On October 1st, in the 142 year old Old South Church in Boston, there are many people who do in fact believe that they should put a price on the sunlight. Part of their reason to put such a tremendous price on sunlight is the high cost of housing in Boston. Of the $19 million Old South Church is seeking from Boston Properties, $4 million would go toward the church itself and the rest of the $15 million, would seed a citywide fund for affordable home-ownership programs. They have asked Boston Properties to pay compensation for the tower they have planned to cast a shadow over the church that would eventually cause moisture damage and darkened windows.
Boston Properties have tried to see if there would be problems for the church if the projected shadow was present. The outcome was that it’s unlikely there would be significant damage to Old South Church. ““We just don’t see the science behind it,” Michael Cantalupa, a senior vice president with Boston Properties, told Boston Globe, “There’s not $19 million worth of impact here”.
The Boston Planning & Development Agency will not take the Old South Church’s request for a contribution from Boston Properties. However a spokeswoman said it has delayed a vote on the project and is scheduled it for Oct. 12, while church officials and the developer keep talking. “The BPDA will continue to facilitate conversations between Old South Church and Boston Properties to ensure that this project will benefit the surrounding neighborhood and the entire City of Boston,” the agency said in a statement reported by the Boston Globe. “We are currently working with the development team on the affordable housing component through the Inclusionary Development Policy.”
Regardless, the church and the company are trying to to work things out to figure out a compromise to save the church but also but to help home ownership and create a smaller project for Boston Properties.