The Mission Hill Triangle area was originally part of the town of Roxbury, which occupied a prime location as the last town on the mainland before crossing the neck to Boston on the Shawmut Peninsula. As the advent of turnpike routes, omnibus service, and rail lines improved access from Roxbury to Boston, construction of residential structures to accommodate the area’s growing middle-class population also increased. Roxbury was annexed to Boston in 1868, leading to further expansion of urban transit systems and additional residential development.
The development of Mission Hill Triangle began in 1872. The area was subdivided into 190 house lots ranging in size from approximately 1330 to 3000 square feet which were soon developed, primarily with single-family, two-story brick rowhouses, some with brownstone, sandstone, or marble facing. These rowhouses are typically set back from the sidewalk, allowing for small, landscaped front yards.
Huntington Avenue was cut through the area in 1882, spurring the construction of three-story, multi-family residences at the ends of Worthington and Wigglesworth Streets, and of four-story single family houses on Huntington Avenue. In 1884 and 1912, Mission Hill Triangle also saw the construction of a four-story hotel and apartment buildings.
The area is remarkably well preserved; nearly all of the structures built after 1872 are still extant. These houses are visually similar, with most featuring a flat entry bay next to a projecting semi-hexagonal bay, and a flat or mansard roof. Decorative details between groups of rowhouses vary, with elements of the Queen Anne, Romanesque Revival, Georgian Revival, and Second Empire styles all present in the district.
Mission Hill Triangle remains substantially intact, retaining much its original character and intimacy. The district serves as both an example of a late-19th century rowhouse neighborhood and of the “streetcar suburbs” that sprang up in and around Boston during that time period.
The Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District was designated in 1985.
All exterior work at front elevations, side elevations, or at rooftops that is, or will be, visible from any public way requires the review of the Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District Commission, with the exception of work occurring at rear elevations. A Certificate of Appropriateness, Design Approval, or Exemption Application must be submitted to and approved by the Commission prior to beginning work.
See the Standards and Criteria for the Mission Hill Triangle Architectural Conservation District for further information.
Applications, application instructions, and a schedule of filing deadlines and hearing dates are available below. To save time and costs, property owners and developers are encouraged to contact staff early on in the project planning process, in order to obtain information on compliance with guidelines.
Please note that Commission staff is not available to review applications for completeness immediately upon submittal.
Please review all instructions and documentation requirements carefully before submitting your application.
It is your responsibility to ensure the application is complete before submittal. Incomplete applications will not be accepted.