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The Landmarks design review process

The Landmarks design review process

An overview of the approval process for projects involving Boston landmarks and historic properties.

Our Commission preserves landmarks and historic properties in the City. We do this by reviewing construction plans that involve these protected properties. We also review plans for properties under review or awaiting a decision on a landmark designation. We must approve all changes before you can start work on your project.


We need to review any exterior work that is visible from a public way. This includes changes to design, materials, or appearance. Interior changes usually don't need approval unless the inside of the property is a landmark.  


All Boston landmarks have study reports that cover their design standards. You can find guidelines for any designated Boston landmark on our publications page. If you are interested in a property that is under review, or awaiting a decision on a designation, please contact us. You can call 617-635-3850, or email, and we’ll send you the relevant report.

We make sure that your project meets these guidelines. You need to get a Certificate of Approval or a Certificate of Exemption from us before you can start work. After we get your application, we'll decide if you need to get a certificate or not. You may have to attend one or more public hearings, depending on your project.

We hold hearings on the fourth Tuesday of every month. Residents can attend the hearings and give their opinions. If you plan to submit an application, you must give it to us two weeks before the hearing you want to attend.

Ready to get started? Find out how to file an application for a design review.

Still have questions? Contact:
Landmarks Commission
1 City Hall Square
Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
United States
Public hearings

The Boston Landmarks Commission will hold a hearing on Tuesday, July 26, at 6 p.m. in the BRA Boardroom, Room 900, at Boston City Hall. The agenda is posted below.

BLC Agenda July 26, 2016


Upcoming hearing dates



Tuesday, January 12

Tuesday, January 26

Tuesday, February 09

Tuesday, February 23

Tuesday, March 08

Tuesday, March 22

Tuesday, April 12

Tuesday, April 26

Tuesday, May 10

Tuesday, May 24

Tuesday, June 14

Tuesday, June 28

Tuesday, July 12

Tuesday, July 26

Tuesday, August 09

Tuesday, August 23

Tuesday, September 13

Tuesday, September 27

Tuesday, October 11

Tuesday, October 25

Tuesday, November 08

Tuesday, November 22

Tuesday, November 22

Tuesday, December 13*

Landmarks Commission agendas

Landmarks Commission agendas