For more than 30 years, Charlestown’s Paul McDonough has been shaping the way Boston looks, from the Town where he lives to the far reaches of Hyde Park to the skyscrapers of downtown and Back Bay.
As a member of the all-volunteer Boston Civic Design Commission (BCDC), McDonough has given insight into architecture, design, open space and any number of details for development projects throughout the city. On Tuesday, Jan. 5, one of the BCDC’s founding members stepped aside to become an emeritus member, and Mayor Martin Walsh declared Tuesday Paul McDonough Day in the City of Boston.
“Paul has served under three mayoral administrations, 10 Boston Redevelopment Authority Directors, three Boston Civic Design Commission Executive Directors, and has reviewed scores of projects throughout the City of Boston,” read the proclamation. “The City of Boston is grateful to Paul for his service as Co-Chair and Vice-Chair of the Boston Civic Design Commission and for his tireless work and dedication on behalf of Boston’s public realm; Paul F. McDonough, Esquire will be raised to the position of Commissioner Emeritus to continue offering his institutional knowledge and expertise; Now I, Martin J. Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston, do hereby proclaim January 5, 2021, to be Paul F. McDonough Day in the City of Boston.”
Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) Director Brian Golden said McDonough has not just contributed to the physical look of the city, but also the feel and love that those living her have for what Boston has become.
“It’s not just about the sticks and stones or the structures, it’s the materials and appearance on the skyline of the City,” he said. “Those are important. It’s also what goes on in people’s heads. This is about creating a City that people feel love for and take incredible pride in so it’s not just about material construction in the physical world, but about building a City people love and connect with…This truly is one of the great cities of the world and I thank Paul McDonough for his many years of making it this way. For all those that have benefitted and we will benefit for generations to come from his work. Thank you Paul McDonough.”
McDonough said the last 30 years have been a great learning experience on the BCDC.
“It’s been an honor and privilege to serve our city,” said McDonough at Tuesday’s BCDC meeting. “It’s been a great learning experience for me and I hope I made some small contribution to the shape of our city.”
The announcement came at the outset of the meeting, where McDonough has been chair or co-chair for many years. He was one of the original members of the volunteer review group that started in 1990.
The BCDC provides a forum for the general public and professional design community to participate in the shaping of the city’s physical form and natural environment. Members of the Commission are seasoned design professionals with a deep understanding of local context, according to the BCDC website. They are charged with critiquing the aesthetics of proposed development projects and ensuring that the projects have a positive impact on the city’s public realm or open space.
Professionally, McDonough works as an attorney at Goulston & Storrs PC. He has been designated one of a small number of attorneys selected as a Super Lawyer in Boston Magazine.
McDonough began his distinguished career as an inaugural member of the BCDC in the spring of 1990 and rose to serve as Co-Chair and Vice-Chair of the Commission.