The Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) was established in 1975. We review individually landmarked buildings, landscapes, and objects separately from historic districts.
Looking to submit a petition to designate a new Boston Landmark? Learn more about the designation process.
The BLC preserves landmarked historic properties in the City. We do this by reviewing proposals that involve any type of physical change to designated properties. Proposed changes can include, but are not limited to:
- roof decks and additions
- window replacements
- general repairs and painting
- masonry cleaning or repointing
- signage and awnings, and
- new balconies, porches, decks, stairs.
Proposals that respect landmarks' guidelines can be approved more quickly. But, commissioners and staff will work with applicants to refine any proposed changes. The BLC also reviews proposals for properties under review or awaiting a decision on a landmark designation. The commission must approve all changes before work can start on your project.
Have questions? Contact:
20 City Hall Avenue
Boston, MA 02108
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 Demolition Delay Applications
- Report a Violation
- Submit a Public Comment
- Translated Applications.
All design review starts with a complete application. Please refer to the guidelines for the landmarked property. All landmarked properties in Boston, including the historic districts, have a study report with specific design standards. You can find the study report for any designated landmark on our publications page. Your project has a better chance of commission approval if it follows the guidelines.
Apply for DESIGN REVIEW online
The Commission reviews proposed changes to design, materials, or appearance of the exterior. Interior changes usually don't need approval unless the inside of the property is landmarked. Check our list for interior designations. There is some interior work that is actually exterior. For example, window replacements, new HVAC equipment, and vents are all exterior changes related to interior work.
Design review hearings are held once per month, and all hearings are public. BLC's design review hearings are on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Anyone can attend a hearing and give their opinion. If you plan to submit an application, you must make sure a complete application is submitted as early as possible in the process.
Complete applications, as determined by staff and received 15 business days before the hearing date, will be added to an agenda. BLC hearings are also held on the second Tuesday of each month to address non-design review agenda items. These include Article 85 Demolition Review hearings.
List of all submitted petitions
Study Reports Under ReviewStudy Reports Under Review
- Once your application has been ruled on by the commission, your decision letter will be emailed to you.
- If approved, use the decision letter to obtain your building permit with the building department. Be sure to display your approval placard on site, visible to the public, for the duration of the project.
- Application instructions and fees
- Enabling legislation
- Extension Form
- By-Laws with Regulations
- Accelerated design review policy
- GIS landmark map
- Guide to photographing windows for applications
- Resilient, historic buildings design guide
- Study reports and guidelines
- Information on fund sources for historic preservation
- Archeology Department
- Archives Department
- Boston Public Library
- Boston Planning and Development Agency
- City of Boston Property Management
- Community Preservation Act
- Disabilities Commission
- Environment Department
- Fire Department
- Inspectional Services Department
- Language and Communications Access
- Neighborhood Services
- Parks & Recreation Department
- Public Works Department
- Transportation Department
- Zoning Board of Appeals
2023 HEARING RECORDINGS
- January 2023
- February 2023
2022 Hearing Recordings
2021 Hearing Recordings
Related linksRelated links
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|Lindsey Mac Jones||9/23/2016||6/30/2019||Holdover|