Fenway Neighborhood Preservation Survey Aims to Strike Balance Between Historic Preservation and Development

This summer, the Boston Preservation Alliance is undertaking the Fenway Neighborhood Preservation Survey, which intends to strike a balance between historic preservation and development.

Emily Khan, a historic preservation intern for the nonprofit BPA, which strives to protect and improve the quality of the city’s architectural heritage, said the survey aims to build a strong network of advocates; assist community in advocating for historic resources; provide a forum for which sites should be preserved; and foster connections with other stakeholders.

Survey respondents to date have identified the Fredrick Law Olmsted parks, including Charlesgate Park, followed by the Citgo sign and Fenway Park as the neighborhood’s most popular landmarks, but Khan said historic preservation isn’t limited to specific buildings, but instead should consider the neighborhood holistically.

While the South End, Back Bay and Beacon Hill have historic landmarks districts that seek to protect the historic value of those neighborhoods, the Fenway does not.

The survey is open until Aug. 31 and available at https://www.bostonpreservation.org/news-item/defending-fenways-heritage.

Meanwhile, the Fenway Alliance – a collection of 21 arts, cultural and academic institutions that collaborate to improve the neighborhood – is soliciting feedback on where to install four signs throughout the neighborhood identifying it as the Fenway Cultural District.

Kelly Brilliant, executive director of the Fenway Alliance, said then-Mayor Thomas M. Menino designated the Fenway Cultural District in 1998 and was named a cultural district by the Massachusetts Cultural Council in 2012.

Also, Brilliant said the Fenway Alliance would again sponsor the 17th annual “Opening Our Doors over Columbus Day weekend. Last year, around 12,000 visitors attended the daylong event that featured about 90 activities, including live performances, exhibits and walking tours, at 30 different sites throughout the neighborhood.

Moreover, Brilliant said “Fenway Porchfest,” which brought 70 music acts to 25 stages on June 16, will return again next year.

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