Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Watching the Progress on a Historic House

The grand house on the northwest corner of State and Third streets, once known as the William F. Ball place, is probably significant enough to merit historic preservation protection, but it is not included in any locally designated historic district, so it has none. 

When the plans for restoring the house and converting it into eight apartments first came before the Planning Board in July 2021,
Gossips reported:
Among the changes proposed for the building are replacing the original slate on the mansard roof with asphalt shingles; replacing the vinyl siding with something whose description sounded like Hardiplank; replacing the double hung windows with black casement windows; transforming the corner commercial entrance, discovered under the vinyl siding in 2018, into something described as a "Juliet balcony" for the apartment to be created in that space.
The next month, the owner of the building appeared before the Planning Board to correct and clarify what was planned for the building. Here's what Gossips reported at that time:
The original slate on the mansard roof is to be repaired not replaced with asphalt shingles. The vinyl siding will be replaced with a composite product that is similar to Hardiplank but is wood-based rather than cement based. There was never a plan to replace the double hung windows with casement windows. The Planning Board had been told that in error. Instead, the double hung windows will be replaced with new double hung windows. . . .
The owner of the building told the Planning Board, "My vision is to make the building look very similar to The Maker. Anything that we can maintain we will."
In January 2022, Gossips reported about the bizarre "ornaments" that had replaced the carved window surrounds on the dormers in the mansard roof. 

In May 2022, Gossips reported that the slate on the mansard roof was being replaced with asphalt shingles. 

In August 2022, Gossips reported on the changes in fenestration, both in size and placement of windows.

Today, to further the "remuddling," the building is being enrobed in what appears to be vinyl siding.



  1. Maker Hotel aspirations with a St. Charles Hotel budget

  2. What can you do, at least they didn't tear it down. Maybe in a hundred years someone will restore it correctly.

  3. Whoever this outfit is, I would question their logic. Slates can be replaced as needed. Sure nothing is cheap these days but surely replacing the whole mansard with cheap materials is not saving money in the long term. Then there's the design! Oh grief! The dormers replacing perfectly designed windows. Perhaps they needed some restoration but they look (err, looked) intact and restorable.