Berlin HDC Signs Off On Mixed Use Project’s Windows

Berlin HDC Signs Off On Mixed Use Project’s Windows
A sketch of the proposed changes for the Wooden Octopus in Berlin is shown. Submitted Image

BERLIN – The town’s historic district commission approved plans for changes to a mixed-use property on Jefferson Street.

The Berlin Historic District Commission earlier this month approved plans for a new door and windows at Wooden Octopus on Jefferson Street.

“I look forward to seeing it,” commission member Laura Stearns said.

Matt Amey of Wooden Octopus initially approached the commission in April seeking approval for a new door and windows at his gallery on Jefferson Street. Amey said he hadn’t been able to relay to the commission exactly what his intentions were, however, so a vote on his proposal was tabled. He returned to the commission at May’s meeting with an updated drawing depicting both the changes he planned to make as well as the materials involved.

“The only thing I don’t have approval for currently is the windows,” he said, adding that he already had approval for the proposed entrance ramp, doors, brickwork and siding.

He shared with the commission a drawing done by Dhiru Thadani, the urbanist and planner who visited Berlin in April. He pointed out that during the last meeting, the commission had suggested he consult with a professional regarding his plans for the property.

“It fell right in my lap,” he said.

Amey said there would be tall plate glass windows on the front of the building as well as smaller windows on the side of the porch.

“. On the sides of the porch, those will have windows that can open for airflow,” he said.

Amey added that he was hoping for approval of the windows, as he’d just been advised he had received a façade grant to help with the project but that it had to be done within 12 months.

Commission members said the drawing provided a clearer image of what he intended for the structure.

“It’s easier to visualize,” Stearns said.

Commission member Carol Rose praised the proposal and said she felt the project had benefited from last month’s delay of a decision.

“That’s why we ask people to rethink and come back,” she said. “It’s not that we want to turn anybody down.”

Amey said he was grateful for the insight Thadani had provided on the project. He also thanked commission members, particularly Brian Robertson, for their input into his plans.

He said siding was currently being installed on the first floor and the second floor would be targeted next.

“Little by little it’s coming together,” he said.

The commission voted unanimously to approve new windows for the property.

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.