Here we go again. The plan is to raze these two buildings and replace them with a five-story apartment building with commercial space on the first floor. Neighborhood groups, abutters, and City Council members Helen Anthony and John Goncalves expressed their concern for the size and nature of this proposal before the City Plan Commission, who nonetheless approved the master plan on Tuesday. According to the ProJo:
Goncalves, who is concerned the building may “diminish and undermine” quality of life, said he has “heard from countless constituents,” and that the development “establishes, in many of the neighbors’ opinions, a dangerous precedent for the College Hill neighborhood in terms of massing and scale.”
Anthony echoed those remarks.
“I know you’ve heard this from me quite a bit, but on College Hill we are trying to maintain a very delicate balance between universities, business and surrounding neighborhoods, and it’s been really hard,” she said, arguing that “the height disparity … will be stark” between the building and homes across the street.
These houses are over a century old. They are now clad in cheesy vinyl siding, so who knows what remains underneath. It’s certainly harder to generate an emotional neighborhood response to these, as compared to when Brown University had set their sights on a group of houses a few blocks away whose outwardly visible charm and historic value created a considerable backlash.
The ProJo article has an image of the proposal . . . as if we don’t know exactly what this is going to look like.