Board ponders plethora of proposals
Representing 79 W. Market St., Mike Psitus of Express Sign Outlet was quickly granted a certificate of appropriateness for a 25-inch by 99-inch window sign for Stark Financial Group by the Historical and Architectural Review Board at the June 5 meeting held in the Rotunda. The vinyl decal graphic and sans serif font of the company logo is blue and green with off-white outlines. The first floor window measures 84 inches by 117 inches. The commercial building is owned by Rudy Amelio.
The commission approved the installation of wireless antennas, utility cabinets and a generator at the top of the Hotel Bethlehem at 437 Main St. Contractors Mary Devlin from NB+C and Michael Cleary from Maser Consulting P.A. represented Verizon Wireless and provided detailed plans for four short and one taller antenna and supporting equipment on the rooftop of the eight-story hotel, including utility conduits to be routed vertically along the exterior wall.
The board stipulated the antennas should be painted to match existing competitor’s antennas installed on the roof, if it wouldn’t affect functionality. All fasteners and mounting hardware are to be installed in the mortar joints.
Saying their home needs a “pop of color,” Scott and Jennifer Hawk were given a COA to repaint the trim at 450 High St. Sherwin-Williams “Smokehouse brown” with “Rookwood terra cotta. The front porch was approved for a “repair in kind” for flat-seem metal roofing to match the color of the main roof. Jennifer Hawk, who had served briefly on the commission, had recently stepped aside to allow for Beth Starbuck to reclaim her seat. The Hawks mentioned their historic house had been featured in the indie film “Getting Grace.”
Approval was granted to Cheryl Dougan to rebuild the front porch and wood stairs of the house she and Anthony Viscardi own at 253 E. Church St. Most of the repair work would be “in kind” with the decorative railings and gingerbread elements retained. They were advised to patch the rotted posts with a high-grade two-part epoxy, like Abatoron, and possibly retain the curved parts of the posts while replacing the squared base section with wood or suitable composite. Dougan can also replace the damaged service walkway and swale at the front and side of the house to divert stormwater away from the foundation.
Eileen Serratelli received permission to replace five windows on the ground floor of the house she and her husband James own at 403 Center St. Accompanied by contractor Dan Burnett, Serratelli explained the existing windows are not believed to be original to the house.
Solid wood Marvin double-hung Douglas Fir windows were approved, with six-over-six muntins for the two wider windows and the narrow bay windows would be four-over-four. Color and casings would match other elements “in kind.”
Robert C. Marshall scored COAs for two separate proposals for his circa 1978 “Germanic Stone” townhouse at 54 E. Wall St. Although not technically historic, the two-story buildings were constructed with stone or brick facades to match the historic look of the area. Marshall said the original windows throughout the house were too badly rotted or warped to repair. Anderson Woodright Series 400 windows were judged to be suitable replacements.
Marshall was permitted to replace his deteriorating wood shutters with similar cedar shutters painted black. The flat panel shutters on the first floor and the louvered shutters on the second floor are to be replaced “like for like” and he was encouraged to retain the original hardware.
The commissioners tabled Robert Raymond Rooke and fiancée Alexandra MacLean’s proposal to erect an eight-foot by eight-foot, single-story mudroom for their three-story brick residence at 42 E. Church St. Marsha Fritz told them that they need more information before a decision could be made. Although the project received “conceptual approval,” as Fritz said, the couple was instructed to return with more detailed plans that listed specific construction materials, door, lighting, and other features.
The voting for all the proposals was unanimous.
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. With Independence Day falling on the first week of July, the next meeting is scheduled for July 10.