The quirky glass mosaic signs touting "Clothing" and "Toggery" that are part of the facade of 613 Warren Street are soon to disappear.
On Friday morning, the Historic Preservation Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness to the owners of Finch to cover these mosaics with plywood, which will be painted to match the surrounding panels. The only member of the HPC who objected was Scott Baldinger, who told Gossips that he thought the action would turn 613 Warren into "the store in the gray flannel suit."
Another issue taken up by the HPC on Friday was the proposal to restore the facade of 536 Warren Street. Back in February, a car jumped the curb and crashed into the building. The current owner, Jim Marinaccio decided to use the damage as an opportunity to redo the facade and give it a 19th-century appearance.
At the HPC meeting on May 10, an application was submitted for a certificate of appropriateness to replace the metal that now covers the storefront facade with wood panels. Marinaccio explained that there is no photographic documentation of what the storefront originally looked like and that the face of the brick under the metal had been broken up. He submitted this drawing to show the plan being proposed for the restoration.
Because the drawing submitted did not include measurements or information about materials, the application was incomplete. The HPC offered, however, to consider the application at its May 24 meeting--a meeting meant only to review and approve the language of the certificates of appropriateness--if the missing information could be submitted in time for the members to review it prior to the meeting. As it turned out, the missing information was submitted two days before the meeting, in a form that could not be electronically distributed to HPC members. Jack Alvarez, the architect member of the HPC, who was not able to be present at yesterday's meeting, had had no opportunity to review the new material and submit comments, and HPC chair Rick Rector was unwilling to proceed without his input.
Marinaccio left City Hall after being told, with apologies, that he would have to wait until June 14 for a decision but returned minutes later to report that the carpenter creating the panels had to start now or he couldn't do the job. Marinaccio wanted the HPC to approve the plans so the millwork could begin. HPC member Peggy Polenberg took his part, but then, in an effort to persuade the HPC to relax their scrutiny because what he wanted to do would be a great improvement, Marinaccio made the mistake of saying, "I'm not going to paint it orange. It will be very tasteful." Polenberg, of course, is the owner of the orange building, and after that faux pas, Baldinger wanted to know if she was going to change her vote and withdraw her support.
To accommodate Marinaccio, the HPC will hold a special meeting on Friday, May 31, at 10 a.m., to review the application.
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