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Bay Village Historic District

The Bay Village Historic District was designated in 1983.

COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to Governor Baker's state of emergency declared on March 10, 2020, we are currently only accepting Design Review Applications with a signed extension form. Applications may be submitted by email with a hard copy and check for the application mailed to Environment Department, Room 709, Boston City Hall, 1 City Hall Square, Boston, MA 02201.

The Bay Village Historic District Commission (BVHDC) meets the second Tuesday of each month to review proposed exterior design changes and alterations. Interested in becoming a commissioner? Please see details about nomination in the district's Study Report and check the commission information section at the bottom of this page. If you see an "apply online" button, we have an opening on the commission and you're able to apply for it.

Design Review Process

All proposed exterior work (including work at rooftops) that is, or will be visible from any public way is subject to the review of the BVHDC.  You must submit a Design Approval Application to the Commission and it must be approved by the Commission before beginning any exterior work that is subject to Commission review.

  • To save time and costs, contact staff early in the  planning process to determine project compliance with guidelines.
  • Review all instructions and documentation requirements before submitting your application to ensure it is complete. Only complete applications will be added to a public hearing agenda.
  • Submit your application well in advance of a filing deadline in case it is marked incomplete and additional or revised information needs to be submitted.
  • Staff is not available to review applications for completeness immediately upon submittal.
  • Do not begin any work, or buy materials until after you have received confirmation your project has been approved.

Prior to 1825 the Bay Village area consisted of mudflats created by Back Bay tides. Once construction of a dam was authorized and the land drained, construction began almost immediately. Early deeds restricted height and construction materials, as a result, the major streets tend to be visually similar; red brick was the building material of choice, often with a granite foundation. Most Bay Village buildings were constructed between 1825 and 1899 and represent a variety of architectural styles, ranging from Federal to Greek Revival to Victorian. 

For further historical background, please check out the Bay Village Historic District Study Report.

1 City Hall Square
Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
Bay Village
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Commission Info

3 years
Total Seats:

Current members

Current members " border="1" cellpadding="1" cellspacing="1" class="responsive-table responsive-table--horizontal m-t300">
Member Appointed Expires Status
Ruth Knopf 11/27/2017 4/1/2020 Holdover
Kathleen McDermott 11/27/2017 4/1/2020 Holdover
Richard Yeager 9/23/2016 6/30/2018 Holdover
Thomas Hotaling 9/23/2016 6/30/2018 Holdover
Anne Kilguss 9/23/2016 6/30/2019 Holdover
Stephen Dunwell 11/27/2017 4/1/2020 Holdover