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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 Archive/From the Field OCR Featured Historic Resource

March is Women’s History Month!

Martha Brookes Hutcheson (1871-1959)

Martha Brookes Hutcheson was one of the first women formally trained in the profession of landscape architecture and a major contributor to the design of Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA. Born in New York City, Hutcheson studied at the New York School of Applied Design for Women before attending the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Landscape Architecture program in 1900.


Hutcheson’s extensive travels through Europe influenced her design philosophy which she applied in her design for country estates including the Colonial Revival garden at the Longfellow House in Cambridge and Frederick Moseley estate, now Maudslay State Park. Maudslay’s Italian and Rose Gardens (shown at left) were featured in Hutcheson’s 1923 publication The Spirit of the Garden which elaborated on good design principles for 1920s suburban families. She was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1935, the third woman to receive the honor.