Historical Commission

The mission of the Town of Wellesley Historical Commission is the preservation and protection of the tangible evidence of the architectural, aesthetic, cultural, economic, political and social history of Wellesley.

In fulfilling this mission, the Historical Commission does the following:

  • Educates the community on the economic, cultural, and aesthetic values of historic preservation, through working collaboratively with Town boards, owners, developers, realtors, and residents, through our signature Historic Plaque Program, and through articles and letters in the local press;
  • Advocates for local ordinances, bylaws, and public actions that encourage the preservation, restoration, and reuse of historic properties both public and private; and
  • Addresses major development and growth issues, such as promoting smart zoning, encouraging renovation and adaptive reuse as alternatives to demolitions of historic properties, and providing technical assistance and support to ensure that growth can coincide with the protection of the historical assets of the Town.

The Historical Commission meets regularly to review applications under the Historic Preservation Demolition Bylaw. Meeting materials can be found here.


Name Title
Rise Shepsle Chair
Michael Racette Vice Chair
Grant Brown Member
Michael Greco Member
Jacob Lilley Member
Larry McNally Member
Elizabeth Shlala Member
Robert Carley Alternate Member
Alexander Gavis Alternate Member
Joyce Wadlington Alternate Member
Jackie Hempel Alternate Member
Emily Maitin Alternate Member
Thomas Paine Alternate Member
Odessa Sanchez Alternate Member

The Historical Commission was created pursuant to Article 17 of the Town Bylaws, as authorized by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 40, Section 8D.  The Historical Commission interacts and coordinates its work with other Town boards and committees such as the Community Preservation Committee, the Planning Board, the Wellesley Housing Development Corporation, and the Design Review Board, as well as with the Wellesley Historical Society and state agencies such as the Massachusetts Historical Commission.

1897 Town Atlas Clip