Fort Point Channel Landmark District
The Fort Point Channel Landmark District Commission (FPCLDC) meets on the second Thursday of each month to review exterior alterations.
DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS
All exterior work visible from a public way is subject to the review of the FPCLDC.
- To save time and costs, review district Standards and Criteria early in the planning process.
- Review all instructions and documentation requirements before submitting your application to ensure it is complete. Incomplete applications will not 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.
The Fort Point Channel Landmark District (FPCLD) encompasses roughly 55 acres across the Fort Point Channel from downtown Boston. Developed in the 1830s by the Boston Wharf Company and owned by the company until the early 2000s, the Fort Point Channel area is Boston’s largest, most cohesive, and most significant collection of late 19th and early 20th century industrial loft buildings.
Development of the Fort Point Channel area began in 1836 and continued until 1882. The Boston Wharf Company was entirely responsible for the development of the area; they laid out and constructed streets (which they named for company officers and prominent tenants), parceled out lots, and erected nearly all of the buildings in the FPCLD from the designs of their own staff architects. The primary purposes for the buildings were manufacturing and warehousing, with a variety of goods being produced and stored there. The Boston Wharf Company initially specialized in the storage of sugar and molasses, and gradually expanded its interests to become a major developer of industrial and warehouse properties served by ships docking in Boston Harbor, and by the railroad. Among the chief industries located in the Fort Point Channel area was the wool trade. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, Boston was the principal marketplace for wool for apparel and fabrics in the United States. After warehousing and manufacturing uses declined in the 20th century, artists moved into the abandoned lofts and created what was New England’s largest artist enclave.
The FPCD is marked by an exceptional degree of visual uniformity. The buildings in the area are, with few exceptions, loft structures built between the 1880s and 1920s by the Boston Wharf Company, and represent an unusually coherent and well-preserved collection of late 19th and early 20th century lofts that reflect a critical period of social, economic, and physical development in the City and the region. The loft buildings are generally masonry, with simple volumes and flat roofs. Buildings are elegantly proportioned, with classically inspired details concentrated at entrances and cornices.