BLC considers landmarking 55 Shattuck

October 4, 2013
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The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) is considering a local group’s request to declare a Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) building a historic landmark.

The BLC also recently imposed a 90-day delay on demolishing the building at 55 Shattuck St. in the Longwood Medical Area—even though BCH has no immediate plans to demolish it anyway. Instead, BCH has been seeking general BLC approval for the idea of the demolition.

The BLC held a hearing Sept. 24 to hear testimony on a petition to landmark the building and is accepting written testimony until today, Oct. 4.

The decision came through Article 85, which is the part of the zoning code that requires a delay of 90 days in issuing a demolition permit for a building more than 50 years of age. The 90 days started Aug. 13, the day of the BLC meeting.

The Friends of Historic Mission Hill, which has criticized the demolition, has petitioned BLC to landmark the 55 Shattuck St. building. That process is separate from Article 85.

Lipsey said BLC might make a decision in time for its Oct. 22 meeting on whether to landmark the building. The BLC is accepting written testimony, which can be sent to BLC@cityofboston.gov.

The demolition of 55 Shattuck St. is part of BCH’s Institutional Master Plan (IMP). An IMP is a comprehensive development plan that describes an institution’s existing facilities, long-range planning goals and proposed projects.

According to the Friends of Historic Mission Hill, the 55 Shattuck St. building was originally a hospital for infants starting in 1914 before being purchased in 1921 to become the headquarters for the Harvard School of Public Health, according to the statement. During the 1970s, it was purchased by BCH, becoming an administration building.

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