Thursday, March 11, 2021

Public Hearing Tomorrow

It has been confirmed that the Historic Preservation Commission will hold a public hearing on what is proposed for the restoration of 59 Allen Street, described by Walter Chatham, the architect working on the project for the Galvan Foundation, as a "hulking Gothic ruin." The public hearing begins at 10:00 a.m., followed by the regular HPC meeting.

Most of what is being proposed has to do with fenestration--in other words, windows. The attic and the basement of the house have casement windows, and Chatham is postulating that the windows on the first and second floors were originally casement windows as well. The double hung windows there now are 20th-century additions. The plan is to analyze the construction of the casement windows that exist in the building and use the same profile and techniques to reproduce casement windows for the other window openings.

On the east side of the building, facing the Second Street stairs, where there is a window that was obviously not original to the building, it is proposed to add two windows--one on the first floor, one on the second floor--under the gable at the left, and to re-create the tripartite window on the second floor, to the right of the entrance.  

This engraving of the building, from an 1858 map of Columbia County, shows the tripartite window but provides no evidence that there were windows where windows are now being proposed.

Regarding the north facade of the building, facing Allen Street, Chatham spoke of the "troubling absence of windows." What's being proposed are false openings on the first and second floors, so it will appear there are four windows, evenly space apart, on the first and second floors.

In this photo, probably from the 1940s, the north facade of the house appears to be pretty much as it is today.

The proposal for the restoration also includes replacing the chimney pots, reproducing the verge boards, and re-creating the dip moldings over all the windows. It is also proposed to stucco the house, to create "an Ashlar stone effect," as appears in the 1858 engraving of the house.

The HPC meeting at which the proposal for restoring 59 Allen Street was presented can be viewed here. The presentation begins 54 minutes in.

Click here to join tomorrow's HPC Zoom meeting.  

1 comment:

  1. It seems a little odd to put in fake windows when the original appears to have no windows on that side. Wondering as well if putting stucco over all that old brick is a great idea, wouldn't that damage the bricks?