BHCA Community Corner

The Beacon Hill Civic Association invites all neighbors to come in from the cold and enjoy spending an elegant evening together at the 45th annual Beacon Hill Gala, to be held at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston on Saturday, February 4. The black tie event begins with cocktails at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner at 7:30 pm, and dancing and dessert at 9:00 pm. Guests choosing to enjoy dancing and dessert only are invited to join the others   at 9:00 pm for the Gala After Hours.

Chestnut Street residents Deb Hanley and Frank McGuire are the honorary chairpersons of the popular event, which supports the BHCA’s mission to preserve the historic and residential character of Beacon Hill. The Gala Committee is chaired this year by Beverly and Tristram Dammin, and Keeta and Michael Gilmore.

Serving on the Committee are Leslie and Alastair Adam, Meghan and Brian Awe, Hope Baker, Suzanne and John Besser, Cynthia Cadwalader, Meredith and Gene Clapp, Cecily and Ben Colburn, Karen and Josef Fischer, Sandra and George Gilpatrick, Barbara and Amos Hostetter, Kimberlea and Stephen Jeffries, Mark Kiefer, Sandra and Holt Massey, Susan McWhinney-Morse and David Morse, Maureen and James Mellowes, Biddy and Bob Owens, Sara Reineman and Ronn Bronzetti, Lynne and Mark Rickabaugh, Ali Ringenburg, Deborah and Ben Starr, Sandra Steele and Paul Greenfield, and Jean and Colin Zick.

Tickets to the Gala are $400 per person and $125 per person for those attending the Gala After Hours only. Tickets are also given to those donating to the BHCA’s Annual Appeal at different levels. Contact the BHCA at 617-227-1922 or for more information and reservations.



There is still time to donate to the BHCA Annual Appeal, which provides vital funding for the BHCA’s ongoing operations. For 94 years, the BHCA has worked to enhance the quality of life for our residents through community building, civic engagement and historic preservation. “Serving as a voice of the community, we promote constructive dialog on key issues, interact with elected officials, act as a clearinghouse for neighborhood concerns and help neighbors make connections and build friendships,” said Board Chairman Mark Kiefer. “And we continue to work steadfastly on behalf of the neighborhood to protect our precious architectural and cultural resources.”

Supporting the Annual Appeal will help BHCA further its mission in the coming year. Contributions of $400 or more include tickets to the Beacon Hill Gala on February 4, 2017. Donations can be made on its website at, by sending a check to the office at 74 Joy Street, or by calling 617-227-1922.



The Beacon Hill Civic Association has continued to engage in the public process regarding the proposed Winthrop Square Garage project.  The City has struck a $153 million deal to sell the defunct property to Millennium Partners, who propose to build a 750-foot mixed-use tower on the site. The City has promised to use a portion of the proceeds for improvements to Boston Common, but the proposed building would cast shadows on the Common and Public Garden in violation of the Public Commons Shadow Act passed by the Legislature in 1990.

BHCA has asked the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office (MEPA) and the Massachusetts Historical Commission (MHC) to include shadow impacts in their respective reviews of the project, and that they evaluate a shadow law-compliant alternative to the proposed design.  We will also submit comments as part of the Boston Planning and Development Agency process, which are due on January 16.  For more information, contact the BHCA office at 617-227-1922 or [email protected].



The Bohemians of the 1920s

After World War I our country became populated with poets, writers, artists and actors, many of whom were young soldiers returning home disillusioned about the world at large and here, where they bemoaned the disparity between the wealthy and poor. In Boston, this ‘lost generation’ congregated on the North Slope which suddenly “evolved into a raucous and boozy being.” Joy Street became the center of this free-spirited group.

In 1922, a small experimental theater, the Barn Theater, opened in a converted stable at 36 Joy Street. Around it sprung up a number of “tearooms” that, in many cases, served a lot more than tea. Green Shutters opened on Cedar Lane Way, the March Hare on Myrtle Street and Saracen’s on Joy Street above the Barn.

Some Beacon Hill residents were fascinated watching the colony and experimented with the tea rooms, while others worried about the neighborhood’s image. But by the end of the 1920s, the colony had run its course – either the Bohemians matured or were lost forever.
[Source: The Life & Times of a Neighborhood]



Beacon Hill Civic Association committees and special events comprise volunteers
working together from all over the neighborhood to assure a good quality of life here. All residents are welcome to jump aboard. Visit and/or call the office (617-227-1922) for more information on how to get involved.

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