Boston Landmarks CommissionBoston Landmarks Commission
Design reviewDesign review
Yes! As of October 1, 2021, we are only accepting online applications for work in a historic district or individually landmarked buildings. You can complete an application and pay online.
If you prefer to mail in or drop off a check for your application fee, use the following address:
OFFICE OF HISTORIC PRESERVATION: LANDMARKS COMMISSION
ATTN: (NAME OF PLANNER OR ARCHITECT)
20 CITY HALL AVENUE FLOOR 3
BOSTON, MA 02108
Possibly. An emergency repair application can be approved at a Preservation Planner’s discretion. An emergency repair is work that is consistent with our guidelines and that is:
- necessary to prevent property damage, or
- required to protect the safety of the building's occupants or the public.
You’ll need to provide proof that the repair is an emergency. Complete an application online. Remember to include photographs that show the situation is an emergency.
A planner will review the application and determine if it requires an expedited approval.
A project on your property was one or both of the following:
- Completed without the consent of the Landmarks Commission.
- Completed outside of the scope or not consistent with the approval issued by the Commission.
To resolve this issue, please contact the staff person who issued the letter. You will be asked to arrange a date to appear before the Landmarks Commission to resolve the issue.
Landmark DesignationLandmark Designation
First, submit a draft petition to the Boston Landmarks Commission executive director. Your group will then need to meet with her to complete a petition that:
- has basic information like address, parcel number and owner
- describes historic, archiutectual or cultural significance at the State level, and
- is signed by 10 registered Boston voters. See link for more.
If accepted by the Boston Landmarks Commission, we place the petition on the Pending Landmark list. Next steps include:
- completing a Study Report, and
- two more public votes by the Boston Landmarks Commission.
The Mayor and the City Council have the final say on the designation.
Listing on the National Register of Historic Places is an honorary designation by the federal government. The listing recognizes a site is historically significant at the local, state, or national level.
Projects involving federal or state funding are reviewed, and commercial projects can be eligible for tax credits. But, there is no protection against demolition.
Designated Boston Landmarks — including buildings in Historic Districts— have the highest level of protection.
Commissioners must review and approve any changes, including demolition. They base their decisions on guidelines developed through a public process.