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Kenmore Square development plans still in flux, but Citgo sign sure to remain

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Developer Related Beal faces some pushback on aspects of latest design

Rendering via Related Beal

Developer Related Beal’s latest plans for Kenmore Square, including for the neighborhood’s iconic Citgo sign, has drawn a cool reception from the Boston Civic Design Commission, which reviews projects for the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

Some commission members do not think Related Beal’s current plans preserve the traditional look of Kenmore architecture. Though, we should not that some commission members question whether there was ever much of such a look worth preserving.

Skeptics of the latest plans were critical in particular of additions to the Commonwealth Building at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Deerfield Street (rendered above) and to the Beacon Building at 660 Beacon Street. The additions to them look exactly too much like that—additions—per the Globe’s Allison Hagan.

As it stands, the commission will hold one more meeting on Related Beal’s Kenmore plans, a joint session with the city Landmark Commission. That panel has been reviewing the status of the 60-foot-by-60-foot Citgo sign, which is expected to remain atop whatever the developer ultimately comes up with.

The developer acquired the sign’s 660 Beacon home and several other buildings in the area in a 2016 deal with Boston University. The back-and-forth on a commercial development involving the buildings commenced shortly afterward. Stay tuned.