The Madison Historic District Review Board approved three applications for historic structures on Monday evening, but one of the three could still face another hurdle when it applies to the city for a building permit to complete the work. approved by the board.
Dale Wells has been working on his home, located at 1037 West Main Street in downtown Madison, for over a year – without a building permit or HDBR approval – but he cleared at least one of those hurdles on Monday despite objections from a neighbor.
Wells, who was making his second appearance in front of HDBR, is looking to build an additional attic at his house with a half bath located on the west half of the structure and using wooden doors rather than windows on the south side of the house. opening onto the second floor.
Council members questioned the use of doors rather than windows and questioned whether they would pose a safety hazard if someone opened the doors, took the plunge and fell.
Neighbor Paul Lee said the problems go beyond doors and other substitutions Wells is implementing in his construction. He said Wells had worked on the house for months without a permit, had no structural engineering data to determine if the building could support the addition to the roof, and that Wells had bypassed the HDBR exam and the building permit process by continuing the project without any approvals or permits. at the risk of damaging the historic structure and the property of neighbors and neighbors.
Lee said the doors were removed, the trim removed, and the bricks knocked out with a hammer. He said the roof line and gutters have been changed, the windows have been changed and the chimneys have been removed.
“All of that architecture is gone,” said Lee, adding, “While I applaud Dale for improving his property, I don’t think any of this has been done historically. It has drastically changed the look of this. building, front and back, and no structural investigation has been done … if this property is sold, it will never pass inspection.
Wells was visibly agitated at times and interrupted Lee on several occasions. At the time, he mocked Lee’s complaints and concerns from HDBR members that his renovation was undermining the historic integrity of the neighborhood or creating unsafe conditions for occupants or neighbors.
Board member Ken McWilliams noted that the HDBR has no authority over building permits, engineering, or how Wells conducts his project, other than whether the exterior plans are in accordance with the city ordinance and directives to preserve the historic district.
In the end, the four board members present – McWilliams, Thomas Stark, Jerome Vernon and Mike Pittman – voted 2-2 on Wells’ candidacy, with John Wilber, Owen McCall and Jerry Wade absent from the meeting. . This allowed the application to be approved, but council members pointed out to Wells that he still needed a building permit and he agreed to meet with the city’s building inspector to get that approval. .
In other cases, the board has approved a request on behalf of landowner John Morgan to demolish a 1950s non-contributory lean-to and repair openings on the south side of a former cooperage at 100 Elm Street in downtown Madison. The main two-story structure is an Italian-style brick with a gable that adjoins the Crystal Beach Pool property in the city of Madison.
According to project architect Louis Joyner, the lean-to is no longer necessary, does not contribute to the building and needs repairs. Rather than repairing the hangar, Morgan wants to remove it and restore the building to its historic appearance with no immediate plans other than preserving the structure.
The board also approved a request by John Staicer, president and chief executive officer of Historic Madison Inc., to remove an unoriginal rear entrance door and trim on an 1840 brick structure owned by HMI located at 118 West Third Street and fill in the area. The structure was originally located at 615 West Street, but moved to West Third Street in 1999 to avoid demolition during the King’s Daughters’ Health expansion.