Berthlehem HARB approves Market St. rennovations
A residence being converted to office space at 2 W. Market St. was granted a certificate of appropriateness by Bethlehem’s Historical and Architectural Review Board Oct. 5, as most of the work would be in kind. The property, owned by Herm Rij, was represented by architect Michael J. Metzger and building contractor Jed Gilly.
Metzger said the metal exterior stairs, needed to be added to meet city code, were designed to minimally impact the appearance of the building. His proposed renovations to the structure include repainting the exterior facades, adding storm windows and shutters, new trim and rebuild the entry porch, as well as installing colonial style gas lamp wall sconces.
The colonial style gas lamp wall sconce selection was met with resistance by board member Marsha Fritz. She felt that since the house is Italianate in style, Metzger should find something that would be more appropriate for that type of building. She also questioned the red window sills which would not match the rest of the window trim, saying that, “Italianate buildings from that period emphasize the vertical lines.”
Since most of the project was granted approval, Chairman Fred Bonsall suggested that Metzger do more research and return before the board with a revised color scheme and lighting proposal.
Alan Lowcher, owner of the residence at 438 High St., was quickly granted approval by the board to replace a worn asphalt roof. Armed with a sample of GAF slateline antique gray shingles, his proposal was given a certificate of appropriateness with the stipulation that copper or lead-covered copper flashing be used and that open valleys be employed instead of woven shingles.
Bruce Sinclair appeared before the board as a walk-in. Sinclair’s request to paint over the red front door on his property at 404 High St. a dark “Terrytown” green was met with unanimous approval.
Before adjourning the hearing, Fred Bosnall put before the board a property owner’s concept for demolishing a garage and replacing it with a two-story apartment unit. The investment property’s owner, Dennis Connally, also wanted to add a small parking lot at the back of 238 E. Market St. Bosnall volunteered to get the board’s opinion on such a project. After some discussion, Marsha Fritz summed up the board’s view with, “Just from the standpoint of HARB, I would say that there is some reluctance to approve this.” Phil Roeder added that “the cost of construction is significant for a project like this.”
The Historical and Architectural Review Board meets the first Wednesday of every month to review all exterior changes proposed to buildings in the Bethlehem Historic District north of the Lehigh River. When a proposed project receives a certificate of appropriateness from the board, applicants must wait for city council to vote on it before proceeding.