clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Developers of 25 Beacon Could Get Part of the State House Lawn For Au Pair Suites

Not if some powerful opponents stop them first

It’s barely a day old, and it’s already shaping up to be one of the most contentious development battles in Boston.

The developers behind the six floor-through luxury condos at the old Unitarian Universalist Association building at 25 Beacon Street in Beacon Hill want to use an historic part of the State House lawn to build extra-big window wells for what would be marketed as au pair suites for the condos’ presumably deep-pocketed owners (the units are priced between $9,000,000 and $11,000,000).

Thing is, though, the slice of lawn is one upon which John Hancock himself used to stroll, etc. And therefore some people are not happy about the Baker administration’s plans to carve an easement out of the lawn as large as 300 square feet and sell it for an as-yet-undetermined price to the developers of 25 Beacon.

"You don’t give away a permanent easement, no matter how small, to public land that has such historic significance as John Hancock’s pasture land, to a private developer,’’ Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin told the Globe’s Frank Phillips (Galvin oversees the state’s Historical Commission). "Why should we, the public, give up historic public land just to make more money for a developer?"

The developers say they’re sensitive to the history involved and that the window wells will barely be visible.

Stay tuned.