Update on 53 Putnam Street Proposal

[JK: I received this from the Preservation Foundation.  I must say that my problem was not so much with the height as it was that the image of the rendering of the building which was quite ugly.]

Preservation Alert Update – 53 Putnam

As many of you know, the Foundation wrote a letter expressing its concerns about the height of the proposed new construction at 53 Putnam Street. The Design Review Commission agreed with the Foundation’s assessment and asked the applicant to reduce the height of the structure. The Foundation has met with representatives of the project and looks forward to viewing revised plans.  The Foundation will continue to provide updates as this project moves forward.

3 thoughts on “Update on 53 Putnam Street Proposal”

  1. It is worth noting that this parcel sits in the middle of an approved six story T-6 Transect zone. This zone includes the library to the east and those parcels on and across Broadway and those parcels north to the city center including those recent hotels on Lake Avenue.

    This urban core was determined by our city planners to permit a greater density than in surrounding districts. That 1998 review was city-wide and vetted by everyone including the Preservation Foundation at that time. Furthermore, the adjacent structures for this property in question are in fact, non-conforming and non-contributing buildings. Neither the liquor store turned bakery and now a health food restaurant certainly cannot be the guide for development within this T-6 zone nor the office building with its unwelcoming fortress like façade.

    It’s almost a certainty, that this parcel and many others in this district will revisit development again. Their T-6 development status is part of their cache. Interest for contextuality should pertain to scale (not mass), fenestration, and materials along this street.

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  2. A short note on the long view.

    Unless an owner of a parcel has deeded rights to a viewshed easement over another’s land, it doesn’t exist. That tree, that evening sunset, one’s treasured view over developable land, the view of a lake or of a racetrack and a challenge regarding solar rights in the urban core are fantasies, unless steps were taken initially to assure that benefit. The latter would certainly stop all development in the urban core.

    The Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board and the Design Review Commission in that order, rules. (The rest is just expensive).

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  3. Addendum: A project applicant should first approach the Building Department Resource Center counter, then if required and in this order – the Comprehensive Plan, the Planning Board, the Zoning Board, the Design Review commission and finally, the Building Department for a permit application. (Going out of order to leverage opinions is a waste of resources, both human and financial).

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