Town Council overturned another Historic District Review Board decision last Thursday. The appeal has to do with the work proposed for the old gym at 12 Peach Street.
The HDRB denied the application because they wanted a storefront sample with “a more molded appearance; not square profile”. The board’s request is curious, as custom profiles are normally not found in storefront systems. Walker and Laberge, the architects noted that molded wall and window wall systems, would be inappropriate “and extreme overkill” for a ground-level project.
The HDRB also denied the use of mosaic tile for the entryway. Mosaic tile is currently found in several structures in the historic district, including the Betis Building renovation on Strawberry Street (now Breezes).
Town Council upheld the appeal on the mosaic tile since the tile was being placed in a vestibule, which is technically inside and not really in the board’s purview.
The storefront window appeal was upheld since the applicant was indeed using the original wood frame, and the type of storefront was found all through the historic district, including Tim’s place just up the block.
Councilman Andy Buchholz argued continually that adaptive reuse is not the same as a historic renovation, and that the changes are completely within what has already been seen done in town.
“Why are we here with this, ” asked Buchholz, who at one point had to hold his head in his hands in frustration.
While the appeal pushed construction back a few months, the applicants are ready to begin right away. There will be a retail storefront downstairs, and possibly two rental units upstairs.