This post was authored by Amy Swift.
UPDATE: 4:00 PM September 12 The HDC meeting has been canceled due to lack of quorum. No LIVE blog tonight. We will notify readers when it has been rescheduled.
It's that time of the month again: the Historic District Commission's monthly meeting is tomorrow evening! We've had a good following the last few months with all the Van Dyke Scrapper Saga action. Even though that issue is tabled for the month (you know, while they supposedly put all the Frankenstein pieces back together), this week looks like it will live up to the hype so we're going to keep the LIVE blog reel coming atcha. Grab your martinis folks!
Here's what is looking interesting from the menu of agenda items:
James Burgess Book Jr. House
Last month Quinn Evans was named the architect for a historic renovation of the Book House at 8469 E. Jefferson. Sounds like they're proposing some selective demo of later additions, but what we're really dying to know is the grand plan for the structure! Do tell QEA...
The Gilbert-owned property is seeking approval for a "seasonal outdoor cafe" at 1555 Broadway. Last month we saw Union Street gain a quick approval for their sidewalk cafe, so this addition of urban amenity is a sure win. Now for the real question: is this a proposal for the coffee shop that recently moved into the building, or some other new delish outdoor spot to check out?
Brush Park Demos
The circle of life continues in the Brush Park hood with two more demolition requests. Since these properties are in the Brush Park historic district, the HDC must approve the demo before the permit is granted. These two, 259 and 281 Erskine, are on the same side of a stretch of block that still retains many of its structures (that is, for a street in Brush Park). If these both go it will be a slippery slope for the rest of the block.
Mercury Burger Bar
Remember that barn-like awning that went up on the side of Mercury Burger Bar back in May? Well, it turns out they never pulled a permit or got HDC approval before building in a historic district. Since the work is done there may simply be a tongue lashing, but if the mash-up of aesthetic stylings has been bothering you all summer there is still hope of a change order.
Palms Apartment Building
Fresh off the demolition of the Kahn-designed American Beauty Iron Works building there is a threat of a different sort to the Palms Apartments with a proposal to "replace 21 original wood windows with glass block." Now, we're used to requests for vinyl replacements (which are awful), but surely you jest with the glass block. As our Preservation Wayne tipster puts it, this proposed change "will completely ruin the historic integrity of the fenestration of this building."
FUN FACT: The Palms Apartment Building built between 1901-03 (when Kahn still worked with George Mason) was one of the first buildings in the country to use reinforced concrete as one of its major structural materials. This predates even the 1905 Packard Plant Building No. 10 which is of course known the world over for its groundbreaking use of the Kahn System of Reinforced Concrete developed by Albert's brother Julius. Yay concrete!
Historic District Roundup
The proposed historic districts of Capital Park and Palmer Park will be discussed. We're not sure in what manner, but we're excited nonetheless.