No landmark status for hospital building

LMA—The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) voted Oct. 22 not to landmark the century-old 55 Shattuck St. building on the Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) campus.

But BLC and BCH did enter into a memorundum of understanding (MOU) that includes documenting the building before its proposed demolition and creating a preservation plan for the BCH’s campus. An MOU is a document formally describing a relationship.

BLC’s vote cleared the way for the Boston Redevelopment Authority to approve last month BCH’s Institutional Master Plan. That plan includes tearing down the 55 Shattuck St. building, along with the historic Prouty Garden, and replacing them with a new clinical building.

An IMP is a comprehensive development plan that describes an institution’s existing facilities, long-range planning goals and proposed projects.

The Friends of Historic Mission Hill, which has criticized the demolition of 55 Shattuck St., petitioned BLC to landmark the building. According to the Friends of Historic Mission Hill, the 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.

The MOU states that BCH will document the 55 Shattuck St. building before demolition. That documentation will be sent to the City’s archives. BCH has agreed to work with BLC in developing a preservation plan for its campus. The plan will survey BCH buildings that are at least 45 years of age and research the historical significance of them. BCH will also contribute $40,000 to the Boston Preservation Alliance, which will use the funds to study historical buildings in the Longwood Medical Area.

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