Advocacy Alerts

102 President Street

preservation-admin , November 12, 2020

West elevation of proposed building, facing President Street 
A major mixed-use, student housing development at the corner of Cannon and Presidents Streets is up for initial review at the Board of Architectural-Large this Thursday. Following recent approvals from the Planning Commission and City Council to upzone the property from a 4-story to a 5-story height district, the developer is now requesting that the BAR award an additional 6th story, based on architectural merit and context.

This is an important gateway site to the Cannonborough-Elliottborough neighborhood, and rather than responding to the neighborhood’s character, the design interjects the jarring architectural language of the hospital district. The PSC is advocating that the project be restudied to abandon the contemporary, asymmetrical, commercial design, to better relate to the residential context.
Project site at SE corner of Cannon and President Streets
The PSC is also greatly concerned by the proposed height, scale, and mass, which overwhelms the corner and the nearby neighborhood. Under the ordinance, additional height should only be granted when it adds value to the architecture and is in harmony with the surrounding context. In this case, we feel strongly the 6th floor does not enhance the design and exacerbates the height of the building, and therefore should not be approved by the BAR-L.

Please urge the BAR to deny this inappropriate request for additional height and help us hold the line in demanding a better design for this important site. Using the instructions below, submit your comments to City Staff and/or speak during the meeting. 
The BAR-L meeting will take place on Thursday, November 12 at 4:30 PM. To review the agenda click here, and to review the image overview of the project click here.

Sign-up to speak or submit written comments by 12 PM the day of the meeting by completing the form at

Please contact PSC Advocacy Staff with any questions at  

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