Converse store shut down for accessibility violation

ADA lawsuit reported by the Boston Herald.

Converse’s flagship sneaker store on Newbury Street has been shuttered indefinitely by the state for failure to provide handicap accessibility to its entrance.

The Architectural Access Board, a regulatory agency of the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety, closed the store on Wednesday until the fixes are made to the entrance. The entrance has a seven-inch step that must be modified to make the shop wheelchair-accessible.

“Since 2009, the board and the city of Boston have tried to get Converse to comply,” said Terrell Harris, spokesman for the Executive Office of Public Safety. “Converse continued to say they would fix the problem – and they’ve been given at least four extensions to get the work done – and they’ve yet to do anything.”

Harris said the store will remain closed until the work is completed. “The ball is in their court,” he said. “Since they were shut down, they’ve done exactly what they had been asked to do in the first place: they filed a permit, submitted plans to make the fix and hired a contractor. They will have to return back to the board for approval to reopen.”

In an e-mailed statement, Terri Hines, a spokeswoman for North Andover-based Converse, said, “Converse is confident that the permanent solution and subsequent construction completion is within immediate reach and expects operations to reopen soon.”

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