City Council approves CPA funding for the Old Corner Bookstore

City Council approves CPA funding for the Old Corner Bookstore

On May 1st, Boston City Council voted to approve the recommended allocation of 2024 Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding. Among the projects approved is the Old Corner Bookstore which the Community Preservation Committee recommended for $500,000 in funding at a recent hearing in February.

The 1718 Old Corner Bookstore is downtown Boston’s oldest commercial building and is a site on the Freedom Trail. Built as a private home and apothecary shop, it has since housed many different commercial uses, gaining its moniker and fame from its time as the home to publisher Ticknor and Fields in the 19th century. In 1960, Historic Boston Inc. (HBI) was founded to save the building from demolition. HBI continues to own the building today, funneling income made in the building into preservation projects throughout the city.   

The scope of the rehabilitation work to be completed with CPA funding includes the replacement of street-facing windows on School and Washington Streets and related masonry repointing. The current windows, most of which date to the 1960s and 1970s, have reached the end of their useful life.  

HBI is working with the architectural firm MASS Design Group on a rehabilitation plan for the entire Old Corner Bookstore complex, which is made up of four buildings of different eras. The forthcoming work includes new heating and cooling systems and sustainability measures, as well as comprehensive building restoration. 

In addition to the physical rehabilitation of the complex, the Old Corner Bookstore’s relationship to the public as a historic site is being re-evaluated in order to communicate 300 years of Boston’s growth around this structure to 21st century audiences.

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