January 22, 2015
Commissioners Attending: Patricia Weichmann, Chairperson; Mike Russo, Vice-Chair and Ron Berman
Other representatives or staff attending: Anne Roane, City Planner and Frank Cooke (City Commissioner)
Ms. Weichmann began the meeting and took a roll call of members in attendance. She spoke to all those whom needed to be sworn in.
HPC#29 FY 2014-15, 307 Gay Street, City Commissioners of Cambridge (owners)
Ms. Roane spoke about John Brunnett the architect retained by the City to create bid documents and the final designs for the renovation of the old City Hall. He is here to present to the Commission about the concerns with a garage door and materials. This Commission had asked for some more information on the project.
Ms. Weichmann asked that on a City perspective, what kind of review he would need to go through for a building like that. Does he come to us, we give him a yea or nay, then where does he go. Ms. Roane said that the City will be the owners of the document then we find the funding and put it out to bid. There have been some roof issues, which the City has dealt with and we are still meeting with State funders and looking at our options. Our Code states that government buildings or projects for the public are exempt from regulatory reviews, such as Planning Commission, we will bring it to them as a curtesy, just to let the know, but it is not exempt form Historical Preservation Commission approval. That is why it comes here. There will be a public presentation as well.
Mr. Berman asked if there was any public input at all. Ms. Roane said she did not get any comments. There was some input from the students back in 2011 and she thinks some of that was used by Mr. Brunnett. The students provided some concept drawings. We partnered with Morgan State University Graduate Architectural Program and had some of their student's project on City Hall. It was that work that helped us secure funding to actually bring it to the next step.
Mr. John Brunnett, project architect, will try to see where he left off at November meeting. The original drawings from 1926 that we are using are helping to make the decisions, like how do we design the replacement windows, doors and others. We are trying to replicate the details from those 1926 drawings.
• Demolish the addition from the 1960's, it has a concrete slab roof and is not appropriate. It really cannot be used.
• Remove the existing roof structure on the one story part of the building and what we found in the attic was some very large beams. The beams have a lot of decay and we need take the roof off and restructure the roof. Replace with an asphalt shingle roof and match the pitch that it is now.
• The funeral home owns a part of the building that has the corrugated roof.
• Supposing to have a seam metal roof material with new structure.
• Flat part of the two story roof, needs to be replaced with single ply membrane with white finish. TPO roof is hidden from the street. It will drain to a gutter system.
• The bay doors which we are referring to in the 1926 drawings and replace them with the appearance of the same doors, but they will not function as operable doors. The glass panels. Also, the same in the alley for that bay door.
• The door next to the tower, we are going to put the same type of door and the same motif.
• The windows were replaced in the 1970's with aluminum and we are replacing with the six over six and six over nine with the trim work from the 1926 drawing. Wood on the inside and wood with aluminum overlay on the outside. The details of the original drawing of the trim, but using PVC type of materials to withstand the weather.
Mr. Berman asked what is he not trying to replicate for this building? The exterior we are trying to replicate it all. The roof with the metal is more appropriate for that time period. If the original was not metal we could go with a wood shingle roof.
Mr. Berman continued that if he are going for the most historic look, the wood shingle would be best. The original walls from the late 1890's, if they could stand out some way. Mr. Brunnett stated that they are going to try to keep all the original brick work. The north and south walls we can say are original for the length of what the City owns. The west wall some is owned by the Newcomb & Collins Funeral Home, P.A.
Continued discussion of details.
Mr. Berman asked Ms. Roane that once we approve this or give our input, the only other review will be the City Council and their funding of the renovations. They will make the changes on the design. Ms. Roane commented that the Planning Commission was very involved and the students work, the site plan does not require the Planning Commission approval. It will go to the City Council and if they do not supersede then it goes to finding funding and putting out to bid. We will know after Mr. Brunnett finalized the plans then we will know what the costs will be.
Ms. Roane stated that we as the City are not eligible for tax credits because we are a municipality.
Mr. Brunnett continued:
• Exterior wood doors to restore them. Not replacing the screen doors.
• Host tower doors to restore.
• Replacing one of the store front doors from the parking lot.
• Repoint the brick to make the joints even.
• One story needs to be repointed to the whole thing.
Mr. Berman asked if there was any landscaping tonight, is it still part of the design?
Mr. Brunnett explained that the parking lots will stay the same; we will treat the surfaces with pavers and the alleyway. The landscaping will be in the back.
Mr. Russo spoke and is very pleased with the project.
Ms. Weichmann asked if there was anyone from the public wishing to speak.
Mr. Cooke wanted to see the samples to be used on this project. He does like what he sees.
Ms. Debbie Hayes and lives at 6 Willis Street. She was concerned with what the hose tower is going to be? Mr. Brunnett commented that the students thought an elevator shaft, but reality it will not work.
Ms. Weichmann asked about the lighting outside? Mr. Brunnett spoke that there is just general lighting and some street lights have gone up in the front of the building. We will be taking the hand railing and the ramp away and re-grade the front of the building.
Ms. Weichmann spoke to the Board that the actions we take tonight will be going to the City Council. For any changes this project will have to come before us again. Mr. Brunnett said that he would have to have Storm Management approval by then.
A motion was to close this discussion by Mr. Berman and second by Mr. Russo. All in favor.
Mr. Russo made a motion to approve the City Hall renovation project and there is no case number, but 307 Gay Street as submitted, per the presentation. Seconded by Ms. Weichmann the motion. Motion carried.
HPC#30 FY 2014-15 118 High Street. Mr. Larry McCormick (owner) applicate wants to demolish his shed.
Mr. McCormick spoke that he has been in the house for over 20 years and that the structure was there in the back of the property. He wants to have some events in his back yard and need more room. The shed just needs to go and the other building in the back yard will be staying.
Mr. Berman stated that the house was very interesting and he thought it was attached to the next house at one time, the Art Center / Leonard House. He thinks that the shed is not in good shape and he does not object to the taking of it down.
Ms. Weichmann was relieved when reading his application to see that he was only taking down the shed and it is a beautiful street. This is going to be an upgrade. If you have plans to put in another structure you will need to come back to us on that.
A motion to close the public discussion, by Mr. Russo and seconded by Mr. Berman. All approved.
A motion for the approval as submitted HPC#30 FY 2014-15 118 High Street by Mr. Berman and seconded by Ms. Weichmann. Motion carried.
HPC#31 FY 2014-15, 117 Vue de Leau. George Vogtech & Patricia Kaczmarek (owners). The applicants have purchased this home and wants to take the side porch and restore to the original porch configuration. They submitted some pictures of how the porch looked in 1901.
George Vogtech spoke about wanting to remove the enclosed side porch and he has a floor plan. The picture from 1901 shows the L-shaped porch and when they bought the house it was enclosed. The previous owners used it for a bedroom for a family member that could not climb steps. They think that it was done around 1970's and he had the inside torn out to see the walls. The plan is to replace the original window into the original opening that is still in the wall and old porch columns are in the shed in the back yard. In the attic, the glass door that was originally there and that can also be used. They would need to rebuild the porch railing. He asked the Board if they change the railing to spindles from the square ones that were in the picture. Discussion on the floor plan. When they bought the house there were a lot of violations attached to the house by the previous owners and they have repaired and satisfied the inspectors by repairing the retaining wall and other exterior maintenance.
• Old porch flooring is still there.
• The old pictures had square stock and he just wanted spindles and also to rebuild the railings which were deteriorating.
• The whole house is asbestos shingles and he wants to take the side porch and cover the clapboard with new asbestos shingles and his workers know how to install them. He is not a big fan asbestos shingles, he would like to clapboard in the future.
• The previous owners did little work with the addition, so some of the trim is still there and we can just add to or replace with the same trim work.
Ms. Weichmann spoke that Mr. Vogtech was very clear on what he want to do with it and she is glad about that and thanked him. Mr. Vogtech said they are working on four different homes in the Cambridge area, so he will be working with this Board a lot.
A motion to close the hearing, by Mr. Russo and seconded by Mr. Berman. All in favor.
Mr. Russo made a motion to HPC#31 FY 2014-15, 117 Vue de Leau Street accept the application as submitted and that they used as much of the originally materials as much as possible and restoring the porch to the second floor to according to the plans and details that he has submitted to us tonight. Motion seconded by Ms. Weichmann. Motion carried.
543 Poplar Street, at the Four Corners Building. The architect on this project is Jay Corvin. Ms. Devlin will be here tonight to speak on his behalf and give us some information on the project. He will be coming to us in the near future.
Mr. Berman stated that he read through the proposal and we need to take this one slowly.
Ms. Devlin addressed the Board that a letter dated Jan. 22, 2015 was submitted, which is a total of 5 pages which goes into the history of the building, but the evolution of the building and where Mr. Corvin is willing to go to. Mr. Corvin wants to make sure that the Commission is comfortable in the direction he is heading and what he is looking for in the Four Corner design and wrap it around to High Street. He recognizes that the two buildings on High Street have more of a colonial type look and he has some historic photos. Most of the exterior of the building is original. She spoke of the proposed and it shows the concept of what he would like to do. He is comfortable that after tonight any decisions that the Board makes to get him in the right direction. The intent of the use of the buildings is to have a restaurant on the first floor, apartments on the second and third floors.
Ms. Roane said that she has met with Mr. Corvin when he dropped off the drawings. She was looking at the Four Corners Building, and sees that it more historic and more important of those buildings. The old MUC office and the other buildings that are attached to it, he wants to restore the facades to match. He knows that he needs to go through this committee.
Ms. Weichmann asked if anyone has any thoughts on this proposal.
Mr. Russo had no objection to the site information or the sale of the proposal.
Mr. Berman spoke that on an historic stand point, he is preserving the building as well as he can. On the first floor, if you have all large windows down High Street, it would change the look of the street. We are encouraging and preserve the original look.
Mr. Russo like the proposal and so does the Chair, Ms. Weichmann.
Ms. Roane said that the owners would like to get started on the building. The third floor has a copper ceiling with blue and clouds on it; she thinks it was the Masonic Lodge at one time.
Ms. Roane will set up a meeting to have Mr. Jay get together with the Committee members separately from a regular meeting.
Ms. Weichmann commented that the Board needed to approve the minutes from the last meeting.
Mr. Russo made a motion to approve the minutes of the last meeting submitted by Ms. Anne Roane with the date of November 20, 2014. The minutes were seconded by Ms. Weichmann. All in favor and the minutes are approved.
The Review of the Guidelines is still open for the record and she has not schedule anything with the next step on it. We need to go over the comments at a later date.
Administratively Approved/Routine Maintenance
307 & 305 Gay Street buildings needed roof replacement and repairs.
There will be maintenance on 202 High Street that was burnt, will be on the next month's agenda.
221 Choptank Avenue with the satellite dish and other property code violations and she will need to get with MDIA Hal Davis to get some more information on it.
Ms. Weichmann asked if there was anything else before the closing of the meeting.
Mr. Cooke asked about if there was a house and there was something added to it and it was just wrong and I would want to remove it, what is the policy to do that? Ms. Weichmann explained that you would need to talk to the City Planner and she would tell you whether the removal was within or without the guidelines, when the addition was added.
A motion to close the meeting by Mr. Russo and seconded by Ms. Weichmann. All in favor.
Hearing no further comments, Patricia Weichmann, Chair thanked everyone for attending and for their participation.
Michal Dixon, Secretary 1, DPW
Patricia Weichmann, Chairperson Date