PHW’s president Franklin Wright submitted an article to the Winchester Star’s Open Forum in response to the article “Preservationists – or pain in the neck?” from April 10. Wright’s response, which appears in today’s editorial section of the Star, is also available in PDF format by clicking here.
The former Community Food Store at 319-321 S. Kent St. will be up for public hearing on Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Board of Architectural Review meeting. The meeting begins at 4 p.m. PHW will make a public statement at the meeting, but citizens are encouraged to attend and offer their input as well.
The plan to demolish the former Community Food Store has been approved and stood unopposed at the BAR meeting due to the severity of the deterioration. You can find the story online at The Winchester Star.
The Virginia Department of Historic Resources will hold a public information hearing to discuss a proposed Winchester Historic District Boundary Increase. The meeting is scheduled for May 12 at 7:00 PM in the Rouss City Hall Council Chambers. Public comment may be sent to Director Kathleen Kilpatrick, VA Dept. of Historic Resources, 2801 Kensington Avenue, Richmond, VA 23221. For a copy of the proposal and/or a boundary map, contact Jean McRae, VA Dept. of Historic Resources, 804-367-2323 x-102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A public presentation by officials from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and EHT Traceries will be held on February 14 at 7 pm in Council Chambers at Rouss City Hall. The presentation will explain the steps necessary to complete an exterior survey of buildings in Winchester’s Historic District. You are invited to attend and ask questions.
Winchester, Va. – Today Preservation of Historic Winchester (PHW) announced that it has filed an appeal with the Winchester Circuit Court to the decision made by the Winchester City Council allowing the demolition of five structures on the 400 block of South Kent Street. All of these structures are located in the Historic Winchester District as well as the Winchester National Historic District and are designated as contributing to the purposes of the district. In filing the appeal, Franklin Wright, President of the Board of Directors of PHW remarked “Regretfully, PHW is taking this action following considerable soul-searching and thought. However, we believe that the action by City Council on November 13th to overrule the Board of Architectural Review’s denial of the demolition of these structures is flawed and not in the best interest of the city or its residents.”
Continue reading Preservation of Historic Winchester Files an Appeal to the Kent Street Demolition Decision
The Rose Foundation will be appealing the decision of the BAR to deny the demolition requests of 404, 406, 412 1/2-414, and 418 S. Kent Street. The hearing will take place at Rouss City Hall at 7:30 p.m. This event is a public hearing, so you are encouraged to attend and state your case.
The City Council overturned the decision of the BAR despite strong opposition from PHW representatives, The Department of Historic Resources, and BAR members. However, the properties are currently listed for sale. Watch PHW for more news about the Kent Street Properties.
The Rose Foundation appeared before the BAR concerning the fate of several houses in the 400 block of South Kent Street. The demolition requests for 404, 406, 412 1/2 – 414 were denied with a vote of 3-2, while 418 was denied unanimously. The demolition request of 408 S. Kent was approved unanimously. The BAR members opposing the demolitions cited the irreparable damage to the historic fabric and character of the Kent Street corridor with the loss of an entire block was the main concern and troublesome precedent. Others cited that other preservation options never seriously considered for these properties, and a true test on the market to search for purchasers willing and able to renovate the structures could provide that test.
The fight may not yet be over to save the 400 block of South Kent Street. An appeal to City Council by the Rose Foundation is likely.
126-128 E. Cecil Street, once home to Ruth’s Tea Room, appeared before the Board of Architectural Review meeting at 4 p.m. in the Council Chambers in Rouss City Hall.
The BAR approved the Rose Foundation’s plan to demolish the former site of Ruth’s Tea Room at 126-128 E. Cecil Street based on its unsound structural condition. The Rose Foundation intends to replace the structure with a close facsimile of the original building, which will appear before the BAR at a later date.
Ruth’s Tea Room opened its doors in 1927, the same time as the Community Store around the corner on Kent Street. Both businesses were family-owned and operated for more than 70 years and draw fond recollections from the community. The Community Store is being renovated by the Rose Foundation.
No decision was reached at the July 19 meeting of the Board of Architectural Review concerning the fate of six properties along South Kent Street. The next BAR meeting is scheduled for August 2 in the Council Chambers of Rouss City Hall at 4 PM. In the meantime, BAR members toured the properties.
The Robert E. Rose Foundation asked that the demolition requests be tabled while they continue negotiations with PHW at the August 2 BAR meeting.
PHW encouraged its membership to attend the Board of Architectural Review meeting for the public hearing of the demolition of six properties on South Kent Street (404, 406, 408, 412 1/2-414, 418,) circa 1860 to 1910. The meeting provided valuable feedback not only from PHW’s formal presentation, but also from the neighbors, City Council, and the Rose Foundation.