Photo: © 2008 Penny Cherubino, all rights reserved

NABB’s Architecture Committee reviews projects that impact the architecture and streetscapes of the Back Bay Historic District. The committee’s main purpose is to provide input to the Back Bay Architectural Commission (BBAC), a city commission that has jurisdiction over any exterior changes to buildings in the Back Bay.

At its monthly meeting, the committee hears presentations and discusses the significant applications scheduled to appear before the BBAC that month. Although the committee has no regulatory power itself, it does provide input to the BBAC and useful feedback to applicants as to the appropriateness of their proposals. The committee’s position is reported to the applicant and then to the BBAC at its monthly meeting.

The committee’s goal is to influence the applicant’s proposal and the decisions made by the BBAC to improve the residential quality of life and preserve the Historic District. Although the committee’s main focus is on reviewing BBAC applications, it is also concerned with other proposals that have architectural or visual impact on the District.

Membership in the Architecture Committee is open to any member of NABB who resides in the Back Bay. Although sensitivity to the architectural quality of the district is important, no expertise is necessary.

For a genealogical history of Back Bay’s houses – information about who lived in them and how they were used over the decades – go to the website Back Bay Houses. Launched in 2014, the website is the culmination of ten years of research to identify who lived in (and, if possible, who owned) each Back Bay property. All you have to do is click on a property’s address to find out the names of the house’s prior residents (including wives’ unmarried names) and read a very high-level summary of what they did in the world. Voilà – Your instant Back Bay ancestors!