BERLIN – The Berlin Historic District Commission approved signs for new shops, the addition of a flower cart to Bay Street and extensive renovations to a well-known Main Street home this week.
Highlighting the meeting was discussion of the renovation of the 19th century home at 200 South Main St. Commission members praised efforts to refurbish the home.
“It needed some love and care,” commission member Mary Moore said of the house, which was built in 1893.
Homeowner Glenn Davis told the commission he and his wife were pursuing the renovation after exploring the history of the Queen Anne style home. Beachwood Inc.’s Robert Purcell presented examples of the windows, shingles and railings proposed to replace those that were being removed. He said the work was proving more extensive than expected.
“We’re finding stuff we have to fix along the way,” he said. “You open up a ceiling, rot. You open up a floor, rot.”
Commission member Laura Stearns questioned the columns proposed for the house, which differed from what had been there.
“That’s going to change the look of the house,” she said.
Davis agreed but said the square columns had been selected because they had a more substantial look.
“The square columns I think are more appealing in it mirrors that same angular look the house already has,” he said.
Carol Rose, chair of the commission, encouraged Davis to contact the planning department if any changes were needed as the project went forward.
“We’re very willing to work with you,” she said, offering praise for the project. “This is huge. I’m excited.”
The commission on Wednesday also approved signs for two new shops, the Rusty Anchor Seafood Market, to be located at 8 Pitts St., and the Mermaid Museum, to be located above Dreamweaver. Plans for a flower cart on Bay Street, where the old PNC Bank drive thru was, were also approved. Applicant Hunter Smith said she essentially wanted to put a farm stand in the drive thru space.
“It’s more of a mobile retail space,” she said, adding that it would sell flowers and produce.
Moore said she loved the idea of bringing greenery downtown.
“It gives you the vision of a little park,” she said.
Rose also expressed excitement for the concept, which she compared to a French flower mart.
“I think it’s ideal for that location,” she said.
Smith added that in an effort not to compete with the town’s popular farmers market, she would only be open in the afternoon on Sundays.