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Oak Park Historic Preservation Commission

January 11, 2007 Meeting Minutes Oak Park Village Hall, Room 101 ­ 7:30 pm A. ROLL CALL PRESENT: ABSENT: STAFF: B. Acting Chair Nick Kalogeresis, Frank Lipo, Karen Doty, Tom Bassett-Dilley, Kate Susmilch, Todd Young, Bob Lempera Doug Freerksen, Marsha Moseley, Chair Douglas Gilbert Doug Kaarre, Urban Planner MINUTES

Motion by Doty to approve the October 30, 2006 meeting minutes. Second by Susmilch. Motion approved 7-0 Motion by Lempera to approve the December 14, 2006 meeting minutes. Second by Young. Motion approved 7-0 C. NON-AGENDA PUBLIC COMMENT

Kathryn Jonas asked for an update on the progress of work on the Drechsler Building (1112 Lake Street). She asked if the HPC had any review on the project. They have put new windows in the building. Planner Kaarre stated that he would follow up with her on the status. She also asked if the HPC had any comments on the new RSC building in relation to the Drechsler Building. The HPC responded that they had no formal review in the design of the RSC building and was not asked to comment on it by the Village Board. She asked if the HPC would look into it. Acting Chair Kalogeresis stated that it may come up with the downtown process. D. HPC 06-62: 117 Clinton Avenue (Certificate of Appropriateness) Applicant Mark Kleinkopf was present.

Planner Kaarre introduced the application. The HPC reviewed this preliminary proposal at its December meeting. The proposal is to rehab the existing single-family home, which is situated in an R7 multiple-family zoning district, and construct a rear addition of three townhomes. The applicant has also met with the Architectural Review Committee (ARC) several times and has an option to purchase the property. Mark Kleinkopf, True North Capital, stated that they are not tearing down the house, but plan to restore the siding and construct a new front porch. They propose to remove the rear addition and garage and construct a new addition. There are currently 161 units on the block. They designed a similar project next door at 115 Clinton. The ARC requested they look further into revisions to the north elevation of the house. He provided an updated site plan, sight lines drawing and north elevation. He described the basement driveway being

Historic Preservation Commission minutes ­ January 11, 2007

installed at 115 Clinton. This project is a good solution for a single-family house on a densely populated block. The changes to the north elevation are that he added siding on the 3-sided bay, changed the side porch to better reflect the design of the front porch, and changed the various dormer sizes to show a variety. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that the ARC was concerned about raising the roof on the house. It is a significant alteration. They were also concerned with the massing of the addition. The rear addition should recede from view. Mr. Kleinkopf stated that they decreased the size of the fourth unit and shifted the fifth unit to the south. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that positive improvements have been made to the design of the addition in relation to the house. The Architectural Review Guidelines policy on new additions refers to how an addition impacts the building it is attached to, not just how it fits into the area. Massing is still an issue. Mr. Kleinkopf stated that it is tricky. There are four-story buildings all down South and Pleasant. This block has two Victorians in the middle of apartments. Commissioner Lipo stated that he understands context and zoning, but there is single-family character across the street. He understands the economic argument, but adjacent density is not necessarily directly germane. Mr. Kleinkopf stated that the street rhythm is very mixed on one side ­ this is a good solution. It may not be best for everyone, but it will make it good for the next 100 years. It is not a single-family neighborhood. Commissioner Lipo stated that the question is how far to draw the line on scale and density. Mr. Kleinkopf explained the proposed terrace level, which is needed for the side entrances. It will be a private courtyard. There are seven parking spaces under the addition, none under the house. There are three spaces below grade behind the addition. They propose to restore the wood siding underneath the vinyl, or replace with new wood if needed. The addition will match the house. Commissioner Doty asked how the ARC felt on the differentiation between old and new on this project. Commissioner Susmilch stated that they didn't focus too much on it mainly due to the extent of the alterations to the house ­ raising the roof, enlarging the gables and changing the window fenestration. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that they are big items. He admires the quality of the proposed project. He could be supportive with less alterations to the house and more delineation between house and addition. That much massing does not meet the Guidelines.

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Historic Preservation Commission minutes ­ January 11, 2007

Commissioner Doty read from a memo from Mike Jackson, Preservation Architect with the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency dated May 12, 2004. "The overall effect of the new addition should not be so great as to make the existing building unable to be understood as it was originally. New additions that are no more than one third the size of the existing building seem to meet the test of a ratio between old and new that still allows the existing building to be viewed as the dominant structure. Additions larger than this may be appropriate, but require more design skill to mitigate the effect between new and old. The larger the addition, the more care that must be used in making sure that the original house still retains its own historic identity." Commissioner Susmilch stated that she has several concerns that the project is not satisfying the Guidelines. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated the bigger the addition, the harder the design solution. Commissioner Lempera stated that he has trouble with some of the details, but the addition could make a good impact on the street. Mr. Kleinkopf stated that he would like to meet with the Commission on site for more feedback. He wants to find a solution the Commission will like. Acting Chair Kalogeresis stated that he is hearing two main concerns from the Commission: 1) significant alterations to the house are impacting its integrity, and 2) the massing of the addition is too large. Commissioner Young asked if the side elevations will be seen from the street. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that they would. Even though it's a secondary façade, the addition is 50-feet long. Commissioner Lipo asked if losing one unit from the project would be a manageable tradeoff for maintaining the historic character of the site. Mr. Kleinkopf stated that there are two units in the house and three units in the addition. Staff will work with the applicant to set up a date and time for a site visit with the Commission. E. HPC 07-01: Oak Park Avenue & South Boulevard (Certificate of Appropriateness) Architects John Schiess and Ron Kirkpatrick were present representing the property owner.

John Schiess stated that he is representing the owner of the four properties. He presented the new proposal which included a location map, existing site plan, and perspective drawing. They are proposing to keep the two corner buildings (100-106 S. Oak Park and 721-723 South) and demolish the building at 715-717 South. A new four-story mixed use building will front on South Blvd. and Oak Park Avenue in an L-shape, wrapping the two buildings.

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Historic Preservation Commission minutes ­ January 11, 2007

The Oak Park frontage is currently a parking lot. The lot is 30,225 s.f. with 15,500 s.f. of commercial space and 2,700 s.f. of office space. There will be 14 residential units per floor for a total of 42 units, with 49 parking spaces in the garage with 2-story lifts for a total of 58 spaces. The 100 S. Oak Park building will be left entirely intact, though they may change the windows and storefronts. Local restaurateur Spiro Pappageorge has committed to moving his restaurant to the first floor with a banquet room on the second floor. They are considering a roof garden as well. The rear 20-30 feet of the one-story section of 721 South building will be demolished. An arcade/atrium will be the primary entrance to the condos located between the two historic buildings, where Val's Halla entrance was. There will be retail in the new building facing Oak Park Avenue. The South Blvd. façade will have display windows with indoor parking behind them. The interior section between the buildings is not fully defined. They are looking at a roof garden. The east side set back is also not fully defined. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley asked if they planned awnings on the corner building and what the condition of the windows was. Mr. Schiess stated that they most likely would use awnings. The building has its original wood windows and they would replace them with new approximating the look. The storefronts need more research. The current windows are a nice design. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley commented on the change in height of the second story windows between the three buildings along South Blvd. Ron Kirkpatrick, DesignBridge, stated that it would introduce more detail and scale to the new street facades. Acting Chair Kalogeresis inquired about the condition of the terra cotta on the 721 South building. Mr. Schiess stated that there are parapet issues, which they will rebuild and keep the terra cotta. Some of the terra cotta around the entrance is bad and the lintel is broken. They may have to replace the terra cotta there with something compatible. The height of the 100 S. Oak Park building is 24-30 feet. The height of the new building is 48-49 feet. The project will need to be a Planned Development and they will present more detail then. Commissioner Doty asked if there was originally a corner entrance at 100 S. Oak Park. Mr. Schiess stated that if it was he would work with Mr. Pappageorge on restoring it. He is hoping that the Commission will approve the COA this evening on the rear demolition for 721 South. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that he supports the project but would need more overall project details before voting on the application.

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Historic Preservation Commission minutes ­ January 11, 2007

Mr. Schiess encouraged the Commission to consider the COA and Planned Development as two separate issues and two separate reviews. The materials for the new building would be brick, limestone sills, cornice and details. Commissioner Lempera stated that his reaction is positive. Commissioner Lipo stated that he is excited that this could be a model for mixed use projects utilizing historic buildings and new. It's definitely the right direction. He would like to see more details before voting. This is an opportunity to make the entire project part of the historic district, not just old and new buildings. He hopes the applicant will work with the Architectural Review Committee. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that this is an exciting project and the buildings carry out a purpose with the intention of the new buildings working with existing buildings. He has some concerns about the new building, such as the scale shift along the street. A streetlevel view would be helpful. Maybe having 2-3 stories on the street and step back and up away from the street. He's okay with the demolition. Commissioner Lempera inquired about the house at 715 South. Mr. Schiess stated that it is freestanding clad in wood and stripped of all details. It may have been Italianate from the late 1880s. Commissioner Susmilch stated that this is a vast improvement with the potential for success. The change in elevation may be shocking. Consider keeping three stories on the street and step back and up to four. Soften the streetscape. It would be helpful to see other views. Mr. Schiess stated that they may not be able to do that as they're at their limit of units. They can't move units back to the middle as they are at their height limit. Commissioner Bassett-Dilley stated that he would prefer to see the windows on the existing building restored. Mr. Schiess stated that they will look at the energy code, etc. All the details will come with the Planned Development application. Commissioner Susmilch stated that she is glad to see more retail on Oak Park Avenue. It would be nice to have more retail on South Blvd. Mr. Schiess asked if it was possible to get a straw vote from the Commission on the demolition subject to submitting all the documents. There was consensus that the Commission looked favorably at the proposed demolition. Commissioner Doty asked if all the buildings become one.

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Mr. Schiess stated that while they may be connected, legally they will be kept as four separate buildings. Removing the fourth building (126-134 S. Oak Park) from the project helped the project. New and old together happens all over on different scales. F. OTHER BUSINESS

Architectural Review Committee: Report on December 20, 2006 meeting. The ARC approved a rear two-story addition at 308 N. Elmwood; they met with the applicant for 117 Clinton, which was discussed tonight; they had a proposal for Oak Park and South which called for complete demolition, though that was revised here tonight. Recreation Center Historic Stewardship Committee (Park District): The Park District should be thanked for including the HPC on their committee. The HPC should request in writing a formal mechanism for future discussion on the fate of the buildings. It was a complete report, and their future depends on future design parameters. It was well-covered. The buildings have merit. Their on-going use is in question. We should reference the original HPC review letter. It was an excellent review done by the committee. Even though the three buildings are differentiated, all have worthiness as a group. There is a commitment now to Andersen, but the master plan suggests the others go away in the future, but that is not a reality now. Nothing may happen for a long time. The Park District needs to remain good stewards while they own them. They are committed to that. A letter from the HPC might emphasize that. Key points: a) keep the committee active for future review, b) work with the HPC in the future, and c) maintain the buildings. The murals that were in the buildings don't likely exist anymore. The Historical Society has the murals from Stevenson. Although Commissioner Freerksen is absent, he expressed a passionate concern regarding the demolition of Carroll. The letter should avoid condoning the demolition and encourage its preservation and reuse. Marion Street Streetscape: Commissioner Lempera updated the Commission on the progress of the committee, of which he is a member. Other members include Frank Lipo for the Historical Society, Frank Heitzman and Carol Yetken. There are more than 20 people on the committee. They are looking at a brick street with stone sidewalks ­ no concrete. They are reviewing various historic street lighting and other street furniture. The Historical Society is proposing historic signage along the street as historic markers with photographs. 209 N. Humphrey Avenue Appeal of HPC Decision: The Board is currently reviewing the appeal of the demolition in the Council Chambers. Chair Douglas Gilbert is in attendance at that meeting to update the Board on the process to date and answer questions. The Board will be taking public comment, hear a presentation from the hospital, and make a decision based upon the public hearing record. The Board has the authority to overturn the Commission's decision. Downtown Historic Preservation Process Update: Public meetings will be held on January 23 and 30 to take public comment on potential options for including historic preservation in the future of downtown Oak Park. Commissioners Kalogeresis and Young met with downtown property and business owners on January 9. They are concerned about the process and unhappy about the idea. There were many questions and some misunderstandings. They

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Historic Preservation Commission minutes ­ January 11, 2007

discussed the different options. They are against any historic district downtown but never said why. There is significant resistance. There were questions about the architectural survey ratings. The HPC needs to do a lot more education and have one-on-one meetings with the property owners. There should be a large educational component to the process. The HPC should provide case studies of other downtown historic districts. The Colt Building process did a lot of damage for trust with the Village. The Downtown Master Plan process was a missed opportunity to discuss preservation's role in the downtown. It was the appropriate time and it needs to be done now. We're having the discussions we need to have. They should point out others who have used the 20% historic tax credits and that the Avenue business district is already in a historic district. There seems to be so much vitality and character there, though some indicate struggling businesses as well. The character of downtown can be improved and still be economically successful. It is hard to designate suburban downtowns as historic for various reasons: a) property rights issues; b) rising land values; c) property owners wanting the development seen in other communities; and d) wanting to cash in on property values. It was suggested they compare sales tax and property values between the Avenue and Downtown over the 10 years before and after 1994, when the Avenue was designated as part of the Ridgeland-Oak Park Historic District. Historic Plaque Program (Historical Society): Commissioner Lipo explained the new program being implemented by the Historical Society. They are promoting property owners research their properties and apply to receive a historical plaque. L. ADJOURN

Motion by Bassett-Dilley to adjourn. Second by Susmilch. Motion approved: 7-0. Meeting adjourned at 10:30 pm. Minutes prepared by Doug Kaarre, Urban Planner.

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