The latest from Lili about Boston Real Estate.

Historic Property Preservation in Boston Luxury Real Estate

October 12, 2013 |

Boston’s Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End neighborhoods all have historic designation. This is good and bad for Boston luxury home owners. It is good since the historic and architectural committees maintain properties to conform and preserve their architectural identity. However, not so good news for some homeowners who would like to make changes to their Boston luxury real estate in these historic neighborhoods.

Remodeling Homes in Historic Boston Neighborhoods 
There are generally no restrictions in remodeling, construction or interior changes as long as it conforms with the city building codes. Unless some extraordinary details in the interior have been logged in the National Historic Register, changes can be made to Boston luxury real estate interior. Needless to say, this is very rare and there maybe only a couple of properties with National Historic Register designation.

To make exterior changes is another story. Back Bay and Beacon Hill architectural associations have very strict governing laws for the exterior of historic buildings that includes any changes to the exterior, like the color of the stone (brick or brownstone), fenestration changes, paint color, fencing, outdoor spaces, such as roof decks, balconies etc. Some changes are more challenging than others. Garages are very much in demand and to add a garage in an existing brownstone in the Back Bay is not an easy task. It’s been done, but a good architect and good set of plans may just be what the homeowners need.

Although the architectural commissions maybe difficult, they are not unreasonable. When they see a good set of plans that enhances Boston luxury homes, the commission is open minded. Keep in mind, the neighbors also have a say in the matter.


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