Over the last three months there has been quite a bit of progress that moves us closer to kicking off preservation work at the Tilden House. At the 2017 Annual Town Meeting, the voters supported declaring the house surplus property. The Board of Selectmen issued a compressive Request for Proposals (RFP), and the Canton Historical Society stepped forward to answer answer the call. A 25-30 year lease will allow the Society to take on the project in a way that is core to the mission and expertise of the organization.
At the same time, and in tandem with the lease negotiation, the Society spent several months writing a highly detailed grant request seeking $100,000 in matching funds from the Massachusetts Historical Commission. The Massachusetts Preservation Projects Fund (MPPF) is a state-funded 50% reimbursable matching grant program established in 1984 to support the preservation of properties, landscapes, and sites (cultural resources) listed in the State Register of Historic Places. Applicants must be a municipality or nonprofit organization. In this case, the Canton Historical Society as a 501(c)(3) with over one-hundred years of preservation experience is a perfect candidate for a bid award.
The public stepped forward in a big way to help support the grant. This project has the support of our State Senator, State Representative, Board of Selectmen, Canton Community Preservation Committee, the Conservation and Historical Commission and hundreds of people that have expressed their support through volunteer efforts, fundraising and community events.Historic cultural resources in public and nonprofit ownership and use frequently suffer from deferred maintenance, incompatible use, or are threatened by demolition. All of these factors are part of the story at the Tilden House. The Tilden property represent a significant part of the Commonwealth’s heritage. By providing assistance to historic cultural resources owned by nonprofit or municipal entities, the Massachusetts Historical Commission is ensuring their continued use and integrity. Given that the Tilden House is a prominent and the oldest contributing structure in the Canton Corner National Historic District, we have high hopes for this grant. Grant awards will be announced on June 13, 2018.
The behind the scenes look at the preservation of this historic structure.