BHAC Approves Application for New Sign Outside Charles Street Meeting House

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission unanimously approved as submitted an application for a new sign for a new community arts center for children outside the Charles Street Meeting at 70 Charles St. during its monthly public hearing on July 16, which took place virtually.

The square cedar sign, measuring 2-feet by 2-feet, would have “minni” – the arts center’s name – emblazoned in white lowercase lettering on an orange circular background and would hang on an existing bracket, said Kelly Harris Smith, founder and creative director of the organization, which opened its first location in the South End four years ago.

The Charles Street Meeting House at 70 Charles St.

Likewise, the commission unanimously approved as submitted an application for a new, two-sided hanging sign at 103 Charles St. for Le Svelte Spa, which be matte finished black and measure 2-feet by 3-feet, with the company’s name in raised metallic lettering made of either copper or brass. The sign would be hung using existing hardware, according to the applicant.

In another matter, the commission unanimously denied without prejudice an application to construct a new storage shed for tools at Old West Church at 131 Cambridge St., while instructing the applicant to install a mockup of the structure, as well as to provide additional architectural details.

The proposed new shed would have measured 8-by-12 feet and had a slanted roof, and it would have been located about 6 feet from the west wall of the belltower, said Michael Moehring, an Old West Church trustee. It was intended as a replacement for an existing, “flimsy” 4½-by-6-foot shed located on the east side of the bell tower, which is used to store tools for the church’s “food forest” and the pollinator garden on the front lawn, he added.

Similarly, the commission unanimously voted to deny without prejudice an application to rebuild the storefront at 18 Grove St. using double-glazed windows and asked the applicant to return with more detailed drawings; this came with the proviso that the application not specify the use of Low-E glass.

On an application for 44 Phillips St. to replace all the windows at the front façade, to restore the transom light, and to rebuild the garden-level openings, the commission voted unanimously to approve the proposed work, except for transom light above the door and the paint color for the door, which was remanded to staff.

The commission unanimously approved as submitted an application for a new doorbell and camera unit at 32 Cedar Lane Way, with a proviso that the doorbell button not be constantly illuminated when not in use.

In another matter, the commission approved by a majority vote of 4-1 an application for 34 West Cedar St. to paint the front door using Benjamin Moore 319 Dalila high gloss.

On an application for  20 David G Mugar Way to replace the front door and frame in kind, as well as to reuse the existing door handle, lock, number, and kick plate, the commission unanimously approved the proposed work; this determination came with the proviso that the applicant make every effort to repair the existing door, and that it only be replaced after a qualified carpenter or craftsperson has determined it can’t be saved.

The commission unanimously approved an application to replace the existing steps with granite steps at 73 Hancock St., with a proviso that documentation (photos or otherwise) be provided to staff that proves the necessity to replace, rather than repair, the steps.

In regard to an application to replace the canopy and awning at 15 River St., the commission unanimously approved the proposed work, with the provisos that the applicant make every effort to restore elements of the canopy and provides evidence of areas where replacement is necessary. The applicant was also asked to provide staff with documentation, including shop drawings, as well as material samples. As a further proviso, the applicant would also be required to remedy an outstanding violation for the security camera.

The commission voted unanimously to approve as submitted an application for 8 West Hill Place to install a new roof deck and cedar fence, and to modify and extend the chimney. Commissioner Mark Kiefer cited its minimal visible impact on a public way, as well as evidence of previous rooftop developments in the multi-unit condo building, in making the motion to approve the application.

On an application for 57 Hancock Street to replace existing door locksets with new a Baldwin Entry set, as well as to replace the existing intercoms with new video intercoms at the front and side doors, the commission unanimously approved the proposed work, with the proviso that the doorbell not be constantly illuminated when not in use, and that building elements surrounding the existing intercom units be preserved. A proposed mailbox didn’t appear on the application for 57 Hancock St.

Moreover, an application to install a mailbox at 141 Cambridge St. appeared on the hearing agenda, but was ultimately not heard due to the applicant’s failure to appear.

The commission also heard an advisory for 5 West Cedar St., with proposed work including the installation of helical supports to the façade; the application is expected to be heard at the commission’s next public hearing on Thursday, July 21.

Besides Commissioner Kiefer, Commissioners Arian Allen and Wen Wen were present for the July 16 hearing, while Commissioners Edward Fleck and Annette Given were both on hand for a portion of the hearing.

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