SELDC Approves Facade Changes for 809-811 Harrison Ave.

A subcommittee of the South End Landmark District Commission (SELDC) met virtually on August 31 to discuss a project previously presented at the August 3 full Commission hearing.

The proposal is to remove and replace windows and wood molding, remove the awning, and paint the facade at the former Andre’s Cafe location 809-811 Harrison Ave. El Barrio Mexican Grill will be taking over the space.

At the previous SEDLC hearing, the Commission had questions regarding the lighting and the windows, as well as the signage.

Applicant Yessy Feliz said that “so far, we have applied for permits from the city,” and most of the changes to the building will take place on the outside.

The main entrance to the restaurant has windows to the right, which overlook the kitchen, as well as windows in the lefthand side.

Feliz said that the existing green awnings will be removed, and though the lighting design itself will not be changed, the fixtures will.

The proposed sign, which was discussed at the previous hearing, is “on hold,”
Feliz said, as the restaurant needs to move through the signage process with the city before coming to the SELDC.

“The sign, even though it’s presented here, is not part of the current plan right now,” she said.

Preservation Planner Gabriela Amoee said that the commission does not have jurisdiction over the light fixtures.

Commissioner Fabian D’Souza said he wants both proposed windows to match, and asked what kind of windows they would be, to which Feliz replied they would be aluminum.

Commissioner Catherine Hunt agreed that the windows should be identical to each other, and the “detail around it should be symmetrical.”

The proposed painting around the doors is meant to look like a cactus and will be painted green, but the Commission can only recommend paint colors and not enforce them.

The subcommittee voted to approve the project with the proviso that the “window openings must be symmetrical in terms of detail and divider.” The proposal for the sign will come before the Commission at a later date.

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