Preservation Achievement Award Winner – 316 Shawmut Avenue

Preserving History

A Sensitive Approach to South End Landmark District

Located at a prominent corner in the South End Landmark District, this project site required a particularly sensitive approach. Striving to celebrate and activate the historic building, the project team rehabilitated the existing 1860s Greek Revival brick row house, created a contemporary rear addition for three residences, and reimagined a first floor retail space. Because of the significant sight lines to the property from Union Park, and beyond the property to the historic church behind it, the team set the new addition back to minimize the visual impacts. The masonry design is contextual for the neighborhood but markedly modern. 

The project team worked closely with the South End Landmark District Commission to determine an appropriate approach for this site. The Commission is tasked with not only protecting the integrity of the historic buildings but also with preserving the unique character of the neighborhood. When developers work well with local historic district Commissions, the result is a unified, preserved district that moves forward without sacrificing its own sense of place and time. This project exemplifies that successful partnership. 

“The brick row houses of the South End have become as emblematic of the architecture of any of Boston’s neighborhoods, and this block in particular has become especially desirable and active. But how to engage a derelict carriage house, reenergize a small, historic storefront, and bring an enlarged floorplate at the rear within this sensitive area? The results find a modern vocabulary that aptly speaks to the historic adjacencies from today harmoniously with the voices of the past,” says Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance.


Boston Property Contractors


Embarc Design

Project Team: 

Boston Coastal Consulting 
Linea 5, Inc.
GB Consulting Engineers
Prometheus Life Safety