Friday, December 18, 2015

Changes of Heart

It seems that we're not going to have a public conversation about whether or not an "homage" to what has been lost is an acceptable substitute for authentic historic architecture--at least, not for the time being. At the Historic Preservation Commission meeting this morning, HPC chair Rick Rector announced that the application to re-create the missing steeple at 448 Warren Street with lights, as a hologram, had been withdrawn, and the public hearing on the proposal has been canceled.

After Rector made the announcement, code enforcement officer Craig Haigh commented that what had been proposed "would have been borderline" as far as the city code was concerned and would "most likely have needed a variance" from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

At this morning's meeting, too, Rector acknowledged that the HPC had agreed to grant a certificate of appropriateness to replace the windows at 102-104 North Fifth Street--the house that was the original Hudson Hospital--without having a historic photograph of the building. (A historic photograph is a requirement of the application for a certificate of appropriateness.) He made known his intention to find such a photograph. 

HPC member Phil Forman agreed that "we should look for it" but opined, "I hate to block them." Rector said he wanted the photograph "for the record." Without knowing if a historic photograph would confirm that the original windows in the house were one over one, the HPC went ahead and granted a certificate of appropriateness for such windows.

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