Charlestown Township
Historical & Architectural Review Board
Great Valley Middle School
Minutes of Tuesday, July 19, 2016

FROM: Fran Rodgers, Cochairman HARB/Historic Commission
DATE: July 26, 2016
SUBJECT: Minutes of July 19th Meeting

HARB met on July 19th. There was a preliminary site visit to the Ann Dee and Larry Feiner property at 2100 Foster Road, Those members present were Tom Filippo, Dale Frens. Ann Kline, Nancy Long, Rosemary Philips, John Pittock and Fran Rodgers. The architect John Kohlhaus, building contractor John Diament and project coordinator Bob Lull were present to explain details in the request. Three buildings, the barn, guest house and tractor storage shed, were looked at and discussed. There were questions about the options of removing all stucco from the stone and repointing or to do only partial removal and plastering. That discussion continued at the regular meeting at the GYMS. At that time, member Linda Appier was present along with all formerly named persons along with Larry and Ann Dee Feiner. Members not present were Sheila Klement, Wendy Leland and Dan Wright.

The discussion of the buildings was resumed and for the barn, it was noted that the swinging doors on the north end would be replaced with sliding doors, other doors and windows would be replaced or relocated with units consistent with the character and style of the farm. A new corrugated metal roof will be used and siding will be replaced with board and batten cement board. The footprint of the barn will remain the same and there will be changes in the interior consistent with intended use.

A discussion followed about stucco removal and repointing procedures and this discussion pertains to the handling of the exterior of all three buildings. This centered on whether removing all stucco and repointing would essentially alter the outside so that the agricultural look of the time would no longer be maintained. The look that we wished to keep was not one of deterioration but a rustic look similar to the look of the east side of the guest house with the rustic stone look and different from the more formal look of the main house.

For the guest house a new entry landing is planned and the deteriorating porch will be removed and replaced to make it compliant with the building code.. New windows and doors and a new roof is also planned for.

For the tractor-storage shed, an outer door and stairway will be removed as will be the lean-to shed. A greenhouse, smaller than the shed will be added. Depending on the condition of the wall behind the shed, it could be removed or kept as the back wall of the greenhouse. The builder is concerned with the condition of the stone behind all the stucco and is especially concerned if these walls are not replaced where the glass greenhouse is positioned. Repairing if stone or plaster falls there would be very difficult. To address these concerns, it was suggested that some panels on the guest house could be exposed and two different types of repair shown, one with repointing and one done over with new stone work.

A four car garage, not part of the historic group, was also on the property and it will also have a new corrugated roof.

A motion was made and seconded to accept the proposed work cited on the three structures with a condition about the stucco replacement work, so that a Certificate of Appropriateness could be forwarded to the BOS.

What will be done as pertaining to the condition is that Mr. Diament will set up two sample panels on the guest house with different finishes as discussed, will notify us so that HARB members may inspect these. He would estimate that these could be ready by the first week of August.

Kevin Kuhn, a Board member of the United Methodist Church on Church Road, came before HARB to discuss the replacement of the falling stone wall in front of the church. Photos of major damage to the wall were shown and Mr. Kuhn said that two stone masons agreed that the wall had to be replaced because of the extensive damage. They planned to use poured concrete for the wall and either a bluestone cap or a heavy concrete cap over the wall. Essentially, the wall will be similar but might be tapered at the ends and set back a few feet. It was moved and seconded that reconstruction should be allowed.

In old business, Rosemary updated the result of the auction on the township property, the Volpi Tract. The township is in discussion with the high bidder about use. The structure would be retained and unproved and a zoning ordinance might be changed.

Dale was asked if Mr. Caplan had contacted him after his meeting with HARB about demolition of buildings on his property in Charlestown Village. Dale has not heard from him but will follow up on the request.

In new business, Rosemary brought up the historic Allen property on White Horse Road. The owners have listed it for sale and as a “tear down” A prospective buyer spoke with her and Rosemary explained that he would have to appear before HARB to ascertain if it were permissible to demolish the house or if it were in good enough condition to be repaired. So far, she has heard nothing more from him.

John Pittock asked if there was any update on the Honjak historic property on Howell Road and there was none, He also announced that the court has set a hearing for August 1st to give Charlestown Historic Society permission to sell the Markley property.