Wednesday, July 20, 2016

New Architect Member for the HPC

Hudson's historic preservation ordinance, Chapter 169 in the city code, makes it clear that the Historic Preservation Commission shall be made up of seven members, at least one of which "shall be an architect experienced in working with historic buildings." The need for this expertise on the commission is considered to be so important that the architect member is the only member of the commission who does not have to be a Hudson resident--professional expertise being of greater importance than residency. The critical need for an architect member notwithstanding, the HPC has been without a qualified preservation architect member since September 2014, when Mayor William Hallenbeck chose not to reappoint the well-qualified preservation architect Jack Alvarez and appointed instead Chris Perry, an architect with no experience in historic preservation. During the time he served on the HPC, Perry had a record of nonattendance, which led to his resignation, and for the past year, the HPC has been functioning with only six members and with no architect of any stripe.

Today, Gossips learned that Mayor Tiffany Martin Hamilton has appointed Kate Johns as the architect member of the HPC. Johns is the principal of Kate Johns AIA, an architectural firm specializing in new traditional architecture and historic preservation. The firm's website has this to say about its historic preservation philosophy:
The term "historic preservation" encompasses many levels of intervention with en existing building. From strict "preservation" of an historic structure according to the Secretary of the Interior's standards, to renovation, adaptive reuse, and additions, our firm has many years of experience with them all.
We approach renovations with a lifetime's knowledge of historical architecture and an eye to preserving as many important original features and finishes as possible while upgrading the structural stability, energy efficiency, and modern-day use of the building. Our additions strive to respect the design intent of the original architect or that of the most prevalent style of architecture the building maintains. As in our new construction, we strive to harmonize rather than to make a "design statement."
Johns will join the HPC at its first meeting in August, which takes place on Friday, August 12, at 10 a.m.

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