BHAC approves antenna; cell reception should improve on Hill

October 26, 2010
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Cell phone reception should become stronger now that the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission voted at their monthly meeting on Thursday to allow an antenna on the roof at the Union Boat Club.

The antenna will be placed on the roof of the boat club where it can receive signals but not be seen, thus bringing finally to an end a seemingly endless debate.

The proposal for an appropriate location for the antenna had always been problematic.

One suggestion that was denied was to place the antenna under a plastic façade that gave the appearance of copper sheathing.

The issue with that proposal was that the plastic would not oxidize and that the remainder of the head house would – giving the greater part of the head house a greenish look while the plastic would take on the appearance of a patch.

Another proposal that was considered but later denied would have added another window to the head house with the antenna placed behind it.

In other matters, the commissioners seemed to say that if you wait long enough bad repairs have to be fixed.

This seemed to be the outcome of several items before the commissioners.

The owner of 50 Mt. Vernon Street sought to demolish the existing chimney and rebuild it with existing bricks as well as repair and repaint the roof rail system.

“This chimney has been mucked around with a lot already,” Joel Pierce, BHAC Chairman said. The Commissioners voted to approve the request noting that the new repairs would be much better.

Another request was the replacement of a light fixture at 87 Pinckney Street.

While the present light fixture was put in during the mid 1980’s, the commission approved a new lighting fixture that would be bigger but would not be very bright.

The owner of 9 Park Street received permission to replace a bad 1950’s outside door with a period door with wood panels, low glass and suitable hardware.

However, he must submit a new application if he wants to fix the columns covered with 13 coats of paint. The commissioners wanted to see more drawings of the proposed work to the columns.

The owner of 29 Grove Street will resubmit his application for work to replace the door and the façade.

“The door is pathetic,” Commissioner John Cunningham said. He also noted that the two windows above the door are from the 1950’s and need to be changed. The owner wanted to put in a 25 light transom window with one inch muntins but the commissioners felt that the building is from the Victorian era and the doorway needs to be kept in that character. The application was denied without prejudice.

Virgil Aiello of DeLuca’s sought to have a second basement window opened that had been bricked up.

“There is no problem in opening it,” said Cunningham. But he wanted to see the entire plan for the proposed new front of the building that includes the ell on Branch Street. Presently, there is a violation outstanding for removal of a chimney on the ell.

Aiello noted that the need for the chimney no longer exists and that he is going before the Board of Zoning to have an amended use for the entire rear building.

The commissioners noted that it could take up to six months to complete the zoning procedure.

The application was denied without prejudice and a new application for the entire front façade with the new doorways as well as the proposed basement window opening should be submitted before November 3.

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