Minutes – 2021-10-02

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October 2, 2021

Taken by Susan Hargus

Attendants: Suzette Astley, Grace Chamberlain, Mary Evans, Janet Budak, Leah Rogers, Wade Squires, Susan Hargus

Guests: Edith Dawson, Bernadette Lane

    The Historic Preservation Commission met Saturday October 2nd, 2021, via Zoom. The meeting was brought to order by Chair Suzette Astley at 9:15.

   The minutes of the previous meeting were approved. The motion was made by Leah Rogers and seconded by Mary Evans.

   Guest Bernadette Lane,third generation owner of a historic home in the Cornell District attended seeking counsel and recommendation for the replacement of siding. The original siding was replaced and the current cedar siding needs replacement.

   She would like to use Diamond Kote which is a manufactured wood product that would come pre painted and has a 30 year warranty. Leah recommended the smooth for the appearance and would remain cleaner. Wade agreed stating it looked more authentic. Wade asked for clarification on the treatment of the soffit which will have a texture because that is the only option. He stated that wouldn’t be a problem because it wouldn’t be visible. 

   Edith Dawson, a local youth of 12, is looking to join MVHPC as a Commissioner.  Mary clarified for her the process the HPC and the homeowner go through so she can have an understanding of our role in helping to retain historic integrity and the process of design review.

Under new business, Duane Eash will be taking a leave of absence.

   Presbyterian Church’s new addition was damaged in the derecho. Currently they can’t find an available contractor to fix the damaged cement board. Sue reminded them of the design process review they will need to follow when they are ready to go forward.

   Sue spoke with Steve Maurice about the repairs from the extensive damage from the derecho to the Ash House. Steve has extended an invitation to the Commission for a tour of his historic home as the repairs near completion.Steve also said he would be coming in front of the commission with a design review for the roof.  He would like the singles to match those of the shed. Suzette asked commissioners to drive by before the next meeting.

   Under Old Business, Jennifer Price will be asked to write a proposal that will eventually be submitted to the National Park Service to revise the district to include the Visitor Center as a contributing property on the register.

   Mary Evans’ Sept.11th event on houses that were moved was a great success and was recorded. The video will be posted on the website and on YouTube.

   A play written by Amy White and Joe Jennison on the important people in the history of Mount Vernon was commissioned last Spring. It would be ready for a staged reading with feedback for the playwrights later this fiscal year and possible production in the 2023 play season. It is being proposed to the MVLCT in hopes that they will produce it.   Suzette will continue to be liaison to the playwrights and will help however possible with connecting to the MVLCT. $800 was allocated for play production in this fiscal year’s budget, but a much smaller amount is likely to be needed for a staged reading of the play, so money will be freed up and and available to be spent on something else before July of 2022. It would be helpful, then, if $800 (or more) could be reserved in next fiscal year’s budget to offset the expenses of mounting a full production of the play.

Meeting in person.It was discussed to use Buresh community rooms for our meeting in the future to provide space for social distancing.  Masks would also be required at this time. 

   Mary and her son moved 52 boxes in 45 minutes from the basement archive to the new space on the main level.

   Mary informed us the Brick House Event will be canceled. Mary will still do an interview with Mary Wolfe about her historic home and that interview will be posted on the website.

   Mary updated us with Miles Kolmstetter’s, a senior at Cornell, results in searching for  artifacts with a metal detector. He obtained a 1907 map which he used in his search and he found an axe head and a nail.

   Guy Booth has a conversation ongoing with the Legion about incorporating the cemetery into a non-profit so it can receive money (donations and grants) for the restoration of the stones. There was talk of what it would take to get it on the register. Mary mentioned finding out if the founding fathers and other local legends are buried there.Janet reminded us of Civil War vets. Leah said we would also need persons of transcendence importance (important to the State). Also we need to find out who designed it as it has a curvilinear landscape design.

   Edith left the meeting and it was discussed how to create a membership to the MVHPC that would be non-voting.With advice from Guy Booth it was advised that Friend of the Commission was the best choice. Friends of the Commission will be able to participate in projects, attend meetings and give their input on discussions and be a liaison. 

Suzette will write up an official letter of welcome.

At 10:15 the meeting was adjourned.