A Town Meeting vote created the Salem Village Historic District on March 18, 1974. The District includes Centre Street and parts of Ingersoll Street, Hobart Street, Forest Street, Prince Place, Holten Street, Pine Street, and Collins Street. On May 15, 2023 Town Meeting voted to establish 42 Summer Street as a second, single-parcel, historic district. The Historic Districts Bylaw was adopted to preserve important exterior architectural features for present and future generations to enjoy. Any alterations to the exterior of structures within the District and visible from the public way are subject to review by the Historic Districts Commission.
The Historic District Commission consists of seven members.