Decatur Preservation Commission to Hear Presentation on Living Walls Project

I’ve received a lot of notes about a Decatur Historic Preservation Committee presentation at 6:30p regarding the Living Walls mural on the side of the old Paste two-story commercial building at East Howard and N. Candler, thanks to a couple posts on Living Walls’ Facebook page, which read…

Advocacy Alert! Decatur City Hall: Public Hearing on Living Walls Mural … Some neighbors are trying to have the mural erased! (See also picture below.) 6:30PM TONIGHT!

“Hmm”, I thought to myself.  That seems sort of impossible, because the one thing that preservation ordinances can’t usually regulate is paint color.  A note from the city’s Planning Director Amanda Thompson confirms my suspicions and explains what the meeting will actually entail…

The hearing tonight is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the Living Walls project. Some residents in the Old Decatur local historic district have had questions about the project and requested an opportunity to comment and learn more about it. The preservation commission does not have the authority to remove the mural or change its design.

So there you are then.  Some folks in the Old Decatur Historic District may be displeased with the project, but no one can actually force anyone to remove the mural.

Photo courtesy of Living Walls Facebook page

Watch Chapman’s “Daulton House” Go Up

Architect Clay Chapman is currently constructing the “Daulton House” at 317 South McDonough Road in the MAK District. The house design was approved at the Historic Preservation Commission’s January meeting in a 3-2 vote.

You can monitor the Tudor brick home’s progress at the Chapman Architecture blog.

But perhaps even more interesting than watching this house rise brick-by-brick, is reading Chapman’s theory of the trade that he relates along the way.  Such as…

There may be an underlying suspicion in the collective psyche that we are presently unable to expound; unable to do anything of creative significance because the era of modern manufacturing, in all it’s efficiency, has made the artisan tradesman obsolete; and in so doing extinguished that brazen creativity we Americans pride ourselves as being descended. Of course this is in no way limited to creative building — what car being built today will be held with the same affection as a 66 Ford Mustang in the year 2060.

All this to say, a penchant for period architecture should in no way be based on an unbalanced appreciation for another time. Many modern architects view period design with a bricker-brack sort of kitchy, collectibles mentality and there is good fodder for this. But it’s not so much a particular period I’m in love with, as a few rudimentary materials that happen to be historically ubiquitous; materials I find difficult to improve upon without a price.

h/t: the DNO

Photo courtesy of Chapman Architecture blog

Date Correction for Historic Survey Results Meeting (aka Even the Decatur Focus Makes Mistakes)

Sometimes the Decatur Focus will make a “mistake”, just so I don’t feel so bad when I slip up and call a shrimp a crawfish or something.  I must say I appreciate this effort (said the narcissist).

But seriously, there is a date error for a very important event in this month’s Focus.  See this press release from Linda Harris…

The date of the public input session on the results of the recently completed Decatur Historic Resource Survey is incorrect in the October Decatur Focus. The correct date of the meeting is Wednesday, November 4th, 2009 at 7 p.m. at Decatur City Hall located at 509 N. McDonough Street in the City Commission Meeting Room.

The meeting will be a presentation of the survey results including the methodology used and a discussion on future plans for Decatur’s historic resources.

Additional questions regarding this correction or the Decatur Historic Resource Survey should be directed to Regina Brewer at [email protected] or (404) 371-8386.

If your a history and/or Decatur buff (or you just want to know why people were taking pictures of your house recently), I don’t think I’m over-selling by saying that this is a “can’t-miss” meeting where we’ll hear a summary of the city’s recent historic inventory.

Also, if you’re looking to brush up on your Decatur history prior to the meeting, read though the city’s South Decatur Historic Survey, completed in 1987.

Renewal Wins Decatur Design Award with Barry Street Remodel

Kelly sends in a press release noting that Renewal Design Build’s renovation projects at 224 Barry Street recently won a Decatur design award.

May 7, 2009 – This year, Decatur’s Historic Preservation Commission presented the annual Decatur Design Awards on May 3rd at the Old Decatur Courthouse. These awards recognize projects that preserve, enhance and contribute to the historic character of the City. Recipients were given a certificate signed by Mayor Bill Floyd, as well as an honorary plaque. And, this year, one of the awards for Best Addition went to Renewal Design-Build.

The judging commissioners thought the scale of the winning project – a major two story addition – was very compatible to the adjacent properties, and that incorporating sustainable materials also added a great deal of value. According to Regina Brewer, the awards’ organizer, “They also felt you could discern that the addition was new, and that it did not create a false sense of history.”

Once a small home in disrepair, this completely remodeled home is now a Tudor style cottage with double the square footage. And, the homeowner of the winning project couldn’t be more pleased. “My home is beautiful; it’s my dream come true,” says Dr. Dallin Randolph.

The Renewal team is humbled by such an award. “It is such an honor to be recognized by the City to whom we owe so much of our success,” says Renewal CEO, Peter Michelson. “Our goal is to continually contribute to the beauty and character of Decatur.”

You can check out a few Before & After pics from the project over at Renewal’s website.