South End Landmark District Commission Approves Project at BFCIT Campus
At its March 7, 2023 public hearing, the South End Landmark District Commission voted to approve the application for the redevelopment of the 1.2 acre Benjamin Franklin Cummings Institute of Technology (BFCIT) campus. BFCIT is relocating to Nubian Square and has sold the South End property to developers who propose to preserve and renovate the South End site’s existing historic buildings as well as to introduce new spaces to allow for a change in use of the site – continuing the mission of BFCIT, but modifying to meet the needs of the community. New uses include a senior care facility, retail space, both market and income restricted housing, and improvements to the Tremont, Appleton and Berkeley streetscape.
The focus of historic preservation efforts centers around the Franklin Union Building (erected in 1908) and numbers 4 and 6 Appleton Street (erected in 1891 and 1883 respectively). The facade of the Franklin Union Building as well as its existing floors will be preserved. A concealed, one-story rooftop addition will be added to the building. The existing facade of 4 Appleton Street will be preserved and a horizontal expansion added. At 6 Appleton Street, the facade will also be preserved and at street level the facade will be restored to its original configuration
A new Senior Care Building facing Tremont Street clad in brick and terra cotta will also be erected. This building will provide 190,000 square feet of assisting living and memory care space and also provide 5,300 square feet of ground level retail and restaurant space. Finally, the site interior will be reframed into a landscaped courtyard passage open to the public connecting Berkeley and Tremont Streets.
The Commission looks forward to future material mock-ups, discussions on facade and public realm details in subcommittee, and a return to the Commission for a presentation as work nears 75% completion. The proposed project will bring much needed housing opportunities to the South End while maintaining the architectural characteristics that tell the story of this unique neighborhood.