Preparations began for the replacement of second floor windows and their framing system. This is a mere hint of the improvements envisioned for the facade and sidewalk area along Boylston and Exeter Streets as part of the next phase of work on the Johnson building.All exterior improvements are subject to approval by the Boston Landmarks Commission with whom the library has been engaged for many months. Specific to the windows, the improvements include greater transparency as well as new glazing, new framing system — also referred to as mullions — and greater energy efficiency.
Posts Tagged ‘Landmarks’
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.
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.