South End Landmark District
The South End Landmark District Commission (SELDC) meets on the first Tuesday of each month to review proposals. To apply as a commissioner, please see details about nomination in the district's Study Report then select SELDC under the Energy, Environment and Open Space policy area using this link - there you can provide contact and other information.
DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS
PLEASE NOTE: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Staff must determine that your application is complete fifteen (15) business days prior to a public hearing date to be added to the agenda. Incomplete applications cannot be added to an agenda.
All proposed 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 subject to Commission review. (In the South End Landmark District Protection Area, only certain items of work are subject to review, please see map.)
- To save time and costs, please contact staff early in the planning process to determine project compliance with the standards and 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.
- Submit your application well in advance of the fifteen business day deadline in case it is marked incomplete and additional or revised information is needed.
- Staff is not available to review applications for completeness immediately upon submittal.
- Do not begin any work, or buy materials, until after you receive confirmation that your project has been approved.
Originally marshland bisected by a narrow strip of land called The Neck (now Washington Street), the South End consists of historic residential blocks, parks, and main thoroughfares with commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings. After the marsh was filled, development began in 1850 by real estate speculators building fashionable, single-family rowhouses. Restrictions on building size and materials meant residential structures in long uniform rows, resulting in remarkable visual unity throughout the area. After the Financial Panic of 1873, the most wealthy Bostonians moved to the brand new Back Bay, and, by the turn of the century, lodging houses geared towards the working class were almost the only residential structures built. For further historical background please see South End Landmark District Study Report.