BHAC Approves Application to Replace Doors at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro

During its March 17 monthly meeting, which took place virtually, the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission voted unanimously to approve an application for Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro to replace one existing door, and to repaint and replace the hardware of three additional doors, as part of its ongoing renovations.

Brett Bentson, the architect representing the applicant, said the panel door on Branch Street would be replaced in the same style and color as the existing one while its hardware would be replaced and a new card reader installed.

The main-entrance door on Charles Street installed in 2000 is still in “good shape” and would therefore remain in place, said Bentson. In addition to repainting the door and replacing its hardware, a new deadbolt would be installed, along with a new card reader on the stucco column to the right of the door, he added.

The two doors on Chestnut Street would be repainted and their hardware replaced, said Bentson, but he added that they haven’t been used much in the past “so we don’t want to encourage their use.”

Nick Armata, BHAC staff, advised the applicant that a vertical pole proposed near the Branch Street door was “inappropriate” for the district.

The application’s approval came with several provisos, including that the proposed bars on the Charles Street door, along with the placement of a “handicap knob” and door hardware be remanded to staff for approval.

Bentson told the commission he would be returning to them in the near future to discuss the business’s signage.

In another matter, the commission voted unanimously to ratify unapproved storefront changes for Vineyard Vines at 39 Charles St., with proviso that all composed materials be removed and replaced with wood to match the façade next door at 37 Charles St., and that the paint color be returned to its original brown.

Moreover, the commission also unanimously approved an application for new signage comprising a band sign and a blade sign for Vineyard Vines. This determination came with several provisos, including that the band sign be similar in dimension to sign next door at Anton’s Cleaners at 37 Charles St., and that details for that sign be remanded to staff for approval.

The commission voted unanimously to deny without prejudice an application for St. John the Evangelist Mission Church at 35 Bowdoin St. to use synthetic slate for its roof replacement, instead of the previously approved real slate roof. This determination will allow the applicant to return to the commission with plans for a “hybrid roof,” using real slate in areas that are visible from a public way and therefore under the commission’s purview, as well as synthetic slate elsewhere on the roof.

Likewise, the commission voted unanimously to deny without prejudice an application from ExteNet Systems Inc., a national telecommunications company, to install new apparatus on a light pole at 24 Beacon St. (Keenan Brinn, a contractor representing the applicant, said despite the Beacon Street address, the pole is in fact located on Bowdoin Street.)

The work would entail converting a single-corn light pole into a double-acorn pole, with a whip antenna extending 4-5 inches long in the middle, said Brinn, and the installation of an equipment box measuring approximately  38-by11-by-9 inches, which could be placed either in the middle of the pole or at its base.

As part of its denial of this application, the commission asked the applicant to instead look for a light pole that could accommodate the apparatus located outside the historic district.

On an application for a new roofdeck at 60 Temple St., the commission voted 3-1 to approve it as submitted, with the proviso that the deck be set back 1 foot from what was proposed per staff recommendations.

Commissioner Arian Allen served as chair for the meeting, except on the application for the telecommunications device on the light pole at 24 Beacon St. On the matter of 60 Temple St., Allen recused herself, as she is an abutter, while Commissioner Alice Richmond served as chair for only that application .

Armata of the BHAC said past chair, Martha McNamara, had stepped down from the commission and thanked her for her service.

Other commissioners on hand for the meeting were Annette Given and Wen Wen.

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