Historic Preservation Commission approves downtown projects

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 1, 2009

By Mark Wineka
The Salisbury Historic Preservation Commission approved several downtown projects Thursday, including a new facade for 110 S. Main St. and designs for three city parking lots.
Architect Jon Palmer, representing owner William Greene, presented plans for a complete renovation of the facade at 110 S. Main St., located next to Innes Street Drug.
Some of the changes will include the addition of four second-floor windows, a new parapet, and canvas awning and elimination of the current inset entrance on the first floor.
Judy Kandl, an architect who serves on the commission, said getting rid of the “non-original storefront configuration” is highly appropriate. In general, the commission gave its green light to the materials, colors, parapet design, windows, transom, awning and tile panels that are elements of the renovation.
“I think everything being requested is in compliance with the guidelines,” Kandl said.
The former aluminum cladding already has been removed.
Lynn Raker, urban design planner for the city, presented the plans for the three parking lots.
The most visible project planned probably will be the “Central City Lot” that’s in the middle of the 100 block of East Innes Street and serves as rear or side parking for businesses such as Bernhardt Hardware, George’s restaurant, Dee’s Jewelers, Frank’s Pawn Shop and others.
The $320,000 proposal would resurface the asphalt lot, add islands with trees, install ornamental lighting and remove overhead wiring. In addition, a bump-out curb, brick planters, landscaping, an art screen background and some kind of public art project are envisioned for the mid-block East Innes Street entrance to the parking lot.
The plan calls for converting “Hogan’s Alley,” the narrow alley leading into the lot from North Main Street, into a pedestrian walkway. It would be resurfaced with brick, and lighting and planting areas would be added to make it a pedestrian connector much like Easy Street off the 200 block of North Main Street.
Raker said the alley leading off East Innes Street and on the west side of Dee’s Jewelers would be paved in brick, and that brick path would extend along a mountable curb behind the rear entrances to the North Main Street businesses.
Raker emphasized improvements behind the businesses will be contingent on the owners granting easements to the city.
Frank Broadway, who occupies 107-109 N. Main St., said he was in favor of improving the parking lot behind his businesses, which include a pawn shop and tax service. He said he asked for improvements “many years ago.”
Broadway asked that the work keep in mind the businesses that will be affected.
Francis Yates and Wilma Harper own the property at 105 N. Main St., which they once operated as Queen’s.
“We begged for this to happen for many years,” Yates said.
But Yates expressed concerns about the effect the project might have on the drainage of water toward the back of their property and emphasized the alley entrance off East Innes Street must be kept open to ensure access.
“We do not want to hold up progress, but we have to make sure you don’t create a big problem for us,” she said.
The commission approved the parking lot plan, but the city will still need to have the easement agreements from many of the adjoining property owners to do the whole project.
The renovated parking lot would have about 43 spaces. It is part of an estimated $620,000 in parking lot improvements the city has planned.
The commission also approved plans Thursday for 54 new spaces as part of an expanded public parking lot behind City Hall. it also OK’d the design for 18 public spaces behind 209 and 213 S. Lee St., houses owned by the Salisbury Community Development Corp. and Downtown Salisbury Inc.
The plans calls for planted islands and decorative lights, among other elements.