Boston Public Library
Strategic Planning

The BPL Compass

Central Library Renovation: Landmarks Process

by David Leonard

Blagden Egress

New Blagden Street Egress Addition

On May 27, the Central Library Renovation team had their fifth meeting with the Boston Landmarks Commission. The following was reviewed: the Boylston Street entry lobby (ceiling design and dedication plaque relocation), the addition of an egress door on Blagden Street, and signage. The presentation was led by William Rawn Architects and supported by Arrowstreet Graphic Design for signage-related components. After 90 minutes of presentation and discussion, the Johnson lobby plaque/inscription relocation and the Blagden Street egress addition were approved (see image at right). The egress addition was approved with a proviso that it be painted to match the building. The other elements received either a provisional approval or a request to resubmit with additional detail or a request to redesign.

Feedback from the Boston Landmarks Commission is initially given verbally and then summarized in an official memorandum to the applicant. It is normal for feedback to be of one of the following types: approved, approved with certain conditions, or request to resubmit with either modifications or redesigned elements, which is technically a denial of approval. Those conditions or final strategies either have to come back to the full commission, the design review committee, or may be handled by administrative staff at the discretion of the commission.

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