Wakefield has hundreds of sites of historic or architectural interest, including public buildings, private homes, schools, churches, and historical monuments. Many of them are on the National Register of Historic Places, and others were researched as part of an architectural survey project done in the mid 1980s, which resulted in "The cultural resources of Wakefield". The content of this building survey is also now available online from the Massachusetts Historical Commission via their MACRIS database (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System).
The National Register of Historic Places is the United States government's official list of districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects worthy of preservation. The passing of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in 1966 established the National Register and the process for adding properties to it. Of the more than one million properties on the National Register, 80,000 are listed individually. The remainder are contributing members within historic districts. Each year approximately 30,000 properties are added to the National Register as part of districts or through individual listings.
Wakefield currently has over 150 properties listed on the National Register, the majority of which are private homes. There are also four historic districts, which encompass multiple buildings: The Common District, the Yale Avenue Historic District, the Church Street-Lafayette Street Historic District, and the Wakefield Park District, which includes Park Avenue between Summit Avenue and Chestnut Street.
Further information about historic properties can be obtained by contacting the Wakefield Historical Commission and the Wakefield Historical Society directly.