project star
award winner

240A Newbury Street

Back Bay
Boston Landmark District

42.3494617, -71.0822524

The Back Bay is a notable national example of the power of historic preservation and adaptive reuse to create a dynamic, thriving mixed-use hub. Neighborhood needs change and retail desires evolve, but even an old building that has lost its luster can be refreshed to supply a unique identity to a modern, global brand. The results are even more striking when they succeed commercially while meeting the guidelines of a historic district. This project maintains both the exacting standards of the international tenant’s brand and the architectural and preservation guidelines of the Back Bay Architectural Commission.


240A Newbury Street was originally built in 1880 as two residential brownstones at 39 and 41 Fairfield Street. Retail shops appear in photographs of 39 Fairfield as early as the 1940s. The two homes were combined in the 1960s with an insensitive infill project. UrbanMeritage purchased the building in 2014 and set to the task of architecturally and aesthetically unifying the structure. Throughout the project, details were restored in a way to reflect the skilled craftsmanship of the building and a sensitivity to harmonizing the necessities of new with the much-needed repair of the old. Continuing the tradition of craftsmanship, tailors in the suitshop can be viewed from the sidewalk through at-grade windows or from the eclectic basement cafe.


“Too often the demands of tenants and national branding standards are placed in opposition to preservation, but that is a fallacy 240A Newbury dispels. In fact, old buildings can provide and enhance the identity of modern brands, whether they be retail, office, or residential,” says Greg Galer, Executive Director of the Boston Preservation Alliance. “There are few things as unique as the quirkiness of a historic building that has evolved within its context.”







Elkus Manfredi Architects


Project Team: 

Abbas Woodworking
Atmosphere Design Group
Authentic Designs
CBI Consulting Inc.
Dennis T. Mitchell Architects
Gilbert & Becker Co., Inc.
Hirsch Construction Corp.
Howard Stein Hudson
J.L. Dunn
Kalin Associates
McPhail Associates, LLC

In the News

2019 Preservation Achievement Awards 

2019 Preservation Achievement Awards 

240A Newbury, After, photo by Warren Patterson
240A Newbury, After, photo by Warren Patterson
240A Newbury, After, photo by Ben Cheung
240A Newbury, After, photo by Alison Frazee
240A Newbury, After, photo by Greg Galer
240A Newbury, 1942, photo courtesy of Thomas High
240A Newbury, Before, photo by Elkus Manfredi Architects
240A Newbury, Before, photo by Elkus Manfredi Architects
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