HARB/Historical Commission met on Tuesday, January 16th at the GVMS. Those members who were present are in bold – Tom Filippo; Sheila Klement; Ann Kline; Carol Quigley, (substituting for Dale Frens), Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock, Fran Rodgers, and Dan Wright. Sue Marshall from Chester County Historic Preservation Network, Area 6, of which Charlestown is a part, Kevin Kuhn and the applicants, Laurie and Richard Salita were also present.
The meeting opened with a reminder that our Board meetings are bimonthly, starting in January. We moved on for the hearing for an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness by Laurie and Richard Salita. The Salitas acquired the deed to the property on 4128 Howell Road, Charlestown. at settlement on January 12, 2018. The property was in the estate of Otto Honyok.
The property consists of a small gatehouse, a stone colonial farmhouse and a large stone barn which the Salitas intend to convert into their primary residence. The application is concerned with the stone farmhouse which was built in three sections in the early 1820-1830’s. One addition, which may have served as a summer kitchen, was attached probably in the mid 1900’s maybe as late as 1950. This attachment is in poor condition and the single story is on a stone slab so that the floor structure is out of level probably caused by rotting floor joists. The electrical system is not up to code and black mold is present in the plaster ceiling. Since there is no historic value to this section and it would be difficult to repair, the Salitas ask permission to remove this attachment but they intend to keep the main stone farmhouse intact. They offered an option to the complete demolition of the attachment that would convert this area into a trellis covered patio. Members were able to look at several photos and sketches of the proposed solution. Carol Quigley offered her opinion that this attachment may not have served as a summer kitchen because the fireplace was not a cooking one. She felt previous demolition may have been done and suggested that an outline of the structure be kept to preserve the history of the home. Ann Kline moved that the Historical Commission recommend a Certificate of Appropriateness be forwarded to the Board of Supervisors and that the Supervisors approve the proposal by the Salitas for the removal of the single story addition to the farmhouse that may have served as a summer kitchen. If possible, it is recommended that a footprint of the addition be retained as a way of preserving the history of the building. Fran Rodgers seconded the motion which was passed unanimously.
Rosemary proposed that Cindy Thompson, a Charlestown resident and a licensed realtor and Michael Richter of the Planning Commission fill vacancies on the HARB/ Historical Commission with the approval of the BOS.
In old business, Ann Kline gave an update on the Township Revolutionary Cemetery Project being conducted for the Charlestown Historical Society by Dr, Sherrod and her students of Kutztown University. In previous exams with Ground Penetrating Radar they reported “interesting markings” on the left end of the cemetery and were slated to return on January 18th for further study. She has received permission to present their findings to a National Geophysical Conference and will present those findings at a May meeting of CHS. The Board of Supervisors will also be invited to that meeting.
There was no new business. Our next scheduled meeting is on March 20th.