Minutes 2022-8-17

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August 17, 2022

The Historic Preservation Commission met at Mount Vernon City Hall, and via Zoom on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. Commissioners present at City Hall were Janet Budack, Duane Eash, Suzette Astley, Wade Squiers, Michael Guerber and Guy Booth. Edith Dawson was present via Zoom. Scott Ladwig of Cornell College was the only guest present.

The Minutes of the August 6, 2022 meeting were approved, with several corrections being made to the Minutes. The corrections will be shown in the Minutes of the August 6, 2022 meeting.

There is no design review scheduled for the meeting. However, Scott Ladwig of Cornell College is present to discuss several projects that are pending on the campus. It is the college’s desire to keep the Commission informed of upcoming projects so there is adequate time for input and discussion between the college and HPC.

The first item discussed by Scott is the roof on the Plattner house. The roof was severely damaged by the derecho. Since the derecho, it has been covered by a tarp. The tarp is now wearing out and some water damage will occur to the building if the roof is not replaced. The insurance company for the college has determined that it will not pay for replacement of the old roof with the material used on the roof. The old roof shingles are made of embossed tin. The cost of reproducing the tin shingles, which can only be done by one or two companies, would be well in excess of $300,000.00. The insurance carrier will only cover the cost of a roof with contemporary composite shingles. Scott presented a number of alternatives to get an impression from HPC as to what would appear to be most historic on the Plattner house. The consensus of the Commission was to favor a colonial manner shingle that is called Colonial Slate. It has some unique features which replicate shingles from an earlier era. They will be dark gray in color and should fit well within the historic nature of the building.

Scott also discussed repair and restoration of the tower portion of the Garner house. This is the President’s residence. When a restoration was made a number of years ago, the windows were not properly installed, and there has been invasion of water, which has caused deterioration of the wood. There is also some problems for the wood floors, where the wood at the base of the door was not installed properly. The college has hired a company to do the repairs and restoration of windows and the area around the door and the wooden floors where there has been some water damage. It is hoped the project will be completed by mid-October.

The final Cornell project will be the construction of a new dormitory. It is intended to be located on the south side of the campus, along College Blvd. The college will need additional dorm space in future years. Scott described the nature of the building, its amenities, and how it will be located on the Cornell campus. The Commission encourages the college to look at the style of the building so it fits within the historic district. The college is also encouraged to view the landscaping and the impact of lighting on residential areas on the south side of College Blvd. The Commission welcomes the cooperation of Cornell in giving advance notice of a project that is being planned so there is adequate input from all parties who have an interest in the new building. This building is in its initial stage of planning, so there will be an opportunity for

further questions and input. The Commission thanks Scott for bringing these construction and restoration plans to the Commission before the plans have been finalized.

Under old business, Suzette indicated that the play that is being written by Joe Jennison and Amy White has now been put into an initial script. It was read for a number of invited guests, including several from Historic Preservation Commission. Janet Budack felt the play was interesting and had good writing. Some of the history came from the Mount Vernon Centennial Book, while another portion came from the autobiography of Chief Blackhawk. The play-writes will continue to work on the story and will have it ready for next summer’s

celebration of Mount Vernon’s 175th anniversary.

There being no other business, the meeting adjourned.

Respectfully Submitted, Guy Booth, Secretary