Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Johnson Improvement Project Landmarks Process

by Eamon Shelton

In order to achieve the transformative changes planned for the Johnson Building, the library, the city and architects have worked closely with the community, its neighbors and numerous city agencies and local organizations.  The Boston Landmarks Commission, the municipal preservation agency for Boston’s Historic Buildings has been important to this process.

When the McKim building was officially designated as a Boston landmark in 2000, the façade and lobby of the Johnson building were landmarked as well.  Therefore any proposed changes to the landmarked portions of the Johnson Building must be reviewed by the Commission.

The project was first presented to the Landmarks Commission over the summer in a session that included several members of the public as well as supporters, many of whom spoke in favor of the project.  More recently specific elements of the project including the removal of the granite screen walls, the replacement of windows, and a preliminary landscaping plan were presented to the design subcommittee and later conditionally approved by the full committee with provisions that project team return with additional detail.

The project team will return to the Boston Landmarks Commission to present at the November and December hearings.

Below is a link to some of the letters of support that were written to the Boston Landmarks Commission on behalf of the project.

BLC Letters of Support compiled