New houses would replace aging one in historic district

Published 12:58 pm Saturday, July 9, 2016

 When it comes to allowing someone to demolish an aging home in the historic district, the Washington Historic Preservation Commission would prefer, if possible, to preserve that home.

Sometimes demolition is a preferred option, especially when a new house (or houses) will replace the old, deteriorating house. During its meeting Tuesday, the commission approved a certificate of appropriateness for A.L. “Al” Crisp, who plans on tearing down the house at 412 Water St. That house is not a contributing structure to the historic district, according to city officials.

John Rodman, the city’s director of community and cultural resources, told the commission Crisp, who owns a house and nearby lots on Water Street, plans to take five lots and reconfigure them into three lots and build a new house on one of the three new lots and sell the other lots.

Commission Chairman Ed Hodges reminded the commission it could delay acting on Crisp’s request for 365 days, then consider it for action. The commission briefly discussed that option, but decided to take immediate action.

Commission members said that combining the five lots into three lots that would be used as sites for new houses appealed to them. “It would certainly look better than that house that’s there now,” Hodges said.

Cheri Vaughn made the motion to issue the certificate of appropriateness, and the commission voted 4-0 in favor of the motion.

In other business, the commission approved several major works, including extensive remodeling for the house located at 727 Short Drive, the removal of rotting railings at the house at 432 E. Main St., update and repair a shed and replace the fence at 323 E. Main St. and installation of 20 feet of fencing along the driveway on property at 709 W. Main St.

The commission also issued a certificate of appropriateness for Rachel K’s Bakery, 126 N. Market St., to install outdoor seating on the north side of the property.





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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