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Last updated: 6/26/19

Historic Beacon Hill District

The Historic Beacon Hill District was established in 1955, and expanded in 1958 and 1963.

The Beacon Hill Architectural Commission (BHAC) meets on the third Thursday of each month to review proposed exterior alterations. Find out about the commissioner nomination process in the district's original enabling legislation. Interested in becoming a commissioner? Please 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.


All exterior work visible from a public way is subject to the review of the BHAC. 

  • 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 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 by the Commission.

Development on Beacon Hill began with the construction of a new State House, designed by celebrated architect Charles Bulfinch and completed in 1798. Around the same time, the Mount Vernon Proprietors, one of the earliest land developer operations in the country, was formed and purchased 18 ½ acres of land to the west of the State House for residential development.  The residences on Beacon Hill also showcase the work of other noted architects such as Asher Benjamin, Solomon Willard, and Alexander Parris in the Federal and Greek Revival styles. The later part of the 19th century saw apartment buildings in the neighborhood as well. Some early examples of adaptive reuse in Beacon Hill include conversion of stables and carriage houses into loft spaces and studios.  You can more about Beacon Hill through this brochure on the area's history.

1 City Hall Square
Room 709
Boston, MA 02201
United States
Beacon Hill
Email contact
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Updates on hearings and other information.



Commission information

5 years
Total Seats:

Current members

Member Appointed Expires Status
Joel Pierce 8/22/2013 5/1/2016 Holdover
Danielle Santos 8/22/2013 5/1/2018 Holdover
Thomas Hopkins 7/22/2013 5/1/2015 Holdover
Paul Donnelly 8/10/2015 5/1/2019 Holdover
Philip Vineburgh 10/1/2008 5/1/2012 Holdover
Miguel Rosales 12/16/2016 5/1/2021 Active