The walls are rising on the two houses at Union and First streets, and the reality seems disturbingly different from the rendering presented to the Historic Preservation Commission and the public.
Mass and scale are essential to compatibility, as is continuity. In the rendering, the height of the two buildings aligns with the height of 106 Union Street, just to the right. The first and second story windows align with the windows on 106 Union and appear to be fairly similar in size. But the reality is quite different.
With the cellar and the first floor in place, the houses threaten to dwarf their surroundings. The top of the first story windows aligns with the bottom of the second story windows on 106 Union. These two houses may end up as tall if not taller than the three-story building on the other side of First Street.
Elevations were submitted to the Historic Preservation Commission in addition to the renderings, and it may turn out that the elevations represent the buildings exactly as they are being realized. It is likely, however, that the majority of the HPC members--and certainly all the members of the public, who didn't have the opportunity to examine the elevations--relied on the renderings to judge compatibility, and the renderings are clearly misleading.