Book shop to get exterior floor tiles
Chairman Fred Bonsall and Vice Chairman Philip Roeder retained their seats following a brief election of officers before the Historical and Architectural Review Board began reviewing proposals at the Feb. 6 meeting in the Rotunda.
Amber Donato from Moravian College, representing the ongoing Moravian Book Shop façade project at 428-444 Main St., was granted a certificate of appropriateness for proposed 3-inch-by-3-inch porcelain tile flooring featuring the Moravian Star at the entryway of 444 Main St. Presenting the renovation project to the commission were MKSD project designer Jackie Parks and architect Jill Hewes, and Moravian College Vice President for Finance and Administration Mark Reed. They explained that the non-polished porcelain can mimic the look of natural stone and is stronger than the broken slate panels and quarry tiles that are being replaced. The colors would be dark gray, light gray for the majority of the walkway, and crème for a band and star.
Moravian was given approval to replace existing aluminum storefront windows with a bi-folding window on one side of the symmetrical façade at 444 Main St. and a non-functioning window for the other side, as long as both windows had an equal number of panels.
A 48-inch by 34-inch hanging sign suspended from an existing decorative metal bracket with “Moravian Book Shop Est. 1745” with separate tenant signs for Dave’s Deli and Lost Tavern Brewing hanging below it were also approved. The background is black with silver serif lettering and pinstripes.
Vinyl signage featuring the logos for Dave’s Deli and Lost Tavern Brewing were okayed for the glass of the entry doors for those two establishments.
Removing the exterior brass pull hardware to prevent their use as an entrance for a different set of double doors was also approved. Moravian plans to use that doorway as an exit only and promised to retain the hardware for possible future use.
The two-story building at 444 Main is part of a conglomerate of structures that make up the iconic book store. It once housed a 1940s auto dealership, according to historic officer Joseph Phillips.
The board agreed to allow the book store owners to apply a clear finish over a natural mahogany stain on all the wooden front entry doors for 428-444 Main St. to unify the façade.
Having ordered and installed the muted blue awnings approved at the October 2018 meeting, the applicants requested permission to change the awning color. Reed said, “While they’re nice, they just don’t feel right.” Approval was granted to replace the new awning with “Silver Tweed” fabric by the Miami Corp.
Bonsall complimented the applicants, saying, “The college has done a great job.”
Stephen Pallone’s proposed 12-foot long, 8-foot wide, by 10-foot tall garden shed to be installed behind his house at 225 E. Wall St. was approved unanimously. The utility building will be constructed off-site, then placed on a flat stone pad at the rear of the property. As a condition for the C.O.A., the proposed Dutch barn style gambrel roof is to be redesigned as a gable roof with a pitch to mimic the gable roof of Pallone’s house. Although they balked at the shed’s vinyl siding, board members noted that the brick house was a more contemporary 1950s construction and the garden shed was considered a “temporary structure.”
Architect Joseph Phillips took over the duties of historic officer. His friend and colleague George Donovan, who had served previously as historic officer, passed away Dec. 13, 2018.
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. There were no proposals submitted for January.
Roeder, who also serves as chairman of the Bethlehem Historic Conservation Commission that addresses similar proposals for historic district properties south of the Lehigh River, announced that BHCC meetings will start at 6 p.m. instead of 7 p.m. beginning with the next one at the end of the month.