BLC Approves New Pole With Small Cell on the Esplanade

The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) on January 25 approved the replacement of the existing light pole with a new one containing a small cell on the Esplanade at 384-398 Storrow Dr.

Keenan Brinn of ExteNet Systems explained that the light pole “will remain as a single pendant with the new installation, however, there will be an antenna at the top of the pole.”

The pole will also feature a box that will contain the radio equipment. Brinn said that the base of the pole is slightly different from the existing, but the new pole itself will be 25 feet, which is the same as the existing. However, the antenna will sit two feet above the pole.

“I also think it’s worth noting that this particular pole was approved about two years ago,” he said. He said that this time, the “equipment is pretty much the same but slightly different from what was approved the first time.”

Commissioner David Berarducci said he has “seen these” proposals before, though “maybe not this particular style pole.” He said that while the equipment will be visible, “I don’t know if it’s going to be that intrusive.”

Brinn added that “right now, I know there’s some discussion with the City of Boston about the color these poles will be painted.”

Commissioner Brad Walker said that “these are always difficult” because they are reviewed one by one, and not as a standard across the entire city. He said that this proposal “I think is better than a lot of them,” as the equipment can easily be changed when the technology is upgraded.

He added that “I appreciate that there’s nothing sort of at the level of a human body that makes it hard to get by on the sidewalk.”

Once presented before the full Commission, they voted to approve the pole as presented. 

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