Although the building was a notorious study of abuse and neglect, there was photographic documentation to show how the building looked in the 1930s and probably had looked since the 1880s. All the HPC wanted was that the building look like that again.
The photoshopped image of the house (above), created by Bob Mechling, shows that the way back was not that far and would bring the house to a good and authentic feeling place.
Galvan had other ideas--reflecting either the principal's or the architect's preference for faux Greek Revival design. When the HPC rejected the first design, which featured a central portico with two-story columns, reminiscent of 130 Union (another historic building re-created by Galloway as a Greek Revival) . . .
Although it seemed perfectly obvious, to this observer at least, that the HPC wanted to see the house restored to what it had once been not re-created into something it had never been, it was determined that 67-71 North Fifth Street should be the subject of the first ever HPC workshop session, in which members of the HPC could confer directly with the owner and the architect. What actually happened at the workshop session, which took place on August 24, 2012, was that Hamilton appeared with yet a third design for the building--one that reinstated the gable and the front porch extending the width of the building.
On the direction of counsel, Cheryl Roberts, only two members of the HPC participated in the workshop meeting: chair Rick Rector and architect member Jack Alvarez. Rector called the new design a "big, big step in the right direction." Alvarez declared himself "ecstatic that the porch is coming back." He did not, however, comment on the fact that the configuration of the proposed porch was not the same as the original porch. There was considerable discussion of the gable. Rector and Alvarez were concerned that the pitch of the gable (and the roof) was more shallow than the pitch of the original. Rector expressed disappointment that the windows in the gable had been eliminated.
Given this attention to the gable in the review process--to this observer, the gable and the porch were the critical elements the HPC was looking for before granting a certificate of appropriateness--it's hard to accept that the absence of the gable on the house today could be the "consequence of an oversight."