When it comes to long meetings, the Planning Board has nothing on the Historic Preservation Commission. This morning's HPC meeting, scheduled for 10:00 a.m. but which didn't actually begin until 10:28 a.m. because the meeting is required to be a public meeting and no log-in information had been provided to the public, lasted until 2:00 p.m. There were many projects on the agenda, but Gossips will cover only the most interesting ones.
Of great interest to many, the HPC passed a resolution recommending that 241 Columbia Street, the building that was constructed as the first house of worship for Shiloh Baptist Church, be designated a local landmark. It is now up to the Common Council officially to make that designation.
The building's owner, Victoria Milne, who threatened to sell the building if it was designated, was in attendance at the meeting, but neither she nor her attorney, Kristal Heinz, spoke.
Of interest to those advocating for converting accessory buildings into living spaces to increase the number of rental units in the city and to those advocating for the preservation of alley structures, the former carriage house now garage behind 538 Warren Street is to be converted into a "rentable apartment."
The plan for the renovation moves the entrance to the east side of the building, makes the current loft access into a window, but preserves the loft doors as an architectural detail on the building. The project was granted a certificate of appropriateness.
It will be remembered that the building in front of this accessory building, 538 Warren Street, formerly the location of John Anderson's Foxfird Antiques, is being renovated to become a wine bar, with apartments above.
Shanan Magee, who rescued and restored the Park Theater at 723 Warren Street, was back before the HPC to present his plans for the facade of ground floor of the building. His previous certificate of appropriate applied only to the part of the building above the ground floor, the work now completed.
No one, in years of searching, has ever been able to find a photograph of the original theater, so Magee used the Star Theater, once located at 510 Warren Street and owned by the same people who built the Park Theater, as the inspiration for what he is proposing for the ground floor of the building: two pairs of double doors positioned beneath and set back from what had been the glass marquee of the original theater.
The HPC granted a certificate of appropriateness to the plans for the ground floor facade of the former Park Theater.
The plan to convert TJ Auto Service Center, at 735 Columbia Street, into a brewery and bar and tasting room, a project that was presented to the Planning Board on Tuesday, August 11, came before the HPC this morning. For the HPC, the applicant had this new color rendering of how the building, with its new use, would appear.
Gossips must confess an error. The report on the Planning Board meeting indicated that the new brewery was to be called Columbia Pump Station. In fact, it will be called Columbia Filling Station.
The HPC is seeking more detail about the restoration before considering a certificate of appropriateness, but a letter of general support for the concept and the new use will by drafted by the HPC and submitted to the Planning Board.
Also of interest are the plans to transform the facade of the old police station at 427 Warren Street.
The building was sold at auction in June 2019, and today the HPC granted a certificate of appropriateness for plans to redesign and reconstruct the facade of the building "with historic style brick."
The entire HPC meeting can be viewed on YouTube.
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