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Preservation of the Commonwealth’s cultural heritage is an important aspect of the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s mission. The cultural resources that can be found in our state parks and forests span thousands of years and includes Native American sites, cellar holes and stones walls that tell the story of the state’s earliest settlement patterns, military landscapes, historic estates, and a metropolitan park system designed by a pioneer of the profession of landscape architecture, Charles Eliot. With over 100 properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, including eight National Historic Landmarks, the cultural resources under DCR’s care tells the story of our state and our nation. The Office of Cultural Resources (OCR) carries out the DCR’s preservation mission through stewardship of the agency’s historic buildings, structures, landscapes, archaeological sites, and archival resources.

OCR staff provides professional expertise, technical assistance, project management skills, and training opportunities in the areas of landscape preservation, preservation planning, adaptive reuse, archaeology, archival records management , and compliance with local, state and federal historic preservation laws. In addition to leading the historic preservation programs and initiatives of the agency, OCR staff directly support activities undertaken by other bureaus and divisions within the agency. As a leader in the field of historic landscape preservation, the office also provides assistance to cities and towns through the development of innovative tools for protecting their significant historic landscapes.

Contact: Patrice Kish, Director at 617-626-1378

From the Archives / From the Field

The Blizzard of February 6-7, 1978 had an unprecedented impact on state parks facilities and parkways. Coastal state beaches such as Revere Beach, Nahant Beach, Nantasket Beach and Salisbury Beach were damaged to such an extent that, in some instances, it took more than 20 years to rehabilitate facilities from the storm. At the time of the Blizzard, the Revere Beach Reservation was undergoing a master planning process for its future. Damage from the Blizzard was so extensive along Revere Beach, a 129-page “Storm Report” was published for the MDC in June of that year analyzing the impact.

As published in the Revere Beach Storm Report, “unusually high tides, winds reaching 75 mph from the east and northeast, heavy snow . . . combined on the evening of Monday, February 6th and Tuesday, February 7th, 1978 to provide Revere Beach and its westerly backland with the most damaging storm of recorded history. Only two prior storm tide experiences equaled or exceeded the February event in tide elevation”: 1723 and 1851. The Report continues, “this storm set a record for snowfall in a 24-hour period which had been established by a storm” only 2 weeks earlier.

Damaged shade shelters along Revere Beach, Feb. 10, 1978

Nahant Beach Playground - Feb. 13, 1978

Storrow Drive Plow - Feb. 9, 1978

Walking on Storrow Drive, Feb. 9, 1978

Nahant Beach Walkway - Feb. 14, 1978

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