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2019 Alliance Annual Preservation Achievement Awards
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About | 3
Board of Directors
Board of Advisors and Staff
Preservation Achievement Awards
Fowler Clark Epstein Farm
2101 Washington Street
Boston University Dahod Family Alumni Center
240A Newbury Street
Codman Award for Lifetime Achievement
President’s Award for Excellence
Past Winners of the Codman and President’s Awards
Preservation Resource Guide
Social Media Guide
A Primer, Preservation Regulations
My Neighborhood, How do I get involved?
Stories from Boston—50 Cedar and 9 Chelsea
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2019-2020 Organizational Members Art Deco Society of Boston Beacon Hill Civic Association Boston Athenaeum Boston Building Resources Boston by Foot Boston Society of Architects The Bostonian Society Bricklayers & Allied Craftsmen, Union Local 3 Brighton-Allston Historical Society Charlestown Preservation Society Dorchester Historical Society Eliot School of Fine and Applied Arts The Esplanade Association Freedom Trail Foundation Friends of Post Office Square Friends of the Public Garden Gibson House Museum Historic Boston, Inc. Historic New England Jamaica Plain Historical Society Jewish Cemetery Association of Massachusetts
Metropolitan Waterworks Museum Museum of African American History Museum of Fine Arts, Boston Neighborhood Assoc. of the Back Bay New England Chapter, Society of Architectural Historians Nichols House Museum North Bennet Street School Old North Foundation Old South Meeting House Paul Revere Memorial Association Preservation Massachusetts South Boston Historical Society South End Historical Society Suffolk University The Trustees of Reservations Trinity Church Boston The Vilna Shul, Boston’s Center for Jewish Culture Unbound Visual Arts
Organizational Membership Organizational Members provide essential connections between the Alliance and historic preservation issues in various parts of the community. The Alliance’s role as an umbrella organization encompasses a diversity of interestes through our organizational members. Neighborhood preservation advocay groups, historical societies and historic sites, museums, and other types of non-profits are all part of the Alliance. We in turn, provide advocacy assistance to our Organizational Members, and each appoints two delegates to vote on matters pertaining to the Alliance’s governance at our Annual Meeting. The Alliance promotes the events and activities sponsored by our Organizational Members and we commonly work together on joint programming. If your organization would like to work with the Alliance, please contact us at 617-367-2458.
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2019-2020 Corporate Members Alliance Leader The Druker Company WinnCompanies Underwriter Bank of America Merrill Lynch The Boston Red Sox Citi Community Capital Elkus Manfredi Architects Ipswich Bay Glass The Peabody Companies Advocate Boston Financial Investment Management Boston Global Investors Building Conservation Associates CBT Architects CM&B, Inc. CV Properties The Davis Companies D.L. Saunders Properties, LLC Eastern Bank Grande Masonry GRoW @ Annenberg The HYM Investment Group Keith Construction NER Construction Management Redgate Shawmut Design and Construction Sullivan & Worcester Suffolk Cares Steward Architectural Heritage Foundation The Architectural Team Beacon Communities Boston Capital Boston University BPDL - BĂŠton FabriquĂŠ BrandSafway
Bruner/Cott Castle Square Tenants Organization Colantonio Context Architecture Daedalus DiMella Shaffer Enterprise Bank Epsilon Associates Feldman Land Surveyors Finegold Alexander Architects Goedecke & Co., LLC Goldman Sachs Goulston & Storrs Greater Boston Real Estate Board Handel Architects Hemenway & Barnes Housing Partners, Inc. ICON Architecture J.L. Dunn & Company MacRostie Historic Advisors Marr Scaffolding MassHousing The NHP Foundation NV5 P.J. Spillane Company, Inc. Renaissance Properties Roger Ferris + Partners Rosales + Partners S & F Concrete Sasaki Silman Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Spencer, Sullivan & Vogt Stantec UrbanMeritage Vanderweil VHB W. Lewis Barlow, IV, FAIA Walker & Dunlop Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.
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Sustainer A.W. Perry Acentech Affordable Housing Advisors Albert Risk Management Andrew Sidford Architects Ann Beha Architects Arrowstreet Bay State Strategies The Bishop Company Boston Properties Boston Sign Company Building Envelope Technologies Burns & Levinson LLP Cabot, Cabot & Forbes Cambridge Seven Capstone Communities Choo & Company CBRE C3 Commercial Construction Consulting The Cherrytree Group Commodore Builders David Fixler FAIA FAPT Denterlein DHK Architects Dorfman Capital Eden Properties Egan Church Restoration Faneuil Hall Marketplace Fannin-Lehner Preservation Consultants First Resource Development Company Freudenheim Partners Gensler Gilbert & Becker Gladding McBean Goody Clancy Hacin + Associates
Haley Aldrich Hines Howard Stein Hudson IBI Placemaking JB Ventures John A. Penney & Co Kirk & Company Klein Hornig LDa Architecture & Interiors Leers Weinzapfel Associates M&A Architectural Preservation Inc. Marvin McGinley Kalsow & Associates, Inc. McNamara â&#x20AC;˘ Salvia Metro Housing Boston Mintz Levin Morris Adjmi Architects MP Boston National Trust for Historic Preservation Phoenix Bay State Construction Prellwitz Chilinski Associates Preservation Technology Associates Prince Lobel Samiotes Structures North Consulting Engineers TCR Development ThoughtCraft Architecture Torrey Architecture, Inc. TRC Universal Window & Door Utile, Inc. The Waterproofing Company Wes Finch William Rawn Associates Architects *Sponsors secured as of 10/7/19. Please let us know if we have made an error or omission.
Corporate Members support our mission and strengthen our advocacy voice. Public and financial support highlights their philanthropic commitment to our shared interests of vibrancy, adaptability, and balanced growth in Boston. If your organization would like to work with the Alliance, please contact Alliance staff at 617-367-2458.
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2019-2020 Board of Directors Vicki Adjami Communication via Design
Michael LeBlanc, AIA Utile, Inc.
W. Lewis Barlow, IV, FAIA, FAPT National Park Service (Retired)
David Nagahiro, AIA, LEED AP CBT Architects
Nicole Benjamin-Ma VHB
Beatrice Nessen, Secretary Friends of the Public Garden
Nick Brooks, AIA, NCARB DREAM Collaborative
Susan Park, President Boston Resident
Valerie Burns Boston Natural Areas Network
Diana Pisciotta Denterlein
Ross Cameron, RIBA Elkus Manfredi Architects
Leslie Reid Madison Park Community Development Corporation
Philip Chen, AIA, LEED AP Ann Beha Associates Laura Dziorny Rennie Center Minxie Fannin Fannin/Lehner Preservation Society of Architectural Historians Gill Fishman Gill Fishman Associates Sean Geary, Treasurer Acadian Asset Management Peter Goedecke Goedecke & Co., LLC Carl Jay Shawmut Design and Construction
Christopher Scoville, Board Chair Eastern Bank Regan Shields Ives, AIA, LEED AP, Vice Chair Finegold Alexander Architects Roger Tackeff, Vice Chair Renaissance Properties Tony Ursillo, CFA Independent Investment Analyst and Consultant Peter Vanderwarker Architectural Photographer Represented at Gallery NAGA, Boston Vanderwarker Photography Nancy Welsh DLA Piper
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2019-2020 Board of Advisors William Barry Heritage Planning & Design
Drew Leff Stantec
Richard Bertman, FAIA, LEED, AP CBT Architects
Dara Obbard Hackett Feinberg
Daniel Bluestone Boston University
Peter Roth MIT Center for Real Estate
Frances Duffly Gibson House Museum
Catharine Sullivan SixOverSix
Elaine (Lanie) Finbury Overlook Associates
Bob Thomas Saltaire Properties
Kay Flynn Preservation Plus
Alliance Boards Uniquely qualified to guide decisions about Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built environment and historic resources, Directors at the Alliance represent a wide variety of backgrounds and expertise ranging from finance and project development to material conservation and architectural history to strategic communications and design. The Board of Directors meets regularly and guides the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s work. The Board of Advisors, made up of former and potential directors, lends their experience and expertise as needed. If you are interested in serving on the Board, please contact us at 617-367-2458.
Staff Greg Galer, Ph.D. Executive Director
Paula Antonevich Membership and Development Associate
Alison Frazee Assistant Director
Matthew Dickey Communications and Operations Manager
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2019-2020 Young Advisors Ashley Casavant, Vice President Daughters of the American Revolution Elise Couture-Stone, Events Chair Development, Strategic Planning, and Exhibit Design Gabrielle Chapman Historic Boston, Inc. Michela Davola Boston Society of Architects Bethany Drab, Secretary ICON Architecture Olivia Falcey Miller Dyer Spears Lori Ferriss Goody Clancy Caitlin Hart Boston Society of Architects Natasha Klemek Historic New England
Laura Lacombe, Libations for Preservation Chair Harvard Peabody Museum of Archeology & Ethnology Kelly Lyons, President Shawmut Design & Construction Tom McGinley Harvard Medical School Ariana McSweeney Mount Auburn Cemetery Ravi Parmar JP Morgan Chase David Rodrigues Bostonian Society Amanda Sanders Goody Clancy Adam Wylie Mayhew Project Management & Consulting
Young Advisors The Young Advisors is a board of developing professionals whose role is to expand and amplify the Boston Preservation Alliance’s mission of education and advocacy by engaging Boston’s young professional community. They are active participants in the Alliance at all levels, from community outreach and policy discussion to social engagement. They host educational and social programming throughout the year to engage our growing network of young professionals and foster an appreciation of Boston’s architectural legacy and social history. By highlighting our city’s past, the Young Advisors strive to help create an architecturally, economically, and socially vibrant future for the City of Boston. Several members of the Alliance’s Board of Directors began as “YAs” including current officers.
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“I studied Historic Preservation in Philadelphia, the perfect backdrop to learning about preservation issues in an urban environment. But for the past four years, my work has taken me to Central America to preserve Maya archaeological sites-- which doesn’t give me many opportunities to learn about Boston’s historic fabric and the issues it faces. Joining the YA’s helped me find a community of people who also love historic buildings and sites, and join them for educational events around the city we love. Through walking tours, preservation chatter presentations, and social events, I’ve learned so much about my new city through the eyes of my peers who are just as excited about architecture as I am.” -Laura Lacombe, Young Advisor
YAs are uniquely placed to change the public’s perspective on preservation, connecting it with wider global issues like social justice and climate change.
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Member Voices The Boston Preservation Alliance represents the voices of thousands of partners and supporters. Here is what some of them have to say about preservation and the Alliance.
Lorie K. Komlyn, Roslindale
The Alliance understands the connectivity of projects, how preservation in one neighborhood, or attention to a certain building, ultimately works for the greater good and enhances the city as a whole.
Charlie Vasiliades, Brighton-Allston Historical Society
Since joining the Alliance in 2002, the BAHS has partnered frequently to advocate for historic preservation in our neighborhoods of Brighton and Allston, and to support larger initiatives throughout the city. The Alliance is dedicated to education and advocacy and we strongly support their efforts.
David J. Hacin, FAIA, Hacin + Associates
As someone who loves Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rich architectural heritage, I believe that careful consideration of context is crucial in our approach to modern design. I am aligned with the Allianceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quest to unite our community under this goal and proud this city has such a strong advocate for architectural preservation.
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Mission Protecting places. Promoting vibrancy. Preserving character.
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he Boston Preservation Alliance is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that protects, promotes, and preserves Boston’s historic places. Through advocacy and education, we bring people and organizations together to influence the future of Boston’s historic buildings, landscapes, and neighborhoods.
The Alliance believes Boston’s architectural heritage is a national treasure, contributing to the quality of life for Boston’s residents and visitors as well as to the economic vitality of the city. While committed to preserving the best of Boston’s historic built environment, the Alliance recognizes the importance of growth and development to a vibrant economy and advocates for a harmonious balance between old and new. With individual, organizational, and corporate members throughout the city and beyond, the Alliance provides a respected voice for preservation in Boston.
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2019 Preservation Achievement Awards Monday, October 21, 2019 200 Stuart Street
2019â&#x20AC;&#x201C;2020 Alliance Leaders
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Preservation Achievement Awards 2019 Awards Selection Committee Roger Tackeff, Chair
W. Lewis Barlow IV
Regan Shields Ives
Bestowed annually since 1988, the Preservation Achievement Awards honor outstanding achievements in historic preservation and compatible new construction in Boston. Celebrated for their positive impact on the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s built environment, winning projects are looked upon as models for future preservation work. Visit our website for a full listing for award winners: bostonpreservation.org. Congratulations to the winners of the 2019 Preservation Achievement Awards! The Alliance is delighted to welcome you to a family of architects, developers, craftsmen, and preservationist who believe that creating a better future for Boston lies in preserving its past.
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Fowler Clark Epstein Farm The restoration and creative reuse of this rare, intact urban farmstead showcases its position as a historic artifact thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s as useful today as it was in 1786.
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Preserved on a half-acre of land in Mattapan, the Fowler Clark Epstein Farm spans the centuries. Its history of owners stretches from the Fowlers, who built the house in 1786, to the Clarks, who built the barn around 1860, to Jorge Epstein, who purchased the farm in 1941 and added unique flair. Running simultaneously with the site’s history is the narrative of Mattapan itself, from bucolic village and farmland to annexation and development by the City of Boston. The restoration and creative reuse of this rare, intact urban farmstead showcases its position as a historic artifact that’s as useful today as it was in 1786. Following Epstein’s passing in 1998, the property fell into disrepair. Neighbors and the Boston Landmarks Commission advocated to save the farm and it was designated a local Landmark in 2005. Historic Boston, Inc. (HBI) purchased the site and began a collaborative process with several other non-profits. They saved the farm with the goal of celebrating how each of its previous owners influenced the property while adapting it to meet today’s needs for a contemporary 21st-century farm, teaching kitchen, and community gathering space. HBI masterfully married these ambitious goals. The site is now the headquarters of the Urban Farming Institute of Boston who not only grows crops on the land but educates the community about growing and preparing natural food. The neighboring rows of three-deckers are joined by rows of vegetables and greens, creating an urban oasis in Mattapan.
Owner/Developer Historic Boston Incorporated Architect Perkins & Will Project Team AKF Group LLC BALA Consulting Engineers, Inc. Crabtree McGrath Associates, Inc. Dorfman Capital Fiske Center for Archaeological Research, UMass Boston Hurst Landscape & Site Service Inc. Kessler McGuinness & Associates, LLC Klein Hornig LLP MJ Mawn, Inc. Nitsch Engineering North Bennet Street School Panos Law Group Regenerative Design Group Structures North Consulting Engineers, Inc. Trust for Public Land Urban Farming Institute of Boston, Inc. Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc.
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Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s an important remnant of the agriculatural history of the city. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a little oasis. - Gabrielle Chapman, Historic Boston, Inc.
Through a concerted, collaborative effort to save this historic site, layers of local history are preserved for future generations who will interact with the land in the same way as residents from generations ago.
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2101 Washington Street This elegant commercial building with classical details serves as a gateway to the historic Dudley Square neighborhood.
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This elegant commercial building with classical details serves as a gateway to the historic Dudley Square neighborhood. Initially three structures, it was built in stages from the 1880s to the 1900s. In the renovation process, the project team at 2101 Washington Street was tasked with reviving a deteriorating structure while preserving its historic fabric and important position in the heart of Roxbury. Before its purchase by Madison Park Development Corporation in 2011, the building housed Tropical Foods (El Platanero), an ethnic supermarket and neighborhood anchor. After the supermarket relocated to a new structure close by, this building was transformed from a decaying relic of a former era to a beautiful, vibrant mixed-use building with street-level retail and 30 residential units above, most of which are dedicated affordable units.
Owner/Developer Madison Park Development Corporation Architect DHK Architects Project Team ADK Construction Consulting, LLC. Commercial Construction Consulting Geotechnical Partnership, Inc Gilbert & Becker Kaplan Construction MacRostie Historic Advisors STV Thompson & Lichtner Thornton Tomasetti Universal Window and Door Wil-Spec, LLC Wozny Barbar & Associates
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Part of improvement is holding onto cultural and historical heritage. - Russ Tanner, Madison Park Development Corporation
With this project, Madison Park CDC demonstrates that buildings carry valuable elements of community memory and sense of place for neighborhood residents. Their investment here not only provides critical affordable housing and retail opportunities for local residents but bolsters community pride through the connections between past, present, and future.
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The Dahod Family Alumni Center The Castleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s renovation showcases not only the restoration of a unique structure but also a transformation in its functionality.
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Affectionately referred to as “The Castle” around the Boston University campus, the eclectic Tudor mansion at 225 Bay State Road was completed in 1915 and stood for many years as the private home of wealthy industrialist William Lindsey. The home was donated to the university in 1938 and housed the President of Boston University until security threats in 1967 due to massive student anti-war protests forced the space to be repurposed. For years the mansion housed office and event spaces, while its basement became home to the BU Pub. Its recent restoration has given The Castle new life by transforming it into the Alumni Center and Faculty Club. The Castle’s renovation showcases not only the restoration of a unique structure but also a transformation in its functionality. The project team carefully protected the mansion’s ornate features, including its original wood windows and sandstone, and meticulously researched and restored its historic elements. As part of the project, a complete HVAC system was installed for the first time and dining facilities were expanded creating more opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni to enjoy the historic spaces. Now restored and re-energized, this iconic building at the heart of campus serves as a gathering place
Owner/Developer Boston University Architect Finegold Alexander Architects Project Team Blackwell’s Glass Boston University Alumni Center Boston University Photography Building Conservation Associates C3 Commercial Construction Consulting, Inc. Chapman Waterproofing Company Crabtree McGrath Associates, Inc. Fennessy Consulting Services Gilbert & Becker Jane Meissinger Kalin Associates, Inc. Nitsch Engineering Raj Das Photography Sladen Feinstein Integrated Lighting, Inc. Suffolk Construction Thornton Tomasetti Window Women of New England WSP
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while continuing to contribute to the character of its historic district. On a campus with many purpose-built, modern facilities, the building provides a distinctive and memorable sense of place that connects the grandeur of a residential neighborhood to the hive of campus activity. Buildings like this allow a continuum of memory across multiple generations of students and residents alike.
The Alumni Center is the heart of BUâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s campus. From their first visit, students know they will always have a place here to call home. - Steve Hall, Alumni Relations at BU
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240A Newbury Street A dynamic mixed-use hub thriving on a foundation of historic preservation and adaptive reuse.
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Originally built in 1880 as two residential brownstones at 39 and 41 Fairfield Street, 240A Newbury Street now stands at the heart of Boston’s historic Back Bay, a dynamic mixed-use hub thriving on a foundation of historic preservation and adaptive reuse. This property began its conversion to retail as early as the 1940s, and the two homes were combined in the 1960s with an insensitive addition. In 2014, UrbanMeritage purchased the joined buildings and began the task of a more aesthetic unification. The 240A Newbury Street project team demonstrated thoughtful sensitivity to the details of the renovation, allowing the building’s original craftsmanship to shine through while harmonizing the necessities of the new with the restoration of the old. Today, the beautifully reimagined 240A Newbury Street houses SuitSupply, a modern, global brand. Reflecting their motto, “combining craftsmanship with flair,” the company’s Boston home proves new
Owner/Developer UrbanMeritage Architect Elkus Manfredi Architects Project Team Abbas Woodworking AKF Atmosphere Design Group Authentic Designs CBI Consulting Inc. Dennis T. Mitchell Architects Gilbert & Becker Co., Inc. Hirsch Construction Corp. Howard Stein Hudson J.L. Dunn Kalin Associates McPhail Associates, LLC Suitsupply
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and old are a perfect fit, like a well-tailored suit. This project meets both the exacting standards of the international tenantâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s brand and the architectural and preservation guidelines of the Back Bay Architectural Commission. Old buildings can provide and enhance the identity of modern brands, whether they be retail, office, or residential. There are few things as distinctive as the quirkiness of a historic building that has evolved within its context.
Working on this project was a great honor. A labor of love. - Vin Norton, UrbanMeritage
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Boston Volvo 61 North Beacon Street has endured as a marker of the Auto Mile, and a recent renovation has preserved its historic integrity while giving it improved function and new life.
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For decades at the turn of the 20th century, the stretch of road between the Boston University Bridge and Packard’s Corner in Allston was known as Boston’s Auto Mile, home to over 117 automobile-related businesses. By 1974, Boston’s Auto Mile had experienced decline as showrooms moved to the suburbs and businesses closed their doors. Thankfully, 61 North Beacon Street has endured as a marker of the Auto Mile, and a recent renovation has preserved its historic integrity while giving it improved function and new life. Located in the former International Harvester building in Allston, Boston Volvo undertook a two-year restoration of the building, bringing it back to its
Owner/Developer Village Automotive Group Architect Arrowstreet Project Team Boston Village Volvo Ciccolo Group CM&B Epsilon Associates, Inc. Universal Window and Door
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original use as a vehicle showroom and office. By carefully uncovering and restoring lost elements of its Beaux-Arts/Classical Revival facade and featuring original elements, like iconic mushroom columns, the Boston Volvo project team has proven that old buildings can highlight new products in a compelling juxtaposition. Not only has this renovation brought new life to the old spirit of the IH Building, but it has helped revive the automobile history of this area. Despite variation from Volvoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s international showroom standards, Boston Volvo demonstrates how classic design success endures. Because this building was sensitively restored, it continues to serve its original purpose and could again one day be reimagined to showcase the next phase of new technology.
Now we have Volvos instead of plows and tractors. - Kerin Shea, The Ciccolo Group
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Longfellow Bridge Today, renovation and preservation work has made the bridge an even more accessible, functional, and aesthetic element of Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic landscape.
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The Longfellow Bridge is an iconic Boston structure with a rich history. Since the first bridge on its site was erected in 1793, connecting Boston’s secluded Bowdoin Square with Cambridge’s commercial neighborhoods, the link formed between these two communities has become an integral aspect of Greater Boston’s cultural heritage. Today, renovation and preservation work has made the bridge an even more accessible, functional, and aesthetic element of Boston’s historic landscape. The Longfellow Bridge, initially called the Cambridge Bridge, was designed by Edward Wheelwright, who found his inspiration in the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. It was built in 1901 as a product of the City Beautiful Movement and renamed to honor local poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1927. However, the bridge’s historical weight became a burden over time, and only one instance of major repairs occurred in 1959. By the dawn of the 21st century, a full restoration was much needed. For this complex and complete overhaul, the project team was determined not to lose the bridge’s original fabric. They restored the bridge’s twelve arch spans, seismically retrofitted its twelve masonry
Owner/Developer Massachusetts Department of Transportation Design-Build Team J.F. White Contracting Company/ Skanska/Consigli Construction, Co. STV, Inc. Project Team Atlantic Bridge and Engineering Bryant Associates, Inc. Copley Wolff Design Group, Inc. Daedalus, Inc. DeAngelis Iron Works Epsilon Associates, Inc. Fortress, Inc. Gill Engineering Associates, Inc. Jacobs Engineering Lin Associates, Inc. Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority McGinley Kalsow & Associates, Inc. Niland Company RE Ciccone Door Services Regina Villa Associates, Inc. Rosales & Partners Roux Associates, Inc. Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Tetra Tech, Inc. TRC Companies, Inc. Tri-State Painting, Inc. U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration United Stone and Site, Inc.
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piers, dismantled, repaired, and reconstructed its four signature “salt and pepper” granite towers, and preserved its character-defining historical architectural elements. The team’s painstaking work stabilized the structure for the next 100 years and met modern needs by reprogramming the bridge for pedestrians and bicyclists, and adding stunning LED lights in the arches. With American infrastructure facing so many challenges it’s essential to demonstrate the tremendous value of investing in our character-defining, iconic bridges through the highest quality restoration.
It’s a sense of pride to see that bridge...as it was a hundred years ago. -Robert Collari J.F. White Contracting
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State Senate Chamber The Senate Chamber project team expertly modified this historic space to meet todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs while preserving its historic character and fabric.
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Inspired by the Great Room of James Wyatt’s Pantheon in London, the Senate Chamber at the Massachusetts Statehouse is located directly below the iconic Gold Dome. The chamber was originally designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1795 and was the meeting place of the House of Representatives for just over a hundred years before being renovated for the Senate in 1898. The project team faced a difficult decision in its preservation attempt: whether to restore the chamber to the original 18th-century Bullfinch design, or the chamber’s Civil War-era redesign. After thorough research, the team decided to move forward with the restoration to the 1868 period. The Senate Chamber project team expertly modified this historic space to meet today’s needs while preserving its historic character and fabric. 1,500 individual wooden panels were removed, numbered, stripped of over 20 layers of paint, repaired, and reinstalled in their original locations. The President’s Rostrum was redesigned to be ADA compliant while preserving its historic front piece, and the chamber’s large, curved desks were raised to accommodate wheelchairs.
Owner/Developer Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance Architect CBT Project Team Acentech Angelini Plastering Anton Grassl Architectural Photography Building Conservation Associates, Inc. Bureau of the State House Colantonio, Inc. George Sexton Associates Grand Light Jensen Hughes Julie L. Sloan, LLC Kessler McGuinness & Associates M&A Architectural Preservation, Inc. Massachusetts Art Commission Massachusetts State Senate Mussey Associates Schweppe Lighting Design, Inc. Serpentino Stained Glass Studio Simpson Gumpertz & Heger Walter A. Furman Co. WSP
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Buildings are not static- they are living things...The physical history gives you a link to the social history. - Chris Coios, CBT Architects
Modern HVAC systems were hidden within the restored dome and acoustic panels were seamlessly nestled into the concave recess between the dome ribs of the chamber. With every step, the project team worked diligently to harmonize historic preservation with accessibility and modern functionality proving that even the most historically significant spaces can be sensitively modernized for todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s needs.
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Franklin Park Stewardship Recognition
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Forming the southernmost segment of Frederick Law Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace, Franklin Park is a Boston Landmark and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Boston Parks and Recreation Department has worked diligently to preserve the vision of the park’s renowned landscape architect and meet the contemporary needs of an active urban green space. Olmsted began preliminary studies of the park design in 1881 and continued his involvement until his retirement six years later. Designed to be a great “Country Park” in the midst of a growing metropolis, Franklin Park features winding roads and pathways with beautiful, curated views. However, as the Industrial era blazed ahead, vehicle traffic replaced carriages and the park’s roads were widened and original features were obscured. The Franklin Park project team has worked to reinstate Olmsted’s park by removing maintenance traffic from pedestrian and cyclist pathways, restoring the carriageways and original cobblestone gutters, and restoring stone walls, even devising creative ways to replicate the beaded mortar distinctive to Olmsted’s bridges by creating custom tools. Pathway restoration allows visitors to enjoy Franklin Park’s original design and creates, as Olmsted put it, “ground to which people may easily go after their day’s work is done, where they may stroll for an hour, seeing, hearing, and feeling nothing of the bustle and jar of the streets and the shops and the rooms of the town.” Our Stewardship Award recognizes that preservation is an ongoing effort and work is often completed in many phases. As this project is enjoyed by hundreds of visitors to the park, the Parks Department will tackle the next phase of restoration to keep Olmsted’s vision of Franklin Park a welcoming retreat for all.
Owner/Developer Boston Parks & Recreation Department Architect Kyle Zick Landscape Architecture, Inc. Project Team Building Conservation Associates, Inc. Lorusso Corp. Toole Design
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Andrea Gilmore Codman Award for Lifetime Achievement The Codman Award recognizes outstanding and career-long contributions to historic preservation and conservation in Boston.
There are many unsung heroes who are responsible for so much of the historic character of Boston that millions enjoy today. For Andrea Gilmore, stewardship isn’t just a lofty concept, it’s a lifetime mission. For her devotion and commitment to preservation, the Alliance is proud to recognize this long-time friend and preservation partner. Andrea established Building Conservation Associates’ New England office in 1994 and served as Director for twenty years. BCA specializes in the technical and historical aspects of restoring buildings and works of art. Andrea’s keen eye, technical knowledge, and practical approach benefit each of us through the hundreds of historic buildings she’s helped preserve that help define each of Boston’s unique neighborhoods. From Ferdinand’s in Roxbury to Atlantic Wharf on the harbor – gold domes to clapboards – Andrea has touched the full spectrum of buildings. Andrea is legendary for her wide-ranging expertise, care, and skill as a hands-on conservator, and for her remarkable demeanor. She has tactfully wrangled diverse opinions and personalities from over-inflated architects and developers to skeptical construction workers and (perhaps) some neurotic preservationists. Andrea has been recognized, respected, and her advice heeded to foster the stewardship from which we’ve all benefited. Andrea’s experience is extensive: Architectural Conservator at the Cultural Resources Center of the National Park Service then as Director of the Conservation Center at Historic New England until 1994. She was also an adjunct professor at the Historic Preservation Program of Boston University’s Department of American and New England Studies. Andrea continues to serve as an advisor to the BCA in retirement. As a leader in the preservation community and an inspiration for women in preservation trades, Andrea’s contributions throughout her career leave a legacy through the places she’s preserved, the students she’s mentored, and the colleagues she’s inspired.
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& WinnCompanies President’s Award for Excellence The President’s Award recognizes an individual or organization who has enhanced the success and vibrancy of Boston in ways aligned with the Alliance’s mission.
Larry Curtis and WinnCompanies’ preeminent role developing housing in historic buildings is hard to match. Larry’s prominent role assuring the Federal Historic Tax Credit, a critical preservation tool, survived 2017 tax reform is equally impressive. We owe a debt of gratitude for the breadth and influence of Larry’s work. As President and Managing Partner of WinnDevelopment and a member of the WinnCompanies Board of Directors he has led Winn’s real estate development and acquisition for 32 years. He’s helped WinnCompanies grow from 3,000 units in 1986 to more than 100,000 units now under management in 22 states and Washington, DC. Winn owns 116 apartment properties in 11 states and the District serving housing needs across the spectrum, much low and moderate income, even housing for veterans, and so very much in historic buildings. Larry is a known master of the programs and subsidies essential to make these projects viable. Without his skill, aplomb, and tenacity many more would be desperate for housing and many historic buildings would remain fallow. In Boston, Winn manages 117 properties and nearly 8,300 housing units, many formerly underutilized historic buildings. Boston projects include the Baker Chocolate Factory and Lofts in Lower Mills, Oliver Lofts in Mission Hill, and Nazing Court in Grove Hall. Outside Boston the list is extensive: Boott Mills in Lowell, Malden Mills in Lawrence, the Yarn Works in Fitchburg, and Mill 10 in Ludlow, and many others. From former textile mills, breweries, and chocolate factories to music print shops and schools, Winn transforms historic properties and enhances communities. Under Larry’s guidance Winn has become the nation’s top developer of historic and iconic buildings for use as housing. No residential development company has won more awards for the sensitive renovation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings and none better demonstrates how historic preservation and affordable housing work symbiotically to re-energize neighborhoods in Boston and beyond.
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Codman Award for Lifetime Achievement Past Winners The Codman Award for Lifetime Achievement, named for John Codman who established Boston’s fist Historic District (Beacon Hill) in 1955, recognized outstanding and career-long contributions to preservation in Boston. These recipients have each, in their own way, protected, promoted, and preserved the character of the city. The Alliance is honored to recognize their commitment. Stephen Coyle, 1988
Judith Selwyn, 2010
John Joseph Moakley, 1989
Richard Bertman, 2012
Henry Lee, 1990
Thomas M. Menino, 2013
Robert G. Neiley, 1997
Antonia Pollak, 2014
David Anderson, 2004
Henry Moss, 2015
Joe and Susan Park, 2006
Robert Campbell, 2017
Paul McGinley, 2007
Andrea Gilmore, 2019
President’s Award for Excellence Past Winners The President’s Award for Excellence recognizes individuals, corporations, or projects that have made remarkable contributions to the City of Boston, not just as those who support and foster preservation, but for enhancing the success and vibrancy of the icty in a way which aligns with the mission of the Alliance. Howard Elkus and David Manfredi, 2014 Jonathan G. Davis, The Davis Companies, 2015 Shawmut Design and Construction, 2016 The Boston Red Sox, 2017 Larry Curtis and WinnCompanies, 2019
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Preservation Resource Guide Social Media Guide / pg 91 Preservation Profiles / pg 92 A Primer, Preservation Regulations / pg 98 My Neighborhood, How do I get involved? / pg 106 Stories from Boston- 50 Cedar and 9 Chelsea / pg 108
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Social Media Guide The preservation conversation online Twitter This is the place to find live updates from public meetings, upcoming events, and general news about Boston and the places that matter. Facebook We recommend you join your neighborhood Facebook group to join the conversation about developments in your area. A few, unified voices can have a large impact. We share general preservation news, project updates, and calls to action such as public meeting times. Instagram This is where we share our favorite images of Boston. We want to see what you love about the city. Share with us by using the tag #PreservationHub. If you have a favorite spot in the city that you think deserves special attention, share it with the tag #SaveMyBoston. #PreservationHub Use this tag to learn about our many project updates and to join the conversation about Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preservation efforts. #SaveMyBoston Use this tag to share places in the city you believe deserve to be preserved. We have a running list on our website. Follow Us! Twitter: @BOSPreservation Instagram and Facebook: @BostonPreservationAlliance
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Preservation Profiles The Boston Preservation Community Boston Preservation Alliance The Boston Preservation Alliance is Boston’s primary nonprofit advocacy organization that protects and promotes the use of historic buildings and landscapes in all of the city’s neighborhoods. The Alliance engages city, state, and federal officials, neighborhood groups, developers, architects, historic preservation professionals, corporations and businesses, property owners, and private citizens from across the city and beyond that care about the character of Boston’s built environment. We strive to influence decision-making that impacts the historic fabric and future shape of the city, to advance thinking and understanding of the social and economic value of historic preservation, and to serve as the “go-to” organization for support and information on preservation-related matters. bostonpreservation.org
Preservation Massachusetts Founded in 1985, Preservation Massachusetts is the statewide non-profit organization that actively promotes the preservation of historic buildings and landscapes as a positive force for economic development and the retention of community character. Preservation Massachusetts leads the way for the Commonwealth through legislative initiatives, reaching out across the State, educating our partners, building partnerships, networking, and events. preservationmass.org
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Boston Landmarks Commission The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) is the municipal preservation agency for Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s historic buildings, places, and neighborhoods. BLC, along with the local Historic District Commissions, provides information and assistance concerning the regulatory process, historic preservation planning and protection, archaeology, sources for historical information, and technical assistance. The BLC is within the Environment Department in the City of Boston. boston.gov/departments/landmarks-commission Historic Boston, Inc. HBI is a non-profit preservation and real estate organization that rehabilitates historic and culturally significant properties in Bostonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s neighborhoods so they are a useable part of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s present and future. HBI works with local partners to identify and invest in historic buildings and cultural resources whose re-use will catalyze neighborhood renewal. HBI acquires and redevelops historic structures and provides technical expertise, planning services, and financing for rehabilitation projects. historicboston.org Boston Planning and Development Agency The BPDA is the planning and economic development agency for the City of Boston. The BPDA plays a far reaching role in shaping the city. The agency employs 200 professionals who serve the city in a variety of ways. The BPDA is charged with growing the tax base, cultivating the private jobs market, training the workforce, encouraging new business to locate in Boston and existing businesses to expand, planning the future of neighborhoods with the community, identifying height and density limits, charting the course for sustainable development and resilient building construction,
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advocating for multi modal transportation, responding to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s changing population, producing insightful research on our City, and ensuring Boston retains its distinctive character. bostonplans.org Historic New England Historic New England is a museum of cultural history that collects and preserves buildings, landscapes, and objects dating from the seventeenth century to the present. In so doing, the organization uses them to keep history alive and to help people develop a deeper understanding and enjoyment of New England life and appreciation for its preservation. Historic New England owns thirty-six historic sites that are open to the public. historicnewengland.org
Massachusetts Historical Commission MHC was established by the legislature in 1963 to identify, evaluate, and protect important historical and archaeological assets of the Commonwealth. The Commission consists of seventeen members appointed from various disciplines who serve as the State Review Board for state and federal preservation programs. The Commission is chaired by Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin. The professional staff includes historians, architects, archaeologists, geographers, and preservation planners. The stateâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s preservation programs are administered through MHCâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Preservation Planning, Grants, and Technical Services Divisions. The MHC is the office of the State Historic Preservation Officer, as well as the office of the State Archaeologist. sec.state.ma.us/mhc
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A Primer Preservation Regulations There are a variety of regulatory tools and government bodies that play important roles in managing the preservation of the city’s historic resources. It is not commonly known that in most cases, local regulation has the strongest regulatory power in preservation issues. While the National Parks Service and the Massachusetts Historical Commission can play a role, their authority is limited to specific instances that trigger their review, and often their review threshold is not met. It is local regulations granting authority to the Boston Landmarks Commission and local Historic Distric Commissions where the vast majority of regulatory protection of the city’s character lies. The Alliance works closely with the Boston Landmarks Commussion (BLC) and Local Historic Commissions (LHDs) and fequently with the Massachussetts Historical Commission (MHC) and the National Park Service (NPS) in our work. We are happy to try and help others navigate these organizations. However, each regulatory body is the source for information on their respective regulations. The following is a summary of some of their roles. Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) In 1975, state legislation (Chapter 772, M.G.L. 1975, as amended) created the Boston Landmarks Commission as Boston’s city-wide historic preservation agency. The many functions it performs include identifying and preserving historic properties, reviewing development and demolition activities proposed in the city, providing public information and assistance on historic preservation practices, and providing staff support to the Local Historic District Commissions. The BLC also administers the City’s Demolition Delay process, Article 85 of the Zoning Code. Landmark Designation The highest honor and greatest level of protection for historic resources in Boston is designation as a Boston Landmark. A designated Boston Landmark is a property, or a district comprised of multiple properties, with historic, social, cultural, architectural or aesthetic significance to the city and to the Commonwealth, the New England region, or the nation. Local significance alone does not meet the Landmark requirements. Landmarks are designated through a formal process and, once designated, proposed changes to Landmark properties, as specified by the guidelines written for each property upon designation, require Boston Landmarks Commission design review and approval. Most Boston Landmarks are created to require review of exterior features only. Landmark designation does not regulate use or occupancy.
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The designation procedure is initiated by the submission of a formal petition, which is followed by a preliminary hearing before the Commission, the preparation of a study report on the proposed Landmark, and a public hearing. To be designated, a property must receive a 2/3 majority vote from the Commission and be confirmed by the Mayor and by City Council. Any citizen of Boston can submit a Landmark petition, but it must be signed by a minimum of ten registered voters in Boston. A petition form with instructions can be downloaded from the website of the Boston Landmarks Commission (www.boston. gov/departments/landmarks-commission). Prospective petitioners should contact Boston Landmarks Commission staff for guidance before filing.The Alliance advises community groups or individuals who are preparing their own petitions and may submit its own petitions from time to time. Landmark District Boston has nine Local Historic Districts, each of which has its own commission to review proposed exterior design changes to properties located within the boundaries of the district. The Historic Beacon Hill District (1955) and the Back Bay Architectural District (1966) were designated by acts of the Massachusetts State Legislature. The remaining seven were designated by the Boston Landmarks Commission - Aberdeen Architectural Conservation District, Bay State Road/Back Bay Architectural Conservation District, Bay Village Historic District, Fort Point Channel Landmark District, Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District, South End Landmark District, and St. Botolph Architectural Conservation District. Each district is subject to its own standards and criteria for exterior preservation. In general, Architectural Conservation Districts have less stringent preservation guidelines than Landmark Districts. Staff of the Boston Preservation Alliance monitors the agenda of local district meetings, and will testify at local district commission hearings when we believe our expertise can be of value. Article 85 Demolition Delay Demolition delay regulations exist in many communities in Massachusetts as a way to create an opportunity to find alternatives to demolition of irreplaceable historic resources. Once a historic site is demolished it is gone forever, and communities like Boston recognized that without an opportunity for further consideration the character of neighborhoods was being rapidly lost with no recourse to seek a better solution. In 1995 Boston amended its zoning code to include the possibility of enacting a 90-day delay before demolition could occur. In Massachusetts, 150 cities and towns have demolition delay, the most common durations being six and twelve months.
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Article 85 provides a predictable process for reviewing requests to demolish buildings by: • Creating a structure for BLC staff and the public to be informed about proposed demolition • Establishing an opportunity to put in place a waiting period during which the City and the Applicant can propose and consider alternatives to the demolition of a building of historical, architectural, cultural, or urban design value to the community • Providing an opportunity for the public to comment on the issues regarding the demolition of a particular building • Discouraging the number and extent of building demolition where no immediate re-use of the site is planned Article 85 Demolition Delay Review pertains to applications involving the demolition of: • All buildings located in either the Downtown or Harborpark • All neighborhood buildings at least fifty years of age • All buildings located in a Neighborhood Design Overlay Districts
Proposed demolition of individually designated Boston Landmarks or buildings within a Local Historic District are reviewed by the BLC or appropriate District Commission. Article 85 does not apply to these properties as they are protected by a more stringent level of regulation. BLC staff assess if the demolition proposed meets the basic threshold for an Article 85 hearing. Staff of the Boston Preservation Alliance often testifies at these hearings. If Demolition Delay is invoked we work with developers and community residents to find alternatives to demolition, including adaptive re-use of older buildings or mitigation if demolition occurs.
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Architectural Survey Information In addition to its regulatory position, the Boston Landmarks Commission has a proactive role in the inventory and analysis of the historic resources of the city. The BLC holds historical information on thousands of buildings throughout the neighborhoods of Boston, and their survey library expands every year. Each survey documents the architecture of a particular neighborhood and many of the individual buildings within it. The BLC also keeps records for all of the Individual Landmarks and Historic Districts, including study reports, property files, and National Register information. The Boston Landmarks Commission’s guide to researching historic buildings in Boston, “How to Research a Historic Building in Boston,” is available for download on the “Resources” page of the BLC website. Most survey forms, providing valuable information on historic resources, are available online through MACRIS (Massachusetts Cultural Resource Information System (http://mhc-macris.net/), a searchable database provided by the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC). Data has been compiled from a variety of records and files maintained by MHC, including but not limited to, the Inventory of Historic and Archaeological Assets of the Commonwealth, National Register of Historic Places nominations, State Register of Historic Places listings, and local historic district study reports. The Boston Preservation Alliance maintains a searchable online database of projects with which we engage. On our website (www.bostonpreservation.org) is a resource for both current and past projects related to historic preservation and the built environment throughout the city. Updated daily as needed, project pages include information about the site and the project, the history of the building or resource and why the Alliance is advocating on its behalf, our position and letters we have submitted, an activity log of meetings and other engagement, photos of the site and renderings of the proposed project, and links to news articles and other additional information. Look here for specific projects you may be concerned about or to find projects in your neighborhood.
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My Neighborhood How do I get involved? There are many ways you can be involved in the processes that impact your neighborhood. The most important step is to be aware of the assets of your neighborhood and the character that makes it unique. Remember that the city is always changing, and that some changes bring vibrancy and life to areas of your community, but that a balance of old and new creates the most dynamic, successful places in Boston. Ways that you can make a difference in how your neighborhood changes:
Be Aware Pay attention to properties in your neighborhood. If a building adds character to the street or represents the history of your neighborhood, it might be worth preserving. If itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on a large lot, developers may be targeting the property for demolition and replacement with a larger redevelopment. Often, a larger building with multiple units can replace a single-family home without requiring zoning variances. When you become aware of a potential threat to an important building or site, take action. Reach Out Most neighoborhoods in Boston have a local neighborhood association, historical society, Main Street program, or other organization that advocates for your interests. Get in touch and let them know your concern. If youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not sure where to go, reach out to the Alliance. Speak Up Contact the owner of the property and let them know what the building or site means to your neighborhood. They may have great ideas of how to make the property better, so hear them out. Let them know the neigborhood is concerned. Tell Us Let the Alliance know if you hear of a threat to a historic property in your neighborhood. The sooner we know, the more effectively we can advocate. You are our eyes and ears!
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Know the Process If a property owner plans to demolish a building that is at least 50 years old, they will have to file with the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) before a demolition permit will be granted. BLC staff will determine if the building is historically significant and requires a hearing before the Commission as part of the Article 85 review process. If the owner plans to construct a larger building on the site, they may need to request a zoning variance with the Zoning Board of Appeals. Projects of a larger scale may also be subject to Article 80 review under the Boston Planning and Development Agency and design review by the Boston Civic Design Commission. The Alliance can help you nagivate these City reviews. Often, however, regulations can only delay demolition, not prevent it. Be Heard Contact your local representatives, including your neighborhood representative at the Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office of Neighborhood Services as well as your City Councilor. Let them know that the building or site is important to your neighborhood and should be preserved or rehabilitated. Attend the Zoning Board of Appeals hearing and speak against the requested variance, explaining why the change in zoning is not appropriate for your neighborhood. Encourage your neighbors to speak out as well. There are usualy several opportunities to attend public meetings for other City review boards and commissions. Join Us The Alliance prefers to meet with property owners and members of the community as early as possible to discuss proposed projects. Sometimes we do not oppose demolition and, instead, suggest design changes to the new building so that it is more appropriate for its historic context. In other situations we strongly encourage the owner to rehabilitate the existing building or sell to someone who is able to find a successful use without demolition. Attend BLC The last opportunity to slow the demolition of a building, without litigation, is the Demolition Delay hearing at the Boston Landmarks Commission. If invoked, the 90-day delay provides one last opportunity to have a dialogue with the owner about alternatives to demolition. When the demolition delay expires, the owner may then move forward with the project and the demolition if they so choose. For questions call: The Boston Preservation Alliance: 617-367-2458 The Boston Landmarks Commission: 617-635-3850 The Boston Planning and Development Agency: 617-722-4300
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Saving 50 Cedar by Curtis Perrin
In 2016 Roxbury learned of a developer’s intention to raze the historic African Orthodox Church at 50 Cedar Street and replace it with condos. It seemed we faced an uphill battle when the Highland Park Neighborhood Coalition decided to try to save this beloved building: it was in poor condition and we were fighting one of the most active real estate developers in the city. It quickly became apparent that we were not going to win our battle simply by pleading with the developers to do the right thing. When they filed to demolish the building we needed swift action. As a leader in the Coalition, I decided that the only course remaining to us was to get the building designated an official Boston Landmark. I started doing the research and as I did, a remarkable story began to reveal itself – a story that had been somewhat obscured by time and neglect. By understanding the building’s cultural significance, we have come to realize that not all historic landmarks are fancy or monumental. The African Orthodox Church is a modest structure (although designed by noted architect Edward T. P. Graham) and had been poorly maintained. To many casual observers, it seemed there wasn’t much there to preserve – and that is what developers assume across Roxbury as they seek to demolish older buildings and replace them with speculative investments. But that attitude is what our process serves to call into question: We cannot evaluate significance based simply on appearances, and in the rush to capitalize on a current building boom, many important parts of Boston’s history have been lost.
Once my research uncovered the building’s importance in immigrant and Civil Rights history, our argument for preservation became even more convincing. This building is important for the way it preserves a built record of two communities’ efforts to create something for themselves in America. The first of these groups were laboring-class immigrant Norwegians, who built it in 1910 not just as a spiritual home but as a place to help their newly-arrived countrymen assimilate to an unfamiliar world. The Norwegian church ran a settlement home and taught trades to newcomers. As a fully dedicated, surviving center for assimilation of this type, it is perhaps unique in the city. Similarly, when the African Orthodox Church purchased the building in 1955, it was a matter of building community for Carribean immigrants. Many of the original members mortgaged their own homes to fund this purchase. Through the church’s connection to the Civil Rights movement via Marcus Garvey, and through their efforts at African-American self-determination via projects to build housing in the neighborhood and organize the community themselves, they actively strived to extend what this building itself housed to the community at large. The current neighborhood feels responsibility as the inheritors of this mission to find respite from oppression, violence, and greed. This building is a symbol of community strength, and it serves as an inspiration for this type of work to continue. With these incredible stories, a petition with 2,700 signatures, and the support of many organizations such as the Alliance, the Boston Landmarks Commission unanimously voted in 2018 to make this an official Landmark. Historic Boston, Inc. purchased the property and is working with the neighborhood to find a new community-focused use. It is a victory for the preservation of local heritage, not just in Roxbury, but across the city as an example of valuing buildings that may not ‘look’ like Landmarks but that preserve similar stories waiting to be uncovered by efforts just like ours.
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Losing 9 Chelsea by Julia Burrell
On July 9, 2018 our beloved Maverick Square townhomes were torn down. In only a few minutes these 1870s brick structures became rubble and over a century of history was destroyed. The dull ache of this significant loss lingers on and the charm and character of our streetscape has been forever altered. The feeling is akin to the passing of a dear friend. It’s an emptiness and a genuine sadness for what is gone and can never be replaced. That’s the thing about beautiful, old buildings…once they are gone, they are gone for good. On that day, East Boston was robbed of something impossible to reproduce -- the sense of place these handsome buildings once provided to our main square. As East Boston continues to mourn this historical loss, we remember who lived there & what their lives were like. For over 100 years, these buildings were home to many in our community-- inventors, laborers, machinists, railway operators, and seamstresses. These folks were the fabric of East Boston and created the foundation of our economic history and growth. In some ways I can’t help but feel as if we have failed them. These buildings were not technically Landmarks. Paul Revere never slept there. However, they did intrinsically add value with their unique aesthetic and architecturally significant period details. That should be worth something --- something worth saving. Within the context of what is left, these buildings were exceptional relics of our past.
However, the loss of 144-146 Maverick Street was not in vain. For over a yearand-a-half, our community group brought attention to the importance of historic preservation in East Boston. We also discovered that the historic preservation process in Boston needs help. With support from the Alliance, we made hopeful progress toward a positive outcome. The Boston Preservation Alliance had incredible value as a resource to our neighborhood and helped us understand and navigate the process, advocated for the preservation of these buildings on our behalf, and even tried to meet with the developer in hopes they would cooperate. We did everything possible short of a lawsuit, including a hand-delivered petition with over 1,600 resident signatures to the Mayorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Office. Hundreds of e-mails to elected officials from neighbors, countless phone calls, numerous community meetings, repeated media coverage, and even a pending application for Landmark status wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t enough. Saddest of all, there was no genuine attempt made by the developer to somehow incorporate the existing structures into their design. Instead, they tore them down. This site now resembles a battlefield of brick. We walk past a gaping hole in Maverick Square wondering what the future of this busy street corner will look like. Will our children look upon the new buildings and feel a connection to the past? Will the new structures be something that future generations will feel inspired by, find beauty in, and fight to preserve? One can only hope. However, it is evident that our ardent efforts to protect what is left in East Boston must carry on. These historically significant buildings cannot speak for themselves, so we must push forward on their behalf. We hope this loss will impact attitudes toward future development and preservation in East Boston. This loss makes it painfully clear that the preservation process in Boston needs improvement and that historic structures, not just Landmarks, add value to a community.
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Celebrating the achievements of the
BOSTON PRESERVATION ALLIANCE
Preservation Technology Associates, LLC www.preservationtechnology.net
Lee L. and Judith E. Selwyn Foundation
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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE 2019 PRESERVATION ACHIEVEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS! FANNIN-LEHNER PRESERVATION CONSULTANTS
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141 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 617-367-2458 bostonpreservation.org