103 Warren Street The new owners of this building have plans to restore the facade and to open a shop on the first floor to be called Dish, which will specialize in gift items for the table. The plans for the facade restoration involve removing the aluminum siding and making in-kind repairs (wood replacing wood) to the original clapboard beneath. Also proposed is a standing seam roof. So far, so good. The sticking point for the HPC was the proposal to add two windows in the facade--one on the first floor, one on the second floor.
The second-floor window (at the left) bothered no one, since it replicated the placement of the windows on the first floor and may very likely be reinstating a window that was there in the first place. The new window on the first floor was another thing. The proposal is to add a third window between the two existing windows. The reason for doing this is to admit more light into the space, which is going to be part of the store, and the justification is that there is a similar triple window on the building across the street. There is photographic evidence, however, to show that the triple window across the street was introduced at some time after the 1930s.
Speaking in support of the proposed project, HPC member Phil Forman said, "What these guys are doing is a great leap forward," going on to assert that "it's going to be a better building." Peggy Polenberg said she thought it "looked great" and noted with enthusiasm that it would "add more retail."
David Voorhees noted that the house was located in "a rare surviving block of 18th-century buildings" and suggested that it might originally have been a three bay house that was expanded into a five bay house. Scott Baldinger observed that the addition of the window on the second floor "looks very appropriate," but the addition of the third window on the first floor was "changing the character of the house."
When it came time to vote on approving the project, the HPC was evenly divided. Forman, Polenberg, and HPC chair Rick Rector voted in favor of granting a certificate of appropriateness; Voorhees, Baldinger, and HPC architect member Jack Alvarez voted against it. Legal counsel Cheryl Roberts was not present, so the HPC seemed uncertain about how to proceed. What is clear is that somehow Thompson will have to cast the deciding vote.
816 Warren Street This project, which has been proceeding even though a stop-work order was issued months ago and is still in force, was recently the subject of a meeting involving the developer, the mayor, the city attorney, the chair of the HPC, and the code enforcement officer. The mayor, it was reported, wants the situation resolved, and the HPC was expected to grant or deny a certificate of appropriateness to the project, after the fact. If they were to deny a certificate of appropriateness, the building would have to be brought back to where it was before the project started.
When a vote was called, the HPC split in the same way: Forman, Polenberg, and Rector voted to grant a certificate of appropriateness; Alvarez, Baldinger, and Voorhees voted to deny it. It was code enforcement officer Peter Wurster who suggested a way out of the dilemma: grant a certificate of appropriateness contingent on the applicant making acceptable design alterations to the dormer, which it was conceded could involve panels and trim detail to get the design closer to the original. The HPC voted unanimously to grant a certificate of appropriateness with this contingency.
721 Warren Street Animalkind is rebuilding after the fire, and one of the things they plan to do is replace all the windows on the facade of their building, including those in the building's rather fanciful oriel. The architect working on the project characterized the windows now in the oriel as "two super big ugly holes" and is proposing new windows with muntons. There was a great deal of discussion about the windows, during which Baldinger observed that the oriel was a "major architectural feature of the building" and Alvarez said that the oriel was very Queen Anne and the pattern of the muntons being proposed was inappropriate for the period.
It was finally decided that the application was incomplete because it did not include a historic photograph of the building. "If we are going to change the architectural nature of the building," said Rector, "I would like to make certain it has some historic justification." Voorhees volunteered to help the applicant search for a historic photograph.