CHALLENGES TO HISTORIC PRESERVATION IN COHASSET
Razing and replacing historic buildings with new construction will eventually destroy the historical character of the town unless controlled. Sometimes historically or architecturally significant buildings are in such poor condition that restoration is impractical. But where possible, the Historical Commission strongly encourages the maintenance or restoration and preservation of Cohasset’s historical buildings.
Demolition delay bylaws are one way to preserve old houses, although they often simply defer demolition rather than prevent it. The creation of local historic districts is a more effective method of working with property owners to save old buildings and ensure that proposed alterations are compatible with the historical character of the neighborhood.
Sea Level Rise
As oceans warm and sea levels rise with the changing climate, coastal flooding will become more frequent and severe. The threat to historical properties and sites along the shore needs to be addressed by raising seawalls and other taking other measures. Cohasset Central Cemetery, which abuts Little Harbor, was flooded during Storm Riley in 2015. To protect the area from future flooding, the Central Cemetery Association built a wall and partially raised the height of the cemetery. The Government Island Historic District is particularly vulnerable to flooding, given its low terrain. The Cohasset Harbor Committee is currently planning measures to protect that area as well as other low-lying properties around the harbor.