June First Friday Coffee Hour
Join us tomorrow at our Coffee Hour with City Council President Ed Flynn as our guest at 8:30am at 74 Joy Street. Come with your questions and thoughts about issues important to you on Beacon Hill.
Welcome to our 2023-2024 BHCA Board!
The following Officers and Directors were elected at the 101st Annual Meeting of Members at the Somerset Club on May 15th:
Meghan Awe, Chair
Joshua Leffler, President
Tim McKeown, Treasurer
Gina Usechek, Clerk
Thomas J. Clemens
Hilary Bacon Gabrieli
Russell A. Gaudreau, Jr.
Work of the BHCA
Every year at this time, we share the work of our committees as presented in our Annual Report. These reports reflect the mission of the BHCA in historic preservation, community development, and civic engagement.
Architecture Committee Annual Report Fiscal Year 2023
The Committee’s mission is to help maintain the architectural integrity of the Beacon Hill National Historical Landmark district.
The Committee reviews properties that have submitted applications to the Beacon Hill Architectural Commission, which is part of the City of Boston’s Landmarks Commission. The Commission holds monthly hearings on applications for Certificates of Appropriateness, and reviews architectural violations in accordance with Ch. 616 of the Acts of 1955, as amended. Massachusetts State Legislation created the Historic Beacon Hill District in 1955.
Prior to the Commission hearings on the third Thursday of each month, our Committee reviews the applications and visits each of the sites. The Committee invites applicants to an open meeting, typically on the Monday prior to the Commission hearing, to discuss their applications and answer questions, to assist applicant neighbors in any way we are able with the formal approval process. Following this Committee meeting, the Committee prepares written commentary, which is reviewed by the BHCA Board prior to being read into public record by Committee members attending the Commission hearing.
Highlights, Fiscal year 2023:
• During the year, from May 2022 to April 2023, 100 applications were reviewed by
the Committee (13 violations and 87 design review), with the vast majority of those in April-October.
• Changes related to windows, roof decks, and technology were substantial areas of focus, and are expected to remain so going forward.
• Video doorbells and other advanced building entry systems, along with electric vehicle charging systems and other technologies represent an increasing challenge to the Committee and the Beacon Hill Historic District: balancing resident neighbor needs and desires for technology and its advantages with the requirement to incorporate that technology thoughtfully (and preferably invisibly) into the historic fabric of our neighborhood.
• FY 2023 saw an increase in neighbor applicant attendance at Committee meetings, and feedback from attendees has been very positive and complimentary. We will continue expanding and encouraging neighbor involvement and look forward to helping even more neighbors in Fiscal 2024.
Holland Ward, Chairman
2023 Annual Appeal
Thank you to those who have already responded to our 2023 Annual Appeal. Your support of our appeal allows us to continue our important work as advocates for our historic neighborhood. If you have not responded yet, we look forward to hearing from you. You can also make your donation at bhcivic.org.
Upcoming BHCA Meetings
First Friday Coffee Hour, Friday, June 2nd, 74 Joy Street. Invited Guest – City Council President Ed Flynn
Streets & Sidewalks – Tuesday, June 6th, 5:30pm via Zoom
Zoning & Licensing Committee – Wednesday, June 7th, 7pm via Zoom
Board of Directors, Monday, June 12th, 7pm, 74 Joy Street
For details and zoom information on any of these meetings, please contact the BHCA office at 617-227-1922.