The Oak Bluffs Historical Commission (OBHC) promotes the preservation of historic structures, landmarks, artifacts, and architecture in our town.
We promote and try to ensure the preservation of Oak Bluff’s rich and unique historical heritage. We do this by reviewing requests for demolition of buildings built prior to 1916 and supporting projects brought to us for alternate funding or grants. We also try educate and promote pride in Oak Bluffs culture and diversity.
We work closely with the Building Department to review plans for demolitions of structures that are a hundred or more years old. The OBHC determines if the structure is “significant” , and if it is deemed so, then a hearing is held. If at the hearing the structure is considered “preferably preserved”, demolition may be delayed for up to six months to allow time for preservation on site or off. We meet with homeowners and architects to discuss ways to preserve or replicate details that would maintain the architectural integrity of existing historic neighborhoods. We may also recommend referral to the Cottage City Historic District Commission or the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for further action. We have had many successful interactions that have left both the owners and OBHC pleased with the results.
We have no actual funding sources ourselves, but this year as in prior years, we have supported and given recommendations to groups who have sought grants from the CPC and others in order to preserve Oak Bluffs landmarks.
The OBHC still provides a popular Walking Tour of Oak Bluffs brochure for tourists and interested parties. Copies are available at Town Hall, Visitor’s Kiosk, and the Oak Bluffs Public Library.
The OBHC typically meets on the third Wednesday of each month in the OB Public Library Conference Room at 3:30.