Charles Street Committee working to improve streetscape

Following its inaugural meeting in October, the Joint Charles Street Committee is already making noticeable strides in improving the streetscape.

The committee, co-chaired by Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) board member John Corey and Beacon Hill Business Association (BHBA) President Susan Symonds, contacted Bank of America Charles Street Branch Manager Eric Laumeister  and informed him of the unsightly condition of the ATM at that location.

“Bank of America was very responsive and promptly cleaned up our neighborhood ATM with new carpeting, new baseboard and fresh paint,” Corey said.

Corey said the committee has begun working with the city, residents and storeowners to design guidelines for the street (i.e. brick sidewalk specifications, tree guards, tree pit standardization, signage, etc.).

The committee has also met with the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary to discuss the opportunity for a “gateway” building on the John Jefferies parking lot, as well as opportunities to revitalize retail locations at the Charles Street Garage.

Regarding Meeting House Square – a proposed public meeting place at Charles and Mount Vernon streets across from the Charles Street Meeting House – Corey said the committee had received a price estimate, and the plan has garnered the support of City Council President Mike Ross, who hopes to allocate funding for the project in the next year.

“I feel that this enhancement would help jump start the Charles Street initiative and help give folks a ‘can do’ attitude,” Corey said.

At its next meeting in January, Corey said the committee would focus on storefront lighting and bring in a consultant through the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) to discuss the issue, as well as present preliminary drafts of its “design guidelines” for Charles Street.

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