Court Rules Against Outdoor Signage at Red Hat Bldg

By Dan Murphy

Outdoor signage on the Red Hat building at 9 Bowdoin St. facing Cambridge Street.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Appeals Court has issued a summary decision that further permanently prohibits outdoor signage on the Red Hat building at 9 Bowdoin St.

The defendants, Hat 9 Bowdoin Realty, LLC (Hat 9) and Framingham-based Sponsor Co., LLC, had appealed a 2015 ruling by Suffolk Superior Court allowing a motion for summary judgment filed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) on behalf of its Office of Outdoor Advertising (OOA).  MassDOT filed the lawsuit in response to two billboards, owned and operated by Sponsor Co., that have been attached to the outside of the building facing Cambridge Street since 2011. According to the motion, OOA never issued permits for either billboard, and has made several written demands for their removal.

Upon learning of the Jan. 9 Appeals Court decision, MassDOT Communications Director Jacquelyn Goddard said, “We are pleased with the decision by the Court of Appeals, and will continue to take steps when appropriate to enforce the laws regarding outdoor advertising in the Commonwealth.”

Beacon Hill Civic Association board member Rachel Thurlow said, “We look forward to the illegal signs finally coming down. They’ve been a horrible blight on the neighborhood”.

Neither Michael Schifino, the building’s owner, nor Damien Jacob, owner of Sponsor Co., could be reached for comment.

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