The City is in the process of exploring how to convert colonial gas lights into electrified colonial fixtures, and while that program could come to Charlestown eventually, right now it’s focus is on Beacon Hill and downtown Boston.
The City put $400,000 into a program at the Public Works Department that explored how to convert gas lighting – which is very prevalent in many parts of Charlestown’s historic areas – into an electric light fixture that still maintained the historic context.
Public Works officials said they are looking to do a pilot of their concept on Temple Street in Beacon Hill – which was a request of neighbors. Many swear by the gas lights, but others have sworn off of them due to leaks in the piping that kills off landscaping and trees.
“The City of Boston allocated $400,000 for a design build study to gauge the feasibility of converting gas colonial fixtures to electrified colonial fixtures,” said a spokesman from Public Works. “The Public Works Street Lighting Division is currently in the exploratory phase to locate ideal locations that would maintain the character of the existing lights while also reducing overall maintenance costs and improving the carbon footprint. The City will continue to explore possible neighborhoods that could benefit from this conversion, which includes Temple Street on Beacon Hill after neighbors signed a petition expressing their strong interest in converting the existing gas fixtures.”
There have been no public plans shared as of yet to include Charlestown in the program, but along with the South End, Beacon Hill and Bay Village, it is one of the few that still maintain gas lighting fixtures.