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Blockwork projects get Historic Preservation Commission OK

SALISBURY — Two projects for the Oct. 26 Blockwork were given the go-ahead by the Historic Preservation Commission at its meeting Thursday.

Alyssa Nelson, the coordinator of Blockwork, requested the commission’s approval to install handrails at 1013 N. Main St. and to cap a masonry block wall and paint a mural on the Miller Street side at 928 N. Main St.

This year’s Blockwork location is North Main Street. The Make a Difference Day brings hundreds of volunteers out to transform a neighborhood and encourage others to beautify their own neighborhoods as well.

Nelson said she hopes the mural, which will be completed by students from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, will turn a drab concrete wall into something lively. The property owners picked the final design of the mural.

Commission member Sue McHugh said the wall has been a blight in the neighborhood and she has enjoyed previous murals to come out of Blockwork.

Jon Planovsky, a commission member, said the city can’t remove the wall so it might as well make it look better.

Chairman Andrew Walker said the wall has no historical significance and recommended the project be approved by the commission.

The commission also approved installation of a metal handrail on the retaining wall stairs and two new handrails on the house steps on 1013 N. Main St.

The city’s guidelines state handrails should meet health and safety codes without diminishing the historic character of the structure.

Nelson said the right cinderblock wall at the front of the property will be repaired as well, a project that did not need to come before the Historic Preservation Commission for approval.

As with the other property, Nelson received the go-ahead from the property owner.

The board also approved a new exterior wall sign and non-illuminated monument for the new Sharonview Credit Union branch at 403 N. Main St.

Jeremy Inman, an agent with the credit union, proposed a halo-lighted sign that shines toward the back of the wall, providing a subtler type of lighting that would be a better fit for a historic district.

The Sharonview sign would 16 feet, 9 inches by 3 feet.

Commission member Elizabeth Trick opposed the size of the sign. Planovsky also raised concerns that because of the number of letters in Sharonview, it would expand across the facade.

Opponents were worried it would set a precedent for downtown that others would follow with signs of similar scale.

Acey Worthy disagreed, saying the sign fits with the size and scale of the building.

McHugh said the sign would not obscure any architectural features and the guidelines about signs are generally for residential areas. The 400 block of North Main Street is commercial.

Inman’s request was approved, 5-2, with Trick and Planovsky voting no.

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