HCC approves sign for coffee shop
Matthew Hengeveld, representing 26 E. Third St., was granted a certificate of appropriateness by the Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission Nov. 21. He and his business partner, Dan Taylor (represented by his mother, Maire), owners of the Lit Coffee Roaster and Bake Shop, were given approval for window signage and a small plaque with the board’s unanimous decision. The building is owned by John Saraceno.
A 36 inch x 18 inch hanging sign for Empire Styles Boutique at 337 Vine St. was quickly approved by the commission with the stipulation that a “warmer white” be part of the black and white color scheme. The women’s clothing and accessories shop is owned by Arlenis Diaz in a building owned by Gregory Heitman.
Having returned a month after he last appeared before BHCC, Mustafa Okumus, owner of NYC Village Pizza, was granted a certificate of appropriateness for extensive work on the façade of 129 W. Fourth St., a building owned by Joe Hanna. Okumus came to the meeting well-prepared with blueprints of the extensive changes proposed for the former home of Play It Again Records. His marble and tile samples were examined by the board, which gave its approval unanimously, with amendments saying Okumus would use metal grills and he would repair, a leaded glass window. A six-panel steel door for apartment access at the front of his business and one for an exit toward the back were also approved.
Michelle Conrad’s proposal for replacing existing content in an internally-lit box sign at 306 Brodhead Ave. was also approved unanimously with the stipulation that it be rewired to illuminate the sign from the exterior. Conrad is the owner of Shabby Chimelle’s, a business that sells hand-made gifts and vintage home décor in a building owned by Angelina M, LLC.
McDonalds at 442 Wyandotte St., owned by Albert and Carol Mueller, was represented by LuAnne Rossi and Joseph Bonita of Rossi Signs & Crane, Inc. Their proposed signage changes were tabled by the board. Rossi and Bonita provided plans for converting the pylon road sign from neon tubing to internally lit LED including the retro neon “Speedy” hamburger icon at the top. Rossi informed the BHCC that, “‘Speedy’ has an internal problem. There are parts that ‘Speedy’ needs that are no longer available. ‘Speedy’ will never fully light. I know that’s heartbreaking, but ‘Speedy’ will never light like he should.” Joseph Bonita explained how the exposed neon lighting was vulnerable to damage from weather and vandalism.
Christine Ussler recommended enlarging the lettering for “McDonalds” and reducing the font for “Hamburgers” in a compromise with the sign company, which had wanted to eliminate “Hamburgers” and “Over 100 Million Sold.” Beth Starbuck suggested that “Speedy” be painted on the sign, then illuminated by gooseneck-type spotlights, since BHCC would reject an internally lit sign.
Rossi & Bonita informed the board they are limited by what the franchise allows for materials and suppliers, so the project was tabled until more research could be done on possibly using LED rope lighting or raised lettering that would mimic neon lighting.
A proposal to relocate an original letter and blade sign at Martin Furniture at 119-123 E. Third St. from a previous showroom to the present showroom was tabled because no one showed up to represent store owner Keith Martin or building owner East Allen Ventures, LLC.
Walk-in Miki Weaver approached the board with a proposal to fence in a residential generator near the Holy Family Manor community room and kitchen area. Craig Evans suggested landscaping instead of a fence. Weaver, representing Catholic Senior Housing at 1200 Spring St., agreed with Evans, who then made a motion to approve the measure. All members of BHCC voted to grant Weaver a certificate of appropriateness for shrubbery to mask the generator.
The Bethlehem HCC is charged with the task of determining if new signs or other alterations to a building’s exterior would be an appropriate fit for the neighborhood in one of three designated historic districts. Although October’s hearing had been canceled, hearings are regularly scheduled on the third Monday of the month.
Obtaining a certificate of appropriateness is the first step for business owners and residents in a designated historic district who wish to make alterations to a building’s exterior. The BHCC’s recommendations are reviewed and voted on by city council before any project is allowed to proceed.