The Case for a Union Street Architectural Conservation District in Charlestown Rages On

Back in August the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC) unanimously voted to accept for the further study the creation of the Union Street Architectural Conservation District in Charlestown.

The fight to create the Town’s first Conservation District in one of the most historic neighborhoods in Boston has been spearheaded by Ron Kulich, the homeowner of 30 Union St. and his desire to save the Federal-style home at 8 Lawrence St.

If BLC ends up siding with Kulich his home on Union and the one he is trying to save on the corner of Lawrence St. and Union would make up the entire Union Street Architectural Conservation District he desires.

Kulich began his quest after the new owner of 8 Lawrence proposed tearing the single family home built in 1814 and replacing it with a multi-unit residential development.

At previous BLC meetings, Kulich has made his case arguing the 19th Century home he owns on Union, built by renowned Boston architect, Asher Benjamin, and the other on Lawrence in Thompson Square both have significant historic value and should be protected with landmark status.

The study BLC voted to begin over the summer is just the first step in a long process to potentially establish the district and be able to prevent the demolition of any of the buildings.

“There were a couple of community meetings and the former owner was planning on tearing it down and building a sort of New Orleans-style Prudential Tower,” said Kulich. “There was some feverish objection from the neighbors and eventually he bowed out.”

Kulich said the building was eventually sold to Nestor Lemus and the whole resurrected the knock down and then build back up plan, which prompted him to take action with BLC.

“So the Charlestown Preservation Society helped fashion for the Landmarks Commission a proposal to protect the area,” said Kulich. “We want to create the Union Street Architectural Conservation District to force a proper restoration of that home on Lawrence Street that has a huge history to it. From the preservation side we did some research and we have found a lot of interesting stuff. So we are seeking this protection but the owner could tomorrow go in and just do a restoration on the building. The Preservation Society already offered him advice on how to do that and he could do that right away.”

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