Historic Comm. Signs Off Signage, Exterior Changes

BERLIN – The Berlin Historic District Commission approved signage and exterior changes for a number of downtown businesses last week.

On June 6 the commission reviewed additional signage for the building at 101 William St., which is occupied by the J & M Meat Market and now Main Street Sweets. Commission members praised the improvements that had been made to the building since J & M Meat Market took over.

“You’ve done a terrific job,” commission member Mary Moore said. “That whole corner, which was such an eyesore for many years, is just terrific.”

Applicant Heidi Johnson told the commission she wanted to have three signs on the William Street side of the building and one on the Pitts Street side of the building. She said the signs were needed so people would be aware that the building housed more than just a butcher shop.

“I feel it’s necessary we explain to the town that we also have a deli and barbecue,” she said.

Commission member Robert Poli said he had no objection.

“I’d rather see these signs on your building than sandwich boards,” he said. “People are tripping on those all over town.”

Poli also praised the picnic tables the shop had set up outside.

“It’s almost like an extension of Main Street now coming down Pitts Street,” he said.

The commission voted unanimously to approve the additional signage for 101 William St. The commission also approved a sign change at HOUSE as well as new windows for Main Street Nails. A pine sign for Simple Pleasures, the home décor store at 15 Gay St., was also approved, albeit amid some criticism. Commission members said the placement of the sign, on the side of the building closest to Broad Street, was not balanced. Moore questioned the name of the shop as well.

“If I saw that sign I would think thrift shop…,” she said. “You want to bring your customers in and I’m not sure the name of your store is going to do it.”

After offering a variety of suggestions to Simple Pleasures, the commission did agree to approve the pine sign.

At the June 6 meeting the commission also reviewed exterior changes underway at the former PNC Bank building at 1 S. Main St. Property owner Mike Queen said he was upgrading the building and that he eventually planned to put a patio where the drive-through was. He’s hoping to select a concession-type business to occupy the building.

“It’ll help the area,” he said.

The commission approved his plans for a new entrance façade on Main Street as well as his plans to remodel the drive through windows with façade.

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.