BHAC Votes To Ratify Unapproved Removal of Penthouse at 30 Chestnut St.

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission determined by a majority vote to ratify and approve as submitted the unapproved removal of a non-historic fifth-story penthouse at 30 Chestnut St.

The motion, which was approved by a vote of 4-2, with no abstentions, was put forward by Commissioner Mark Kiefer and came with the proviso that the built structure be in full compliance with the drawings submitted by the applicant to staff.

David Freed, studio director for the Quincy architectural firm Arthur Choo & Associates, said the commission had determined in May of last year that the sidewall extension for the penthouse and the roofdeck were exempt from BHAC review because they weren’t visible from a public street.

Freed also said the internal framing of the penthouse, which isn’t visible from a public way, needed to be replaced because it wouldn’t support the new exterior approved by the commission.

The city’s Inspectional Services Department approved a building permit based on reduced Floor Area Ration (FAR) in April of this year, said Thomas Curran, the applicant’s attorney,  while a request to add additional 70 square-foot room in the penthouse was denied by the Zoning Board  of Appeal.

In another matter, the commission unanimously approved an application for nine ground-floor signage elements and a new awning for the Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro at 25 Charles St., which is currently undergoing an extensive renovation.

Brett Bentson, the project architect, said the application includes adding vinyl window graphics to several windows along Charles Street for the restaurant, which has yet to be named, but is expected to open in July.

At Commissioner Kiefer’s request, the applicant agreed to install of one restaurant window detail meant to partially obscure the view of diners from the street. This would then be delegated to a subcommittee comprising Commissioner Kiefer and Ed Fleck, as well as the newest addition to the commission, Ralph Jackson. The subcommittee will review the mockup and give its recommendation to the full commission, which would then vote on the matter.

The commission also approved by a vote of 5-1 a motion by Commissioner Alice Richmond to accept an application for 11 Anderson St. to replace existing glass in windows with insulted glass at the front façade, and to replace the basement level windows with like replacements, as well as to install the metal security gates and repair basement the door.

This determination came with proviso that updated shop drawings showing window restoration in compliance with BHAC guidelines be submitted to staff;  that the basement also use true divided- light windows (as long as the applicant put covers over them for security purposes; and that the basement door be restored rather than replaced.

The commission also unanimously approved as submitted an application for 19 Myrtle St. to remove and replace six existing cell antennas as part of work on the rooftop penthouse, which, according to the applicant, would be the same size or smaller than the existing antennas.

Likewise, the commission unanimously approved as submitted an application to install  three new steel planters at the ground level of 7 Mount Vernon Place; this determination came with provisos that no planters be attached or affixed to the building; that no penetrations be made to the masonry for irrigation purposes; and that the irrigation system, which will be reviewed by staff, isn’t visible from a public way.

The commission again unanimously approved as submitted an application for 94 Beacon St. to replace the front basement vinyl/aluminum windows with wood in-swing French casement (black) windows; to increase the size of the existing window well with new granite curbing; to replace the existing garage door on Beaver Place; and to increase the door width from 8 to 9 feet.

Moreover, the commission unanimously approved as submitted for 11 Louisburg Square to install a side-vent terminal on the chimney to accommodate an internal gas fireplace, which, according to the applicant, can’t vent through the existing chimney flue.

Two applications – one for new signage at the Charles Street Meeting House at 70 Charles St., the other for a new roofdeck at 81 Phillips St. –  appeared on the hearing agenda, but ultimately wasn’t heard by the commission due to the respective applicants failure to appear.

Besides Commissioners Jackson, Kiefer, and Richmond, also present were Commissioners Ed Fleck and Annette Given, as well as Commission Chair Arian Allen.

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