Even though, with winter less than a week away, it can hardly be considered the construction season, the Historic Preservation Commission had a full agenda on Friday morning. Gossips will report soon on all the projects that came before the HPC for consideration. In the meantime, let's consider two projects that didn't.
As was reported here on Monday, a building permit had been issued, on October 24, for the reconstruction at 215 Union Street of what was once 900 Columbia Street. Craig Haigh, the new code enforcement officer, defended the action by saying that there was a certificate of appropriateness. When it was pointed out to him, by city attorney Cheryl Roberts, that a certificate of appropriateness had been granted to move the house not to reconstruct it with materials salvaged from disassembling the house, Haigh ordered that work at 215 Union Street stop, after the foundation was completed, and suspended the building permit until the HPC had reviewed the plans for the reconstruction and granted a certificate of appropriateness.
It was thought that the project might come before the HPC on Friday, but it didn't. Instead, Rick Scalera, special adviser to the Galvan Foundation, was there to say the application for a certificate of appropriateness would be presented to the HPC on January 10.
Something else that didn't come before the HPC was this sign, which was erected on Thursday at 35 South Third Street.
The location is in the heart of the locally designated Union-Allen-South Front Street Historic District, so it would seem that a certificate of appropriateness is required, even though the new sign utilizes the framing and mounting of the old Harmon's sign, thus presumably avoiding the need for an "erection permit" from the code enforcement office. But one has to wonder about the rationale for putting this sign on what is clearly an abandoned auto repair shop. Could it have anything to do with the fact that Third Street is the principal gateway to the city from the south?
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