MINUTES OF MOUNT VERNON HISTORIC PRESERVATION COMMISSION
October 1, 2022
The Historic Preservation Commission met at Mount Vernon City Hall, and also available via Zoom on Saturday, October 1, 2022. Commissioners present at City Hall were Janet Budack, Suzette Astley, Mike Guerber, Wade Squiers, Duane Eash, Donnie Moore and Guy Booth. Guests included Scott Ludwig from Cornell College, Randy Clarahan from Mortenson Company and Paul Lemberg from BWBR Architecture Company. Also present was Nathan Countryman from the Mount Vernon Sun.
The Minutes of the September 14, 2022 meeting were approved.
Cornell asked to be present for a pre-review of the proposed new residence hall to be constructed on the south side of the campus. The architect gave a slide preview of the design of the building, which would be red brick with aluminum windows. The brick would match the red brick from other buildings on campus. The base of the building will be a lighter-colored brick, which would be similar in tone to the limestone base of many of the other brick buildings. There is also an overhead view of the building site, including the location of a new parking lot. The old parking lot will be used as a retention basin for normal run-off from the hillside. The proposed start date for construction would be the spring of 2023. Cornell will be coming before the commission for final approval, as the plans for the residence hall are completed.
A design review question for the building at 105 1st St NW in the downtown historic district was brought up. When a previous review was held, there was a request for new windows and doors at the back of the building. A final approval has not been completed. The commission would like to have additional information about the windows that will be reduced in size. We would like to know what material will be used to reduce the opening for the windows, and we have asked the owner, Sherry Brayton to provide the additional information.
Under new business, Suzette discussed the city’s plan on signage that will be used citywide. The Commission will help provide input for the design and location of signs. We also discussed the placement of a sign that was damaged in the derecho. We may need additional money to complete the work on the sign. The city may be involved in the funding of the new sign.
There was discussion regarding a change in the historic preservation ordinance so there is better clarification on who can serve as a commissioner. This relates to being a resident/owner of property in the city. There is also the question of reducing the required number of commissioners from 12 to a range not less than 9 or more than 12. Chris Nosbisch is working on these ordinance revisions.
There was further discussion regarding a new Ash Park map. This will better identify the structures that are within the Ash Park Historic District. The Commission tends to want to have a new map prepared, but also one that can be updated. The changes to the map in the future should be able to be made by the commission without having to pay for annual maintenance and licensing from some company. Upon motion made by Janet, seconded by Duane, the
commission will contract with Jennifer Price if a contract can be agreed to not to exceed $1,000 for the re-doing of the map.
Further discussion regarding the Mount Vernon Cemetery project indicates that Mary Evans is looking at what it would take to place the entire cemetery on the Register of Historic Places. She will keep us informed of her work. Janet reported that Chris Nosbisch, Jay Kacena and Guy, as well as other interested members of the commission will be meeting to better understand what type of organization needs to be set up for the long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery.
Suzette reviewed the agenda for the meeting scheduled for October 15 at 10:00 a.m. at the Lester Buresh Community Center. This will recognize a number of renovation projects that have taken place in the City over the past two to three years. All of the owners of the buildings have been invited and will be presented a certificate. The program will also recognize contractors who did work on the project so that people who are looking for restoration on historic buildings will be able to identify contractors who have had previous experience with these projects.
The meeting adjourned at 10:30 a.m.
Respectfully Submitted, Guy Booth, Secretary