BHAC Denies Application To Equip Charles Street Streetlights with Cell Nodes

November 26, 2018
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The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission shot down a proposal to replace three Charles Street streetlights with new ones equipped with cell-phone nodes during its Nov. 15 hearing at City Hall.

The commission denied three separate applications submitted by Joseph Shannon of Crown Castle, a Hingham-based provider of wireless infrastructure, to remove existing, single-arorn streetlights and replace them with new, double-acorn streetlights equipped with large, box-shaped antennas at their bases at Charles and Revere streets; Charles and Pinckney streets; and Charles and Mt. Vernon streets, respectively.

Shannon said his company has an agreement with the city’s Department of Innovation and Technology to install the new streetlights, and, to date, has deployed 700 of them around Greater Boston, including 400 citywide.

Kenneth Taylor, committee chair pointed, to many problems he perceived with the proposed design, including the new streetlights’ color, brightness and height, which would hover over Charles Street’s existing gaslights. “They ought to work well within the context of the gaslights,” Taylor said.

The commission denied without prejudice another application to install two antenna enclosures for Verizon on the rooftop of 37-41 Bowdoin St., since the new structures as proposed would be visible from a public way.

In a matter continued from the July 19, Aug. 16 and Oct. 18 hearings, the commission approved an application for 36 Joy St. to replace the existing cedar stockade fencing along Mugar Way with a new cedar fence that would measure 93-feet, 6-inches long and consist of connected panels of treated lattice fencing for an ivy wall. This approval came with the proviso that the new fence feature a “19th-century design.”

The commission also approved another application to replace an existing wooden fence with a 6-foot, cedar fence and gate at 12 Otis Place, with the stipulation that the applicant submit a “measured drawing showing the proposed gate.”

In another matter, the commission approved an application submitted by John Corey, the manger of the LLC for the project, to remove the lower security grate at 20 Pinckney St.

The commission also approved an application from architect Monika Zofia Pauli to install new, first-story storm windows at 20 Chestnut St. in a matter that was continued from Oct. 18.

Moreover, the commission approved an application for renovation to a single-story home at 86 Chestnut St. that was once home to a first-floor storefront, with the proviso that an existing fanlight at the entryway be preserved.

In a matter continued from Oct. 18, the commission again voted to continue an application for 71 Chestnut St. until the applicant could provide what Taylor described an “accurate” and “specific” proposal.

The scope of the proposed work includes re-pointing masonry at the front façade; replacing all sills and lintels with cast stone; removing existing iron grate over the door and iron gate at the door alcove; cleaning rust off the existing steel beam and re-painting it; replacing existing wood panels in transom over double-doors with new glass panes; repairing all doors; replacing deteriorated sections of wood trim in-kind; and replacing first-story 16-light wood window in-kind; and re-painting all exterior wood elements using a new color scheme.

Meanwhile, the commission partially approved an application submitted by John Day, an associate at Cambridge-based LDa Architecture and Interiors, for proposed renovations to a single-family residence at 22 West Cedar St.

The scope of the proposed work includes removing metal cladding at the bay window and parapet and installing copper cladding to match the existing cladding at the rear elevation; removing faux-cement fiber black slate at second-story bay and upper Mansard roof and installing black slate; installing roofdeck on top of the existing rear two-story addition; and replacing non-historic “six-over-six wood window with eight-light wood door.”

On this matter, the commission approved the replacement of the copper-cladding, but requested that redesigns of the roofedck and new door.

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