both parties.
Heritage Map Series
The Alliance wishes to celebrate the historic character each Village contributes to our unique regional character as the Town of Falmouth. To that end, we have embarked on a multi-year project to produce a series of Heritage Maps, sometimes blending areas where it makes sense to tell the story together. To date we have produced a Heritage Map of Falmouth Village and one celebrating Woods Hole and Quissett. In 2018, we are working on our Heritage Map of West Falmouth and North Falmouth.
Two of our Directors are members of the working group focused on saving Andrews Farm so the remarkable contributions of farmers, and Cape Verdeans in particular, are preserved as part of an active farm going forward. Farming Falmouth has created a Facebook page to educate the public on how this project moves forward on behalf of all of Falmouth.
Friends of Nobska Lighthouse
We participated in CARE for the Cape & Islands Day, an annual clean-up day at a different regional locale annually. At Nobska, 50 other volunteers helped to get the grounds and Coast Guard house at Nobska Light for visitors. Learn more about Friends of Nobska Light and how you can help to preserve this famous landmark.
Falmouth Station Restoration
With a grant from CARE for the Cape & Islands, we are developing an interpretive display at Falmouth Station, the restoration project of Falmouth Economic Development and Industrial Corporation (EDIC). The display will provide an overview of the railroad line that extended to Woods Hole and helped transform Falmouth from an agrarian and fishing community to the tourism destination we enjoy today.
The Alliance was represented on the Advisory Committee of the EDIC's Falmouth Station Restoration Project for over a year. The EDIC has acquired a 99-year lease from Massachusetts Department of Transportation to restore and maintain Falmouth Station and its 2-acre property. The first Falmouth train station on this site was built in 1872 of wood. The current brick station, now used for regional bus transportation, dates from 1913. The EDIC’s goal is to restore the appearance of the 1913 building and develop the surrounding property as a destination venue for history buffs, cyclists on the Shining Sea Bike Path and shoppers in the Queens Buyway area. Be part of the vision for this property.
The 300 Committee
We continue to work closely with The 300 Committee, Falmouth’s land trust that is 32 years young, but experienced in “preserving natural places for Falmouth,” to promote new land acquisitions and feature their parcels on our Heritage Maps.
Falmouth Historical Society
This year, the Museums on the Green will feature a self-guided exhibit in the 1730 Conant House titled “Falmouth Changing with the Times”, as well as an exhibit on whaling life in their Visitors Center. The Cultural Center will feature rotating exhibits: one on the plight of African Americans through time, one featuring American flags from different eras and a third exhibit on quilts. Check their Web site for news on these features as well as on their regular programs.
Highfield Hall & Gardens
We have featured Highfield Hall & Gardens (and Tanglewood, the other Beebe mansion that was torn down in 1977) on both our first Heritage Map of Falmouth Village and our second Heritage Map of Woods Hole & Quissett. We are lucky to have an important historical gem like Highfield Hall – and its splendid gardens – offering year-round vibrancy to our community and to our visitors, so let’s celebrate it.
Contributing to the Future Care of Falmouth's Historic Assets
The 2016 merger of Falmouth's Historic Districts Commission and Historical Commission has provided an opportunity to produce one entity the public can interact with – one entity that can tackle both strategic and tactical preservation issues across historic districts and outside of them, too. There are three ways the Alliance can contribute to the Town's future care of its historic assets: 1) help the new Historical Commission to make the Town’s first town-wide Historic Preservation Plan (2014) a reality; 2) help provide input as to how the Planning Department can make it easier for the public to interact with Town Hall on questions and issues pertaining to historic preservation; and 3) help educate the public regarding the completed Local Comprehensive Plan, which has a “Historic Character” element in the Plan.