Final week, the Historic Landmark Fee gave the go-ahead for some repairs and upgrades to a house at 508 E. Mary St., a property within the Mary Street Historic District.

Initially established in 1928, “the five hundred block of E. Mary Road was a part of a working-class neighborhood comprised of a mixture of householders and renters, together with many World Warfare I veterans,” based on town. The small district, made up of 18 homes in total, is now situated within the coronary heart of town, down the street from Girl Chicken Lake, the Greenbelt and downtown Austin.

The historic district consists of quite a few design standards that properties have to adjust to to “assist protect and defend the character-defining options.”

The proposal for 508 E. Mary is much less about fully redesigning the house and extra about updating it for the present householders, who’re retirees seeking to make their dwelling extra accessible.

One change would contain changing a concrete porch with one which has fewer steps, making it simpler for the aged couple to navigate the property.

In keeping with Nick Deaver, the architect taking the lead on the venture, the porch alteration would permit “slightly simpler entry as a retirement dwelling” and make it “simpler to get into the home.”

The house owner, Roger Fisher, confirmed as much as communicate on the assembly to make clear that the requested modifications are motivated primarily by accessibility and that neighborhood residents have been concerned within the course of.

“My spouse and I retired and we hope that this home would be the final home we reside in. We love the neighbors now we have made. I’ve made a really concerted effort to maintain all of the neighbors on the streets knowledgeable as to what our plans are as they’ve developed,” he mentioned.

The proposal has acquired excessive reward from group members. In a citizen comment submitted to the fee, Tom Fitzpatrick mentioned, “I’m happy to see this home’s facade restored and the additions thoughtfully scaled. I look ahead to having a brand new neighbor.”

One resident even confirmed as much as communicate on Fisher’s behalf to say he “needed to thank Mr. and Mrs. Fisher for the trouble they put in rehabilitating this home” and that the “communication has been glorious.”

On the entire, the fee was very receptive to the proposal – with a single caveat.

Along with all of the accessibility and restoration modifications, there have been additionally plans to grade and panorama the entrance garden. Fee Chair Terri Myers felt as if the garden alterations would “detract from the historic character” of the neighborhood, although she didn’t supply an in depth rationalization.

Talking to the remainder of the fee, she mentioned, “I transfer that we approve all facets of this utility besides the landscaping. I want to see the panorama come again extra in line with the historic streetscape of Mary Road.”

When it got here time to vote, the fee gave the approval 7-3 to maneuver ahead with the restoration course of.

Rendering courtesy of town of Austin.

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