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HDC_07 07 1981MINUTES HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION JULY 7, 1981 4:00 P.M. MEMBERS PRESENT: MR. JOHN JARRARD, CHAIRMAN MS. BETH FOTI MR. LONNIE POWERS MR. SAM STRAUSS, JR. MR. GEORGE WORTHEN MEMBERS ABSENT: NONE STAFF PRESENT: MIKE DOOLEY CITY ATTORNEY: LESTER McKINLEY The meeting was called to order by the Chairman at 4:00 p.m. and finding a quorum, the Commission moved to accept the Minutes of the previous meeting as recorded. The only item on the Agenda was announced as: The Owner: First Lutheran Church of Little Rock The Applicant: Mr. Del Schmand The Location: 716 Rock Street Mr. Schmand trustee for the church, presented the application explaining the history of the 80 year old Education Building and the proposed altera- tions which included: Outline materials and methods specifications for the exterior renovation. A. DEMOLITION 1. Complete removal of the existing exterior, deteriorated, sand pressed brick masonry to the foundation line. 2. Remove the existing deteriorated and out-sized wood windows, doors, and supporting framing. 3. Remove the existing concrete front entry steps both to the main level and those going to the basement. 4. Remove the existing flag pole and steel fire escape steps on the front and rear elevations of the building that were installed during the period that the build- ing was used as an elementary school educational facility. B. RE- CONSTRUCTION 1. Install a cast stone base wainscote matching, approxi- mately, in elevation the cast stone base wainscote on the neighboring church structure. 2. Re-bricking from the wainscote base to the cornice line with brick that matches the brick on the neigh- boring church and parsonage building. 3. Installing cast stone window and door trim with cast stone spandrel panels at the floor locations. 4. Replace and reduce the existing glass area with aluminum anodized awning windows with insulating glass, color bronze. .4s. 5. Relocate and install aluminum anodized doors at ground level to facilitate access to the building from the church to the south of the educational building and the drive to the north of the building. This access arrange- ment eliminates dangerous exterior steps. 6. Construction of an entry court to be partially paved, leaving planting areas. This area is to be delineated from public areas by means of low matching brick wall with openings as required by circulation. 7. The roof has been replaced and will not require additional work except for new plumbing vents as may be required by interior toilet area revisions, etc. 8. Because of deterioration, beginning to become serious, in many of the exposed rafter tails, we have elected to box in the roof cornice to match the neighboring church and parsonage. He stated that the First Lutheran Church had complied with all of the appli- cation procedures, notifications, and submission requirements for this report. Mr. Tom Calder, President of the Church, explained how the space in the building would be utilized to suit the needs of the church. He believed that this was the optimal arrangement for thier long range needs. He discussed the handicapped entrance in the back of the structure and assured the Com- mission it would not be visible from the street. He reported that the wain - scote base and the new brick would match, as close as possible, those elements on the adjacent sanctuary. He said the plaza area and entrances were situated to create a functional relationship to the adjacent structure. The arrange- ment of windows and doors, he explained, was to conserve energy. Mr. Lee Gordon of the Rockefeller Foundation stated he had no objection to the remodeling of the structure although he would like to see the original brick saved if possible, and he thought the proposed window and door openings were not appropriate for that building. Mr. Ralph Megna, Executive Director of the Quapaw Quarter Association, pre- sented an eight (8) page report from his Preservation Services Program which summarized their research on the structure as follows: The First Lutheran Church's Christian Education Building exterior masonry veneer is in deteriorated, but repairable, condition. Its principal problems are the result of water damage caused by inadequate control of rainwater drainage. Direct roof run-off, indirect splash-back from building elements and ground surfaces, and site flooding have all contributed to the present problems. A well executed rehabilitation of the structure should attack these causes, rather than focus on the symptoms. The repair of the existing masonry would save the church the cost of replacing the entire exterior and provide a highly functional and handsome building to house the various activities of the congregation. In addition to discussing the condition of the materials, problems and possi- ble solutions, Mr. Megna gave a film presentation which included successful adaptive use projects across the country and within the State. As well as projects and potentials for the City of Little Rock. i Mr. John Mathews, representing a client in the 500 block of Rock Street, stated that the proposed changes would have a negative effect on property values, and that the unique character of the building should be maintained to keep the areas distinctive structures from looking like other recently developed areas of the City. Mr. Carl Brunck, a member of the Church Building Committee, spoke in favor of the application, citing the unsafe physical condition of the brick and noted that the mortar was a lime /sand composition which was extremely susceptable to erosion. He described the problems relative to cracks in the mortar and explained how the metal fasteners had pulled away from the brick and mortar, thus creating a hazard which may result in materials falling off the structure. Mr. Joe Craft, a retired masonry contractor and supervisor for Pikens and Bond Construction Company, was introduced and stated that the present con- ditions were unsafe and that the mortar would have to be replaced in order to use the existing brick. He felt that it would be extremely difficult to find replacement brick to match the color and texture of the existing surface. Mr. William Shute, an insurance agent which carries the church policy, indi- cated that if the renovation request required the church to use the same brick it may result in what he called a liability and the remodeling may not receive a favorable recommendation for coverage. Mr. Del Schmand concluded the applicants presentation by stating that the church believed it was in compliance with certain specifics in the Historic District Guidelines, and pointed out that the church had started its plans to remodel prior to the creation of the Historic District in May of this year, and that he felt this might constitute a condition of hardship for approving the Certificate of Appropriateness. Mr. Megna provided the Commission with a landscape plan which he felt would benefit the church by improving the drainage of the property as well as maintain the existing window and entrance areas. He stated that the Quapaw Quarter Association had solicited comments from persons with professional expertise in renovation activities (such as Mr. Wilson Stiles who is the Arkansas Historic Preservation Officer) and it had been determined that the existing brick could be maintained. He summized that the mortar found at the base of the interior of the walls could be the result of the original construction rather than deterioration over time. He felt that any changes to the structure should be compatible with the neighborhood and questioned whether saving the existing brick would be more costly than a new brick facade. Mr. Carl Brunck noted that the Quapaw Quarter's Preservation Services Report did not mention the safety factor involved with maintaining and keeping the existing brick and he presented a letter from Mr. Victor Lienheart of Lienheart Construction Company who repaired the roof. In this letter, he stated that he was unable to find any brick that would match the existing spaces on the parapet over the front steps and warned that if something is not done the whole parapet is subject to fall on the sidewalk and street. HISTORIC DISTRICT COMMISSION ACTION Mr. Lonnie Powers made a motion to deny the application which was seconded by Ms. Beth Foti. Mr. George Worthen then moved to amend that motion to allow a one (1) month deferral in order to allow the church to review the submissions by the Quapaw Quarter Association, to talk to congregation and Building Committee members about the suggestions and to provide actual cost differentials in regard to replacing the existing brick or using a completely new brick type. This amendment was seconded and passed unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 5:55 P.M. MD /se