An applicant for a proposed project at 100 Broadway (aka 100 Charles St. South) appeared before the Bay Village Historic District Commission on March 12. The applicant proposed to replace the windows on the second story, replace entry doors and install gates, and install an entrance canopy.
He said that on the second story the windows are sliders and, he wants to increase the height of them from 48 to 66 inches. The windows on the first level are 72 inches high.
“Historically, the building has had probably five other businesses,” he said, adding that it is “pockmarked” from lots of different signs. Though he removed the awning, the framework is still there, but he said it “looks odd, especially with the lanterns” that currently exist.
He said the more plain the building looks, the better. “I really don’t want it to look like a cafe or anything like that,” he added.
Commissioner Anne Kilguss asked if removing the awning framework makes any difference structurally. The applicant responded by saying that he doesn’t think so, although the steel lintels would have to be moved up.
The applicant was concerned about the holes the frame would leave behind, as well as the approximately 100 other holes that exist from other old signs. “I can’t reface that whole wall,” he said.
Joe Cornish, Director of Design Review for the Boston Landmarks Commission, said that the applicant can match the color of the existing bricks and mortar and use that to replace what has been damaged. He said advises the applicant to patch all holes so water does not get inside. He said that the applicant can follow up with him after talking with a mason and he can approve those details on a staff level.
The applicant asked if it would be okay if he left the awning frame there and put something in its place. “I don’t think it would make much of a difference,” Cornish said. “It may be cheaper for you or less destruction to the building if you just leave it in place,” he said, and suggested Sunbrella fabric as an option. The applicant said the purpose of the awning is to block sun in the front windows, but he was concerned about people smoking under it—a reason why he removed it in the first place. One of the commissioners suggested he look into retractable awnings as a solution to that issue. The commission approved the scope of work as presented, and deferred the canopy frame to staff, whether the applicant chooses to re-cover, replace, or remove the current frame. Repairs to the holes in the building will also be deferred to staff. “Follow up with me when you have a plan for the awning,” Cornish told the applicant.