CPA grants $500,000 for the replacement of windows at the Old Corner Bookstore

CPA grants $500,000 for the replacement of windows at the Old Corner Bookstore

The City of Boston’s Community Preservation Committee recommended downtown Boston’s Old Corner Bookstore for $500,000 in Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding to support the building’s rehabilitation at its most recent meeting.

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 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.

The recommended CPA funding still requires a vote of the Boston City Council in order to be confirmed, but HBI is grateful to the City of Boston’s CPA staff and the Community Preservation Committee for their consideration and recommendation. 


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