BHAC Approves Signage for Charles Street Shop

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission unanimously approved an application for signage for a hummus shop proposed for Charles Street during the commission’s monthly hearing held virtually on Thursday, Feb. 15. Colin Daly, the applicant and founder of Just Hummus, said his business, The Hummus Shop, which operates a foodtruck, is now poised to open its first brick-and-mortar location at 37A Charles St. in the retail space above Anton’s Cleaners at 37 A Charles St. Per The Hummus Shop’s rental agreement, the business would be splitting half the width of the existing board sign on the building’s façade with the drycleaners.

The proposed future home of The Hummus Shop at 37A Charles St.

The sign was initially proposed to have black lettering on a blue background, with an illustration of a golden chickpea in place of the letter ‘o’ in “Shop” in its business logo, said Daly. The applicant also proposed the installation of a hanging sign, using the same proposed blue-and-black color scheme but with the company name instead inside an illustration of a chickpea. The motion on this application, which was made by Commissioner Alice Richmond and also reflected the recommendations  made by staff (Nicholas Armata), approved the application as submitted, with the provisos that the board sign instead use a black-and-gold color scheme to match the colors on the drycleaners’ existing signage there (the proposed blue-and-black color scheme was deemed acceptable for the proposed hanging sign, however); that all signage be made of wood, rather than the submitted HDU (High Density Urethane) material; and that for the blade sign, the existing bracket be used, and that new hardware be painted to match the existing bracket. The commission also voted unanimously to approve an application for 33 Bowdoin St., with proposed work including installing  a new walkway made of granite pavers to reach the door threshold at the side entrance; this determination came with proviso that the pavers be made of brick, rather than of the proposed granite; that granite ‘frame the full outer perimeter with brick inserts’; and that the proposed work be approved by staff. In another matter, the commission voted unanimously to approve an application to relocate the lower exterior stair to create more room at the entry of 20 Louisburg Square; this came with provisos that the stair be aligned to match the ‘final riser’ (as opposed to aligning with the conditions next door at 18 Louisburg Square, as the applicant had initially proposed); and that the work be remanded to staff for final approval. The commission also approved as submitted an application for 43A Joy St. to install a small vent cover on existing soffit as part of the installation of first-floor powder room. Likewise, the commission voted unanimously to approve an application for 68 Beacon St. to replace an existing window with a grill to ventilate the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry facilities as part of an ongoing sixth-floor renovation; this determination came with a proviso mandating that the louvre be rendered to mimic the existing one on the eighth floor of the building’s Charles Street façade. On an application for 36 Beacon St., which included the proposed replacement of the missing glass lights (‘prisms’)  in a coal-chute cover on the ground with a polycarbonate option, the commission voted unanimously to continue the application for further study and asked that the applicant provide samples of proposed materials when they return. An application for 83 Mount Vernon St., with proposed work including repainting the front door and surround, also appeared on hearing agenda, but the matter ultimately wasn’t heard due to the applicant’s failure to appear. During an advisory hearing, the commission heard preliminary plans for a roofdeck at the Union Club of Boston, located  at 8 Park St., as well as associated renovations, including a small extension to the stairs in the headhouse, as well as the creation of a second egress. For the proposed roofdeck, would be used to accommodate events at the club, the railing would stand 54 inches above the existing roof membrane, said Tim Burke, the project architect. A mockup had been installed at the project site (which was temporarily taken down during the nor’easter), he said. The project would require a zoning variance, added Burke, and if the city’s Zoning Board of Appeal was receptive to the proposal, the applicant would work to make the roofdeck minimally visible from the Common. Commissioner Maurice Finegold said he had visited the site, and that the mockup was highly visible from the Boston Common. “I just think you need to pull it back is my point of view,” he said, since the applicant had expressed “flexibility” in regard to the length of the roofdeck. Staff (Armata) advised the applicant that if the roofdeck were moved back to sit between two existing chimneys, the proposal would likely be “a little more digestible.” (Commissioner Ed Fleck recused himself from this matter.) On hand for the hearing were Vice Chair Arian Allen and Commissioners Finegold, Fleck, Richmond,  Annette Given, Ralph Jackson, and Sandy Steele. Chair Mark Kiefer and Commissioner Curtis Kenemy were both absent at this time.

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