Panel OKs balconies

Published 6:39 pm Wednesday, December 3, 2014

MIKE VOSS | DAILY NEWS OFFERING AN EXPLANATION: Trent Tetterton (left) addresses the Historic Preservation Commission concerning proposed balconies for the Fowle Building in downtown Washington,.

OFFERING AN EXPLANATION: Trent Tetterton (left) addresses the Historic Preservation Commission concerning proposed balconies for the Fowle Building in downtown Washington,.

Something’s brewing with the old Fowle Building in downtown Washington — and it could be a microbrewery and apartments.

John Rodman, Washington’s director of community and cultural services, said there are plans for the building, located at 189 W. Main St., to house a microbrewery and apartments. Rodman said the owner of Tight Lines Pub & Brewing Co. in Morehead City has expressed interest in bringing a microbrewery to Washington.

During its meeting Tuesday night, the Historic Preservation Commission voted 3-2 to allow New Vision Partners LLC to install balconies on certain areas of the second and third floors of the building. Voting to issue the certificate of appropriateness — needed for the balconies to be built — were commission members Mary Musselman, Geraldine McKinley and Judith T. Hickson. Voting against the proposal were Edward Hodges and Stacey A. Thalmann.

The balconies plan, according to Trent Tetterton, who addressed the commission concerning the balconies, calls for several of the building’s windows to be replaced by doors and for the doors to open to balconies. Justin Fejfar, registered agent for New Vision Partners, which is based in Raleigh, filed the request for the certificate of appropriateness. Tetterton, an official with the Washington Harbor District Alliance, has played a part in helping find buyers and/or developers for downtown properties.

“At the last meeting we had, there was some discussion about the imposition of the balconies on the arched brickwork by the windows and doors. There were expressions of concern by the commission about that,” Tetterton said. “You will note the drawings have now been revised. The structural component of the balconies is now not imposing on that arched brickwork.”

Thalmann expressed reservations about the proposal, indicating that if balconies are built she wants their effects on the building’s architectural details to be minimized. She specifically had concerns about a beam being part of each balcony.

“It still obliterates some architectural detail. … There’s like three rows of bricks that it’s going to be put right over. Even if you raised it up … it still comes down over three rows of those arch-type bricks,” Thalmann said.

There are precedents for adding balconies to buildings in the city’s historic district, Rodman said, but the only approved balconies on Main Street were added to the Louise Hotel.

“I’m still not convinced that I’d like to see all that beautiful brickwork taken out of vision and doors put where windows (are). That’s just my opinion. It isn’t historical,” Thalmann said.

Musselman has concerns about the number of proposed balconies.

“I guess my impression is it doesn’t seem we need all these balconies on this particular building. … It’s just kind of new to the town to have a building that has all these balconies,” she said.

City resident Bea Morton wondered if a railing would be installed between the Fowle Building and the building housing Washington Jewelers for safety reasons.

“So, will there be a rail there, as well as around the rest of the building?” she asked.

“What we’re talking about tonight is just balconies on the front and the Respess Street sides of the Fowle Building,” Hodges said.

Commission members told Morton that a four-sided railing would be used to separate the two buildings.

For additional coverage of the commission’s meeting and information about a microbrewery coming to Washington, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.







About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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