by Michael R. Allen
On Monday, the Preservation Board met. Commissioners John Burse, Mike Killeen, David Richardson, Mary Johnson, Anthony Robinson, Alderman Terry Kennedy and Richard Callow were present. Follow along with the agenda published here; that includes detailed reports on all items.
Here is a summary of the proceedings:
PRELIMINARY REVIEW – DEMOLITION
The Ville: In the end, the Board voted 4-3 to accept staff recommendation to demolish eleven homes in the The Ville Historic District. Commissioners Kennedy, Richardson and Johnson voted “yea” while Commissioners Robinson, Killeen and Burse voted “nay.” Chairman Callow broke the tie by voting “yea.” During testimony, Alderman Sam Moore stated he would just as gladly mothball the buildings as tear them down, as long as something was done. He actually consented to staff recommendation after back-and-forth with Cultural Resources Director Kate Shea.
3911 & 3961 Blair: After rejecting a motion by Kennedy to approve demolition of both houses, the Board voted 4-1 (Killeen dissenting) to approve demolition of 3911 and deny demolition of 3961 Blair. Alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr. already broke his earlier promise to support no further demolition in the Hyde Park Historic District and urged approval of both, especially 3911 which — if the city sells the lot to a homeowner — will become the site of a gazebo, circle drive and swimming pool for a house next door.
PRELIMINARY REVIEW – NEW CONSTRUCTION
Both items approved with staff stipulations. The number of permits this month was atypically low.
APPEALS OF STAFF DENIALS
5286-98 Page Boulevard: Owners obtained a continuance; matter not considered.
4635 Martin Luther King Drive: This controversial issue, subject of a recent “You Paid for It” segment on Fox 2, died down after Alderman Moore promised a land swap with the church seeking demolition. Moore is in favor of preserving the so-called Doctor’s Building. The Board unanimously denied the appeal, and the pastor stated he would pursue the swap to get parking space elsewhere.
7416 Vermont Avenue: The Board unanimously denied the appeal of a church seeking to demolish a historic parsonage in Carondelet.
NATIONAL REGISTER NOMINATIONS
The Board approved all nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.