On the first Thursday in September renovation of The Glade was the tenth and final item on the agenda of the Historical Commission’s monthly meeting.
We had submitted ten copies of a large document (about 50 pages) to the Commission more than 22 days before the meeting. A week or so later 3 people came to walk around the house to verify the photographs and information contained in our application.
The County Historical coordinator called to check on a few details of our plans. 1. Are we planning to retain the brick path in front of the house? I told her that due to a water issue in the basement we feel the brick path is too close to the house and should be moved.
2. If we us Hardie board would it be shingles or planks? If we use Hardie board (and I reminded her we might not) it would be Hardie plank because it looks more like the current siding than Hardie shingles which look like cedar shake.
3. Could I provide a better description of the railing for the second floor deck? I said I would provide photos of possibilities.
On the day of the meeting the chair of the committee showed up at The Glade to take a look at things for himself in case a detail had been missed by the previous delegation. Charlie offered to answer any questions and discovered that the chairman is a contractor himself.
We showed up at the county building for the meeting at 7 p.m. and sat through the other applications which included plans for signs and gates, requests for property tax credits, and suggestions for how to proceed. Only 4 of the 10 Historical Commission showed up in addition to 4 persons from the county historical staff. They were honed in on every detail of the projects asking the applicants to justify their choices. I was worried.
About 8:20 p.m. they announced our project for discussion.
After swearing us in to ensure that we’d tell the truth, the chairman of the committee asked us if we had anything to add to the summary of our project presented at the meeting. My only comment was that asbestos siding was no longer made of asbestos (I think it’s concrete). We stated that we would use this type of siding instead of the Hardie plank we also had proposed.
Another question was asked regarding the railing on the upstairs terrace. Did we think it appropriate for the neighborhood? Charlie said he thought it might be on other structures which seemed to spur the memories of others on the committee that they had also seen Chippendale railings. They agreed it would look great.
The chairman made a motion that our proposal be accepted as presented noting asbestos look-alike shingle to be used. The motion was seconded and the committee voted unanimously in favor of our plans. The minutes will be assembled and signed at the next meeting (first Thursday in October) then mailed to us. Only after we receive the signed approval may our contractor apply for building permits.
No comment was made about moving the front door (other than in the summary) and I didn’t bring it up.
Then it was over and we are ready for the next hurdle.
Do you love projects that are all tied up in red tape?