Bethlehem: Wellness center, deli plans approved
The Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission, which usually holds hearings at 7 p.m. on the third Monday of the month, held this one Feb. 22 at the Banana Factory as Presidents’ Day fell on the third Monday this year.
Bethlehem city inspector Philip Roeder, having recently taken over as chair from board member Beth Starbuck, who previously held the post for 16 years, welcomed Roger Hudak’s debut as a new member. Hudak is a Southside resident and the chair of the Mayor’s South Side Task Force.
Commission member Gary Lade, a registered architect, was nominated, then voted on unanimously to the post of vice chair.
The BHCC serves to approve, or table with suggestions, Bethlehem residents’ and business owners’ applications for alterations to existing structures located in one of three designated historic districts. The commission’s recommendations are reviewed, then voted on by City Council, before any project is allowed to proceed.
The first of three properties located within the South Bethlehem Historic Conservation District on the evening’s agenda was 711 East Fourth St. owned by Louis Calixto. Kubyran Dovett and Everton Bryan, representing Annie’s Beauty Supply, proposed to install a 2-feet-high by 10-feet-wide
sign on the front of the building. The request was tabled with the recommendation that they return with a scale drawing of the proposed sign, stating that there was not enough information available to base a decision on. It was also suggested by board members that the iron bars be removed from the front of the former record store to make the property more visually appealing. BHCC members, however, noted that this would be something the building’s owner
, not a tenant, should consider.
Next on the agenda was George’s Light Lunch and Deli at 127-129 East Third St. owned by J. Pearl and William Eaton. Having had his proposal tabled last October, Eaton returned to get the board’s consent to install a 174 ¼-inch-wide by 17-inch-high sign, as well as a blade sign to the front of the building. After reviewing the revised detailed drawings of the proposed signage, the commission unanimously approved the work.
Roger Hudak quipped “… is this George’s Light Lunch from Second Avenue? You don’t need the sign, they will find you where you are … Make sure you keep the recipe …”
Extensive rehabilitation work proposed for 502 East Fourth Street was the final property up for review. A proposed was submitted by it owner, the Hispanic Center Lehigh Valley, to convert the former bank and later a Windish Hall, to a “Community Wellness Center.” Representing the project were Nathan S. Nace, associate director of the Bethlehem office of BDA Architects, Justin K. Tagg, Project Designer of BDA Healthcare Architects, and Elizabeth DeCarlo, Project Manager Planning and Construction Management for St. Lukes University Health Network.
After discussing the proposed cleaning of the stone and restoration of the classical revival building’s architectural details, drawings and elevations of the façade rehab were examined. BHCC approved the proposed work as submitted with the exception of the color of the exterior canopy. Signage for the property are to be submitted at a later time.
Before adjourning for the night, board member Beth Starbuck brought up that the application paperwork did not specifically require applicants to submit detailed, scale graphics of proposed signage. It was then unanimously agreed to add “A scale drawing is required for sign submissions on an elevation” to the standard BHCC application form.