Article 85 Demolition Delay

Article 85 Demolition Delay Review pertains to applications involving the demolition of buildings located within the city's limits, as defined below, and is administered by the Boston Landmarks Commission (BLC). Proposed demolition of individually designated Boston Landmarks or buildings within a local historic district shall be reviewed by the BLC or appropriate District Commission.

Information, Instructions, and Application

Filing the Application

It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit a complete, signed application with required documentation and to factor the review and potential delay period into the project schedule. City of Boston Inspectional Services Department (ISD) will not issue a demolition permit without a BLC Article 85 Determination or Exemption.

As of October 13, 2009, all applicants should use the revised application form and instructions posted here, or available at the offices of the Boston Landmarks Commission in Boston City Hall, Room 709.

  • 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 the applicant's responsibility to ensure the application is complete before submittal. Incomplete applications will not be logged into the system until ALL required documentation is filed.

Location and Age Criteria for Article 85 Demolition Delay Review

  • All buildings located in either the Downtown or Harborpark.

  • All neighborhood buildings at least fifty years of age.

  • All buildings located in a Neighborhood Design Overlay District.

Regulations and Community Meeting Policy

The Boston Landmarks Commission has adopted Article 85 Demolition Delay Review Regulations and Community Meeting Requirements, effective October 13, 2009. For a complete explanation of the new requirements, applicants should carefully review the Article 85 Regulations and the Article 85 Information and Instructions.

If you have any questions AFTER reviewing the Regulations and Requirements, please contact staff at or 617-635-3850.


Community Meeting Requirements and Hearing Process


On February 6, 1995, the Boston Zoning Code was amended to include a demolition delay policy (Article 85, Chapter 665 of the Acts of 1956 as amended). Demolition Delay provides a predictable process for reviewing requests to demolish buildings by:

  1. establishing an appropriate waiting period during which the City and the Applicant can propose and consider alternatives to the demolition of a building of historical, architectural, cultural or urban design value to the City;

  2. providing an opportunity for the public to comment on the issues regarding the demolition of a particular building; and by

  3. minimizing the number and extent of building demolition where no immediate re-use of the site is planned.

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Boston Zoning Code Article 85