The proposal to convert the first floor of the triple-decker house at 745 Warren Street into an art gallery was back before the HPC on Friday. The HPC had asked that, instead of removing the bay on the ground floor and replacing it with an entrance to the gallery, the door accessing the gallery be incorporated into the bay. The new design presented on Friday did what had been requested.
HPC member Tony Thompson observed that it was a big change from what exists now, but architect member Jack Alvarez called it "a vast improvement considering where the design was." Alvarez stressed the importance of reversibility, pointing out that the building was "conceived and designed as a residential structure." Alvarez's only objection to the new design was the introduction of a second break in the porch railing to access the new entrance.
In the end, the HPC voted to grant the proposal a certificate of appropriateness, with only Thompson casting a dissenting vote.
A multi-dealer antique and vintage shop is moving into 337 Warren Street, and a certificate of appropriateness was sought for a new sign. The plan is to paint the existing sign a copper color with the name ANTIGO centered on it in white.
The HPC raised the question of what was under the wooden sign, and the answer given was frosted leaded glass. A little investigation confirms that the building did have a frieze of leaded glass over the display windows, probably similar to that found on 339 Warren Street. At some point, however, the glass at 337 was painted over. Wouldn't it be grand if the glass could stripped and exposed again?
A glass frieze was also part of the last application to come before the HPC on Friday. In October 2012, Tom Swope came before the Historic Preservation Commission seeking a certificate of appropriateness to cover the leaded glass frieze at 307 Warren Street with a panel of wood.
Swope's reason for wanting to insert the wood panel was structural. Repairs made to the building years ago, after a fire destroyed the third floor, were resulting in unintended stress on the glass frieze. It was having to bear weight that it was not meant to bear, and the wood panel was proposed as a means of protecting it. The HPC approved the proposal, and the wood panel was installed.
Now a new tenant for the storefront--a shop that will sell European (Swedish and German) furniture--wants to uncover the glass frieze and restore it. If, as Swope suggested in October, it is discovered that it is impossible to repair the glass frieze, the applicant suggested that it might be replaced with glass brick to replicate in appearance the glass frieze on 316 across the street.
Some other things were proposed for 307 Warren Street as well: the addition of copper to the projecting cornice above the frieze and the addition of some kind of paneling to the side of the building to delineate the shop and continue the look of the storefront around to the side of the building that faces the parking lot.
The HPC judged the application was incomplete because there were too many unanswered questions and asked that the applicant supply a photograph of the side wall as it is now and specific information and a sample of the material proposed for it. It was also recommended that signage--another of the things being proposed--be handled as a separate application. The HPC also advised that, if it is determined that the leaded glass frieze cannot be restored, the alternative solution must come before the HPC separately for a certificate of appropriateness.
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