BHAC Approves Application for Suffolk University’s Awnings

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission approved Suffolk University’s application to install new awnings at 22 Beacon St. at its monthly hearing that took place virtually on Thursday, Dec. 17. John Nucci, Suffolk’s senior vice president of external affairs, said the signage would be minimal and intended only to identify the location, which be designated solely for administrative use and operate only between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The new awnings, which would be marine blue in color and identical in style as the blade banners found at 8 Ashburton Place and 73 Tremont St., would replace existing awnings at the proposed location, Nucci said, and be installed there using existing hardware.

“We’re not attaching anything to the façade of the building,” Nucci said. “We’re simply using the awning for signage purposes.” The commission also approved an application for 104 Mt. Vernon St. to install two granite window wells with removable, flush steel grates at the ground level on the building’s front facade, keeping the top of the granite and the grates flush with the brick sidewalk.

A piece of wood was secured in front each of the two basement-level windows, said Brigid Williams, the project’s architect, during the installation of the sidewalk, which sits “quite a bit higher than the window sills.],” and this has subsequently caused rainwater to accumulate on the wooden window frames, which, she said, “have rotted badly” and can’t be restored. “It’s not aesthetic, it’s technical,” Williams said of the applicant’s request. “The reason we’re doing this is because it’s bad for the window and essentially bad for the house to have the water sitting there. I don’t know of another way of keeping the windows from rotting all over again than managing the water away from the façade.”

The motion passed pending the staff’s approval of the granite to ensure it looks “cohesive,” according to Commissioner Alice Richmond, who proposed it. Likewise, the commission approved an application for 7 Byron St. to recondition the front door, and to install new door hardware, as well as to install a security panel, a fire-bell and a connection for the fire-hose. This motion passed with provisos that the door be repainted to match the existing color, and that the security panel be installed on the right-hand side to obscure it from public view.

The commission also accepted as submitted an application for 77 Chestnut St. to repaint the garage and entry doors on the first level to match their existing colors; to repaint the wood windows and architectural ironwork on the second and third levels; and to clad the elevator headhouse in standing-seam copper and replace fiberboard surrounding the chimney flue with brick on the fourth level (and if brick doesn’t work, the applicant would need to work with staff to find an acceptable material). On an application for 62 Chestnut St., the commission approved work at the rear façade, including proposed modifications to the fire escape; the installation of a simple black railing on the roof-deck area; and the creation of new skylights on the top floor (with mockups requested to show they’re not visible from a public way).

The commission, however, denied the same applicant’s request to create a new second-story door opening in a large bay window on the building’s rear façade to access a private garden. In another matter, the commission approved as submitted an application to install a roofdeck at 51 Hancock St., which it had previously approved in 2015. Additionally, the commission approved an application for 1 Spruce St. to replace the trellis, and to repair the fence and fourth-floor window shutters, with the proviso that the applicant would relay to staff if the shutters are deemed beyond repair.

Moreover, the commission didn’t hear a scheduled application for 69 Hancock St. to install window shutters on the front façade because the applicant wasn’t in attendance, while an application for 74 Beacon St. to repair a leak in the rooftop pool, as well as to remove and replace the roof-deck and railing in-kind (which the commission reviewed last month), was removed from the agenda at the applicant’s request, and will be heard at the January hearing instead.

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