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Historic home improvement trend continues

More improvements to old houses on Water Street may be coming.

In the past three years, the Washington Historic Planning Commission has approved several requests that resulted in major renovations to several houses on the north side of the street and new houses in the Moss Landing area on the south side of the street.

During its meeting today, the commission will consider a request from Bahnson Gray for a certificate of appropriateness to modify the house at 420 Water St. The requested changes include the following:

  • add a 24-foot-by-9-foot addition to the rear of the house;
  • add a 7-foot-deep, full-width front porch across the façade;
  • add a dormer with vent over the front porch;
  • add standing seam metal roof over porch and dormer, with a new asphalt-shingle roof on the remaining parts of the structure;
  • add 2/1 muntin-style twin double-hung windows at front of house, flanking a new front door;
  • wood or composite operable shutters added to windows;
  • replace concrete walkway with field stone in front yard.

In recent years, the commission has dealt with new construction projects and repair/renovation projects in the Market Street-South Academy Street area. City planning officials take that as an encouraging sign for future activity in that area, possibly elsewhere in the historic district.

Among those projects — to build new residences on the street — were one by A.L. “Al” Crisp and one by Franklin D. Johnson Jr. Crisp sought to build a new two-story family dwelling at 416 Water St. Johnson asked to build a new one-and-a-half story residential structure at 406 Water St. The commission has approved several renovation projects in that corridor, including a request by Bill Litchfield to replace rotting wood siding on the house at 404 Water St. with HardiePlank siding, the beaded cedar mill style.

New houses continue to be built in the Moss Landing Harbor Homes area.

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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