BLC Approves Window Reconfiguration for Penthouse in Pope-Cahner’s Building

The Boston Landmarks Commission on Feb. 22 approved a redesign of the window layout on the penthouse level for the Pope-Cahner’s Building at 219-223 Columbus Ave. in Bay Village. Additional work includes replacing the windows and doors as well as replacing the lead-coated copper cladding, and relocating the chimney.

Susan Knack-Brown, who presented the proposal, said that this proposal is only for the private residence at the penthouse level, which is an addition from 1990.

“Most of the existing windows are fixed curtain wall windows,” she said, which feature anodized covers. She showed a “small casement window” which she proposed to remove as it is in a bathroom.

The sill heights of the windows will be raised so the sills will be “equal across the line.” Additionally, all windows will be fixed, so just the doors will be operable.

The proponent is looking at two options for the windows, but no matter which option is chosen, the exterior will remain the same. The inside of the windows will either be wood or aluminum.

No changes are being made to the massing of the building.

“I think these are all fine in my opinion,” said Commissioner David Beraducci, adding that the proposed changes are “pretty benign. I don’t think anyone will have a sense that anything has changed.”

Commissioner Brad Walker said “I also have no qualms with what you’re doing.”

Commissioner Justine Orlando wondered what the restoration will look like with the rest of the existing building since the work proposed is only for the private residence.

Knack-Brown said that “the symmetry of what you’re seeing is going to be maintained,” as the “same light sizes and same exterior profile” will be kept.

Orlando also said that since this restoration is only for the private residence in the building, she wanted to make sure that any future proposed work for the common areas would match what is being done here.

Berarducci said that “they would also have to come before us” with any additional proposed work, and “we would have an opportunity to make sure it matches. But we can put that as a proviso, certainly.”

The BLC voted to approve the proposal with the proviso that “if in the future, any proposed changes are made to the windows and such on the common areas that that match the design and manufacture that’s being used on the private.”

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