A flagship Apple retail store may be coming to Boston soon. After a plan for a three story location in Boston’s Back Bay was rejected earlier this year, Apple has countered with a revised design and has been given a go-ahead to knock down the existing structure where they plan to set up shop.
The Boston Globe reports that the Back Bay Architectural Commission has approved the demolition of the existing building at 815 Boylston Street to make way for a new building, although they still haven’t ironed out the details of that new building’s design. In fact, the group denied the proposal presented on Wednesday evening, but complimented Apple’s architects.
“We like the direction it’s going in. You’re on a great track, keep going,” said commission member John Christiansen.
Apple’s current plan, as described in the Globe’s report, includes a glass façade with stainless steel columns, a spiral staircase and a skylight with a green roof.
Most of Apple’s retail locations occupy choice real estate in popular indoor and outdoor malls around the country — modestly-sized stores that fit in alongside The Gap, Abercrombie & Fitch and other standard mall fare. Several cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, are home to more upscale Apple Stores that feature unique architecture and often multilevel designs boasting significantly more square footage than the average Apple Store location. Apple already has six stores in Massachusetts, although none are located in Boston itself.
The commission turned down Apple’s original proposal in March. Apple then delayed its hearing before the commission twice to make the changes in presented this week. The group has formed a subcommittee to help Apple work through remaining issues before it can begin construction.
The Back Bay is an historically significant Boston neighborhood that houses some of Boston’s most expensive residences and some of its most posh retail locations. Bordered on two sides by the Charles River and Boston’s Public Garden, the neighborhood was created in the mid 19th century by landfill that was trucked in from farther inland.
Much of Back Bay is populated by rows of three and four-level Victorian-era brownstone architecture that dates back to the area’s original settlement in the late 1800’s. The Back Bay Architectural Commission gets involved whenever there’s a plan to demolish existing structures in favor of new buildings.
Coincidentally, the new Apple Store will sit across the street from the Prudential Center, which adjoins the Hynes Convention Center, site of the 2005 Macworld Conference & Expo — the last Boston Macworld Expo held by IDG World Expo before the company decided to cancel its east coast event in favor of focusing on the annual San Francisco show in January.