BHAC Denies Front Design at 124 Chestnut St.

July 30, 2013
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Demolition is currently underway on the historic three-story building at 124 Chestnut St.

Demolition is currently underway on the historic three-story building at 124 Chestnut St.

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission denied the front-elevation design for a single-family house at 124 Chestnut St. without prejudice at its July 18 hearing, “with direction that the degree of replication be determined for design of the new building,” according to William Young, the city’s assistant director for historic districts.

“The Commission directed only a replicative approach would be appropriate here, but the question is how replicative that approach will be,” William Young said. “The property owner would likely have some latitude to correct the proportions of openings and to ensure that the brick used is of a proportionate color and scale.”

The Architectural Commission previously approved removing the building’s façade at its May 16 hearing, and two weeks later, the city issued a permit for the building’s demolition and reconstruction. The Inspectional Services Department (ISD) also issued a violation notice for the property on March 28, citing “significant movement as it related to wood framing and associated connections” and recommending the building’s removal or razing.

Dean Stratouly, co-founder and president of Boston real-estate firm The Congress Group, purchased the historic home with his wife in February. He said he originally intended to restore the existing building, which was constructed as a three-story stable in the late 1800s and converted to a single-family home around the 1920s, before discovering “visible signs of foundation failure” and other structural deficiencies. He has retained Boston-based Hacin and Associates as the project architect.

With demolition of the existing building now underway, William Young said he anticipates that Stratouly would return to the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission in August or September to presents alternative design plans for the new façade.

“Our staff is always happy to work with applicants to fine-tune their proposals, and to discuss what the process is and what our guidelines are,” William Young said.

Steve Young (no relation to William), chairman of the Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA), commended the Architectural Commission’s most recent decision on the matter.

“The result was the right one, and as part of the resolution of that particular meeting, it was suggested to the architect and developer that they meet with the Civic Association and bring the community together to discuss the project,” Steve Young said. “Under the auspices of the (BHCA) Architectural Commission, we look forward to working with them.”

Steve Young added, “A lot of people in the neighborhood are very concerned about the property and how it’s going to end up looking. They want to have some input with the developer and architect on the end-product.”

Stratouly couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

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