The Bay Village Historic Landmark District Commission (BVHLDC) had a very light agenda on June 11, consisting of a proposal to replace an existing city-owned light pole between Arlington St. and Fayette St. with a six-sided metal pole painted to match the concrete color of the existing pole. The pole will have a metal base with a small antenna system at the top. The project was unanimously approved by the Commission.
Michael Giaimo of Robinson + Cole law firm represented Verizon Wireless, who was seeking the new antenna system, at the hearing. He said this proposal was part of a program in Boston to replace city-owned light poles with ones that could support these antennae, as it is becoming more and more imperative to keep up with the demand for cell service in the city.
Though this location is on the outskirts of the landmarks district, it was still technically within it and had to be heard by the Commission. Giaimo said that they typically “try to avoid historic districts, but it’s not always possible.” He said they looked into putting it outside the district but there wasn’t another place to put it where it would serve the same purpose.
The light pole will be a replica of what is already there with an extension on the top to house the antennas. The light fixture has to remain the same when it is replaced, said Joe Cornish, Director of Design Review for the Boston Landmarks Commission. He said it could not be replaced with something else, such as an acorn light.
The BVHLDC had little discussion on the topic, and voted to approve the proposal as presented, because the location of the pole is “at the edge of the district” and will not drastically alter anything visually or historically.