HCC approves new signage for established barber shop
The Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission granted a certificate of appropriateness to Will Soto for new signage for 516 E. Fourth St. at the March 20 meeting. Soto, owner of Sin’s Fade and Shave Barber Shop, a Southside establishment that has been around since 2003, was accompanied by sign maker Mike Psitos. The vote was unanimous to allow the installation of aluminum signs to the building, attach dimensional address numbers, and install vinyl graphics to the windows. The board convinced Soto to go with a blade sign instead of a proposed flag sign. Seamless Acquisitions, LLC owns the building.
A certificate of appropriateness was granted by the BHCC to 202 E. Fourth St., owned by Lehigh University and now occupied by Barreform, for “re-skinning” the existing canopy over the front entrance. In a previous hearing, the board had suggested the yoga and fitness studio remove the framework for the canopy, as it was too modern for the historic district. Nora Hendrycks, representing Barreform, said that after reviewing their options, they decided keeping the canopy in place would provide shelter for clients, as there was no vestibule. Since it had been installed before the BHCC was established, she was granted approval to recover it with black fabric with white lettering, and was directed to paint over a white grid on a lighting fixture within the canopy framework black to match. A former tenant, 48 Hours Video, had installed the white canopy.
Losmenio Fernandes , owner of 407 E. Fourth St., and represented by Penns and Needles owner, Travis Ketchen, received approval for installing an aluminum sign on the façade above the front windows and vinyl lettering for the windows, with several changes stipulated by BHCC. Ketchen was asked to reduce the size of his lettering to accommodate a pinstripe border and will use white lettering for the door and windows, as it is easier to read. Ketchen will also be required to install his proposed LED video display sign three feet in from the window for his tattoo and piercing business.
A certificate of appropriateness was granted to Yolanda Mohr, representing 1006 Prospect Ave., a historic Mount Airy dwelling she and her husband Thomas own, for a bronze plaque to be displayed on a stucco column at the front of their home. The 11-inch by eight-inch historic marker states that the house had been the former home of Samuel L. Caum, a friend of Thomas Edison.
Mustafa Okumus, owner of NYC Village Pizza at 129 W. Fourth St., appeared again before BHCC to request he not be required to replace a pair of decorative metal grills that his contractor had removed from the storefront during the demolition phase. Okumus said he no longer had them in his possession and he has been unable to find replacements. The board told him to try harder, then return with replacements or with proof that there are none to be found. Much of the original architectural details had been hauled away or discarded during the previously unauthorized alteration of the façade. The building, owned by Joe Hanna, was the former home of Play It Again Records.
Greg Heitman, owner of 337 Vine St., accompanied by architect Daniel L. Harrigan, requested a consultation with the BHCC regarding their proposal to build an addition on his existing 2-story, mixed-use building. BHCC members suggested larger windows for the first floor commercial space than what was proposed, citing possible increased foot traffic because of the new parking garage nearby and other area development. Heitman also was given advice on deciding between a pitched or flat roof and what type of cornice to place between the first floor and upper stories.
Before adjourning, chairman Philip Roeder asks the board to make recommendations of residents and business owners who have successfully rehabilitated their properties for “Certificates of Appreciation” to be awarded during the upcoming “Preservation Month” of May.
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. Hearings are regularly scheduled on the third Monday of the month.
Obtaining a certificate of appropriateness is only a 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 later reviewed, then voted on by City Council before any project is allowed to proceed.