By Suzanne Besser, Past-President
Year after year, the Beacon Hill Civic Association turns to the community, asking contributions to its Annual Appeal.
So, why support our nonprofit organization?
Take a look outside and you’ll find the answer. Since 1922, the BHCA has been affirming the integrity of Beacon Hill and ensuring its future as a livable and attractive residential community. We’d like to keep doing it.
We strive to build community, engage residents civically and preserve the historic fabric in this very special and unique neighborhood that we all call home.
We were formed after community leaders in the early 1920s successfully resisted the city’s intent to remove the bricks from our sidewalks and repave them instead with paving blocks. In every generation since, neighborhood leaders have stepped forth to assure the neighborhood’s livability.
To reduce traffic brought by the advent of the automobile in the early ‘30s, we advocated for the redesign and widening of Charles streets. Our Traffic Committee turned our roadways into one-way streets, and set up parking restrictions and traffic lights to lessen the congestion. Nowadays our Traffic and Parking Committee is looking toward the future and learning how to cope with changes in transportation brought about by an increase in biking, ride sharing and Waze applications.
Over the years we passionately saved buildings like the former Boston University School of Theology from the wrecking ball, fought for low income housing at the Beacon House, Peter Faneuil School and 250 Cambridge St., contributed to Boston’s first zoning laws, fended off the tide of urban renewal that demolished the West End, and initiated a process that eventually turned all of Beacon Hill into a historic district so that it would always be an example of early twentieth century life. Most recently we saved the architectural details of Suffolk’s former Donahue Building, one of the few mid-century buildings remaining in our neighborhood.
We’ve brought neighbors together at clean up days, cooked hot dogs at the BHCA Fall HillFest, dressed up for the annual Winter Gala and had fun together. We still assemble every year to decorate our lamp posts with garlands and ribbons, celebrate autumn at the Neighborhood Block Party, give talks about historic preservation and civic engagement. This year we will be celebrating our 48th Beacon Hill Gala with friends and neighbors.
This year we worked with several developers to add more housing for families on Beacon Hill in repurposed properties and weighed in on applications for zoning relief and architectural changes.
We’ve always cared about keeping our neighborhood beautiful and safe. We worked to keep our streets clean and passable, our parks green, our trees healthy and our flower boxes brimming.
We’d like to continue our efforts to keep Beacon Hill a place we and our children want to live in and that’s why we need your support.
Together, let’s honor the past and look to the future. Thank you for your past support and, if you have not already done so, please give to our Annual Appeal.
If you haven’t yet become a member of the BHCA, we invite you to join. Your input in quality of life issues on the Hill is important to us, and we rely on you our neighbors to bring your comments and concerns to our attention. By joining our membership, you strengthen our numbers and add credibility to our purpose as advocates for Beacon Hill. Please call our office at 617-227-1922 or email the BHCA Executive Director at [email protected] with any questions, comments or concerns, or to become a member.
Upcoming BHCA Meetings
Board of Directors, Monday, January 13th, 7pm, 74 Joy Street
Upcoming BHCA Events
Undecorating Days – Saturday and Sunday, January 11th and 12th
First Friday Coffee Hour – Friday, February 7th, 8-9am, BHCA, 74 Joy Street
48th Annual Beacon Hill Gala – Saturday, February 8th, Four Seasons Hotel Boston
Visit the Beacon Hill Civic Association website www.bhcivic.org or call the office (617-227-1922) for more information on any of these events.