Wednesday, April 06, 2005

On The List At Last

Well, I Just got back from the meeting. The Dis-honorable Acting Mayor Droz did not attend. At the beginning of the meeting his letter was referred to a few times as The Letter but it was quickly dropped and no one mentioned it again.

The meeting was a very interesting experience. Lots of questions form the 6 members of the Commission. The representative from the City Planning Department said they had never before received so many phone calls from the public about an issue before the Preservation Commission. The chairman asked if they were mostly positive or negative and she said they were mostly people asking how this would affect their own property. I won’t go into details now, but Historic Preservation is a very hot-button issue in this town right now, and not every one is in favor of it.

I did a lot of research on the house and the first family to own the house (The Petch Family, as the name of my blog implies). I sort of went overboard in my description of the house and the family. It was 7 pages, single space, 10 point font. Very detailed. I saw it as an opportunity to get down what I know of the house and the Petch family as public record for future homeowners. Unfortunately, architectural history is only a hobby and not a profession. They had a few critiques.

To be fair, their comments and critiques where helpful but I did kind of feel like I was being grilled by 6 professors on a thesis I was submitting. They all made comments about how detailed the information was and how impressed they were with it. One even used the word “Intimidated”. The experience was very gratifying. The city is going to allow me to make changes to the information based of the Commission’s comments before it is submitted as public record.

The important thing is, the house is now on the list. This means that future homeowners won’t be able to cover it with vinyl siding or attach some butt ugly and incongruous addition to the house without getting a permit from the Preservation Commission, and the Preservation Commission won’t let that happen if they are doing their job.

I was telling my boss at work about getting my house listed and he asked me why I wanted to. He said he would never want to buy it if it meat he had to go before the Preservation Commission to make changes to the out side. I wasn’t sure how to tell him that it was fine with me because I wouldn’t want to sell the house to someone who would want to make major changes to the out side of the house. That is the whole point of historic preservation.

Next stop: The State Register of Historic Places

1 comment:

Jocelyn said...

congrats and good for you! There are people who will value that about your home should you ever decide to sell it. I think old homes restored will only become more precious with time as there are less of them. I have often joked if we were ever to sell our place, the new owner would have to sign an agreement stating they would not paint any trim!