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Article 85 Demolition Delay

Before demolishing a building in Boston you must submit an Article 85 application. As of May 23, 2022, we are no longer accepting paper or email applications; please submit an application via our Boston Landmarks Commission online portal. This is also where you can submit public comment.
The Boston Zoning Code was amended in 1995 to include a demolition delay policy called Article 85. The article provides a predictable process for reviewing requests to demolish buildings by:
  • establishing a waiting period to consider alternatives to the demolition of a building of historical, architectural, cultural or urban design value to the City
  • providing an opportunity for the public to comment on the demolition of a particular building, and
  • minimizing the number and extent of building demolition where no immediate re-use of the site is planned.
WHAT BUILDINGS ARE SUBJECT TO ARTICLE 85 REVIEW?
  • All buildings located in either the Downtown or Harborpark.
  • All other buildings at least 50 years of age.
  • All buildings located in a Neighborhood Design Overlay District.
  • Designated (landmarked) buildings are reviewed through a different process, either by the Boston Landmarks Commission or the appropriate local historic district commission.

     
  • Landmarks Commission icon

  • Address
    20 City Hall Avenue
    Fl 3.
    Boston, MA 02108
  • Phone
  • Hours

    Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

  • BOSTON LANDMARKS COMMISSION ONLINE PORTAL

    All of our applications for the Landmarks Commission and Historic Districts are now online! Utilize our online portal to:

    • Apply for Design Review
    • Apply for Article 85 (Demolition Delay)
    • Review past and active Demolition Delay applications
    • Report a violation
    • Submit a public comment
    • View translated applications

Review and Comment on an Existing Article 85 Application

Review Existing Applications

You may review both active and archived files.

Submit A Public Comment 

Submit a public comment regarding active article 85 applications.

Resources

Resources

To review all active and archived demolition delay applications visit:

Boston Landmarks Commission Online Portal

  1. Please read the application instructions before submitting the Article 85 application via our online portal. 
  2. Please submit your application by going to the Boston Landmarks Commission online portal, creating a free account, and navigating to the Article 85 (Demolition Delay) page. The following documents are required as part of the application:
    1. photographs of the property and neighboring properties (all photographs must be keyed to a map)
    2. a map showing the property (maps are available on the Assessor’s website or through the Boston Planning & Development Agency)
    3. a plot plan
    4. plans and elevations if a new structure is proposed
    5. proof of ownership, and
    6. signature page with the notarized signature of the owner, and of the applicant if different. (Please note: This is required.) 
    7. Specific details about document requirements are listed in the application itself. The 10-day staff review does not begin until the application is complete. See our top 10 tips for preparing your Article 85 application.
  3. Wait to hear from us.

Landmarks Commission staff will review each application in the order in which it was received and may request additional required information. Please upload any additional required documents in the online application. Once all information is submitted, the application will be deemed complete by staff. Within 10 calendar days of marking the application as complete, staff will get back to the applicant with a determination. Using the specific criteria in Article 85, the building is determined “significant” or “not significant.”

If it is significant*, we schedule a public hearing within 30 days. The applicant is required to present alternatives to demolition at a Landmarks Commission hearing. Applicants can request an extension of time to:

  • accommodate submitting two alternatives to demolition for staff review prior to the hearing, and/or
  • to prepare additional documentation for the hearing.

Check with staff about the process. You can also read more about these requirements and the public hearing process.

KEEP IN MIND:

*"Significant" means something very specific in Article 85 review. Staff must use the five criteria that are listed in Article 85-5.3 to determine significance.  A building can be found to be historic and worthy of preservation even if not included in:

  • an official governmental list
  • a register of historic places, or
  • an inventory, survey, preservation report, or study, or something similar.

There are many as yet unidentified significant (historic) properties all over Boston. 

Follow the link below to be brought to the Landmarks Commission hearing page, where you will be able to review past agendas.

Landmarks Commission hearing page

Follow the link below to be brought to the Landmarks Commission hearing page, where you will be able to review hearing recordings.

Landmarks Commission Hearing Page

Follow the link below to be brought to the Landmarks Commission hearing page, where you will be able to review meeting minutes.

Landmarks Commission Hearing Page

Commission Info

  • Department:
  • Authority:
    City
  • Term:
    3 years
  • Stipend:
    No
  • Total Seats:
    18

Current members

Member Appointed Expires Status
Lynn Smiledge 11/27/2017 6/30/2020 Holdover
David Berarducci 11/18/2020 6/30/2023 Active
Thomas Hotaling 11/27/2017 6/30/2020 Holdover
John Amodeo 11/18/2020 6/30/2021 Holdover
Richard Yeager 10/22/2015 6/30/2018 Holdover
Susan Goganian 3/4/2020 6/30/2021 Holdover
John Freeman 3/4/2020 6/30/2021 Holdover
Christopher Hart 3/4/2020 6/30/2021 Holdover
Richard Henderson 9/23/2016 6/30/2019 Holdover
Bradford Walker 3/4/2020 6/30/2020 Holdover
Lindsey Mac Jones 9/23/2016 6/30/2019 Holdover
Kirsten Hoffman 2/10/2021 6/30/2023 Active
Jeffrey Gonyeau 10/22/2018 6/30/2021 Holdover
Joseph Castro 3/4/2020 6/30/2020 Holdover
Felicia Jacques 11/18/2020 6/30/2023 Active
Anne Renehan 2/10/2021 6/30/2022 Holdover
Justine Orlando 11/18/2020 6/30/2022 Holdover
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