185 FRANKLIN STREET
NEW ENGLAND TELEPHONE & TELEGRAPH BUILDING
The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) is reviewing our petition to grant landmark status to the 1947 Art Deco skyscraper at 185 Franklin Street, originally he headquarters of the New England Telephone & Telegraph Company, and more recently owned by the Verizon Corporation. If you have seen the news coverage in the Boston Globe (click to read) and Boston Herald, you are aware that Verizon removed the historic, WPA-style mural "New England Telephone Men and Women at Work" from the lobby, and announced that it was considering donating the mural to a museum in Rhode Island.
The Art Deco Society of Boston launched a public awareness campaign to protest the mural's removal.
Along with the Boston Preservation Alliance, ADSB is in discussion with the new owners of the building to restore the mural to the building.
Please check here for updates on our progress.
While the developer has proposed some acceptable and interesting design changes in keeping with the original Art Deco building, the Boston Preservation Alliance with the support of ADSB has filed a petition with the Boston Landmarks Commission to protect this magnificent Art Deco skyscraper by giving it landmark status. Landmarking will not protect the mural or require the developer to reinstall the mural, but it will provide for a measure of protection for any alterations to the building's exteriors.
THE SHREVE CRUMP & LOW BUILDING TO BE DEMOLISHED
After a lengthy fight, we must announce that it appears that the Shreve building's days are numbered.
The Boston Redevelopment Authority approved demolition of the former Shreve, Crump and Low building, located at the intersection of Boylston and Arlington Streets in Boston. The building combines the original 1904 Beaux Arts structure with a striking Art Deco facade, built specifically for jewelers Shreve, Crump and Low in 1929-1930. On November 10, by a vote of 5-2, the Boston Landmark Commission (BLC) denied landmark status on what the citizens' petitioners group argues is an architecturally, historically and socially significant building. The Art Deco Society of Boston, working with community volunteers, filed a lawsuit against the BLC's decision, which the court denied. The developer has refused to consider incorporating the facade into his new design, and instead plans to erect a new high-end luxury office tower.
We deplore this series of bad decisions which will destroy a unique part of Boston's architectural heritage to make way for yet another nondescript tall office building on an already beleaguered Boylston Street.