BHAC Votes to Continue on Application to Repair Park Street Church Fire Escape

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission voted to continue an application to make repairs to a fire escape at the Park Street Church during a virtual meeting on June 18.

The applicant intends to make repairs on the rear façade of 2 Park St. that exits from the first through fourth levels while a second means of egress exits the property through a swing gate areaway retaining wall bordering the Granary Burying Ground.

Repairs would take place behind the fence area and include replacing angled brackets with a vertical tall support of the fire escape.

“The proposal would make the situation worse than it is now if this was the only way to repair it,” said Miguel Rosales, commission chair. “This is a place that is visited by thousands of tourists each year, and I think we should do better. We encourage you to find a different solution.”

The commission approved as submitted an application for the Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St. that entails repairing and restoring the wood and metal elements of the façade in kind, including the existing windows.

Pastor Sarah Gerrard said the church had received a $400,000 grant for the project, and that the paint scheme has been approved by Historic New England.

The commission also approved an application for 112 Charles St. with some provisos.

Proposed work includes repairing and restoring shutters in kind at the front façade; replacing the door handle and the intercom system; repainting the front steps, the door and surrounds; installing metal grills at the front garden-level windows; recladding the headhouse; replacing non-historic one-over-one windows on the first, third and fourth levels; and rebuilding the roof deck in kind.

Provisos for the approval of this application are that the front façade window configuration, including the garden-level windows, be researched further and replicated; that an existing satellite dish be removed; and that window details and “cut sheets’ be submitted to staff for approval.

In another matter, the commission reviewed an application for 2 Beaver St., with proposed work including cutting into the brick privacy wall to install a new entry door and light fixture at the Beaver Street façade; un-bricking the archway, removing an existing metal gate from the adjacent archway and installing two simulated carriage doors with transoms on Beaver Street; and replacing two existing windows, un-bricking an adjacent window with metal security grates; and installing a new hood exhaust system on the roof elevation at Beaver Place.

This application was approved as submitted with the provisos that grates and storm windows be removed from three new proposed side windows and be converted into true divided-light windows; that the garden entry-door be painted black with frames that match the proposed simulated garage doors; that the proposed hood exhaust be modified for better compatibility with the historic context; and that detailed drawings be submitted to staff that show the project in its entirety.

The commission also approved an application to install an HVAC system on an existing deck located at the rear ell of 9 Temple St. with the proviso that staff visit the site to confirm that the mockup adequately reflects its potential visibility, and that staff advise on screening for the HVAC unit.

he commission also extended the certificate of appropriateness for a previously approved application for extensive repairs at 14 Beacon Street.  

Meanwhile, the commission didn’t review an application for 112 Mt. Vernon St to replace four six-over-six windows in kind on the second and fourth levels at the front façade, and to replace four six-over-six windows, because the applicant wasn’t present.

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