South End Landmark District
The South End Landmark District Commission (SELDC) meets on the first Tuesday of each month to review proposed exterior design changes and alterations.
DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS
All exterior work at front facades, all exterior work at rooftops (when visible from a public way), and all exterior work at side and rear elevations (when side and rear elevations directly face a public way) are subject to the review of the SELDC. 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. In the South End Landmark District Protection Area, only certain items of work are subject to review.
- To save time and costs, please contact staff early in the planning process to determine project compliance with the standards & criteria.
- 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.
- Please review all instructions and documentation requirements before submitting your application.
- 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 you project has been approved.
Originally marshland and a narrow strip of land called The Neck (now Washington Street), the South End is a unique neighborhood consisting of historic residential blocks, graceful parks, and main thoroughfares lined with commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.
From 1850 to 1873, after the marsh was filled, South End development focused on fashionable, single-family rowhouses. Real estate speculators constructed three and four-story structures in long uniform rows because they faced restrictions on building size and materials. This led to a remarkable degree of visual unity throughout the neighborhood.
After the Financial Panic of 1873, the most wealthy Bostonians moved to the brand new Back Bay, and construction in the South End focused on multi-family properties. By the turn of the century, lodging houses geared towards the working class were almost the only residential structures built.
Early in the 20th century, commercial, industrial, and institutional uses became popular along the main streets in the South End. Immigrant groups built churches or adapted existing structures, and hotels appeared to accommodate travelers. Many residential structures now include storefronts at the ground level.
Today, there are two main rowhouse types in the South End. Most common is the double basement, bow-fronted rowhouse with a mansard roof. The second most common type is the low basement, flat-fronted rowhouse faced with brick and often adorned with a projecting oriel window. The most common architectural style is Italianate, with Greek Revival, Renaissance Revival, and Second Empire styles also present.
The South End Landmark District Commission will hold a public hearing on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at 5:30 p.m. in Boston City Hall, Piemonte Room, 5th Floor.
Upcoming Meetings and Hearings
2015 SELDC Agendas
- SELDC Agenda January 2015
- SELDC Agenda February 2015
- SELDC Agenda March 2015
- SELDC Agenda April 2015
- SELDC Agenda May 2015
- SELDC Agenda June 2015
- SELDC Agenda July 2015
- SELDC Agenda August 2015 Amended
- SELDC Agenda September 2015 Amended
- SELDC Agenda October 2015
- SELDC Agenda November 2015
- SELDC Agenda December 2015
2014 SELDC Agendas
- SELDC Agenda January 2014
- SELDC Agenda February 2014
- SELDC Agenda March 2014
- SELDC Agenda April 2014
- SELDC Agenda May 2014
- SELDC Agenda June 2014
- SELDC Agenda July 2014
- SELDC Agenda August 2014
- SELDC Agenda September 2014
- SELDC Agenda October 2014
- SELDC Agenda November 2014
- SELDC Agenda December 2014