Commercial buildings make improvement

By Karen Cornelius


The Historic Vermilion Design and Review Board met on Wednesday, August 1, and approved several upgrades for local commercial buildings. They also welcomed Susan Cairns as the board’s newest member filling the unexpired term of vice chair Chris Riddle. Member Erica Cann was appointed the new vice chair.


According to the official minutes, Denise and Mark Fahrney represented the commercial building at 678 Grand Street, the former hardware store, They  requested permission for a midnight grey metal roof. Member Marilou Suszko asked how a metal roof fits in with the historic integrity of downtown as metal roofs to her don’t necessarily fit. Mark Fahrney responded that they used metal roofs in the past as long as they fit with the building and he stated that you can barely see the roof. Member Cann agreed that it doesn’t fit the historical integrity, but if the roof is not visible then she would be more inclined to approve it. Chairman Judy Kernell stated that there is nothing in the historical guidelines that says you can’t have a metal roof and she felt as long as it doesn’t stand out it will be okay. The board voted to approve the new roof.


Next, Jerry Pearl of 5237 Liberty Avenue, Thorley DeLloyd Insurance, requested an update to their building they purchased in 1981. They are replacing the front door to like kind and it will be a blue door that will match the blue they have throughout the city on the signs. The lettering on top of the updated sign will be in gold and the lettering on the bottom will be in blue and the trim will be blue. Member Suszko felt the board needs to be very careful when businesses come before them wanting to replace signage and add color that reflects the city wayfinding signs as it could become a homogenous look downtown and they should separate businesses from city signage. The biggest example is the signage that was approved of the Vermilion History Museum that matches the wayfinding signage to a tee. Suszko said she would abstain from this as it’s part of the community block grant, but said they need to be careful about setting precedence. The board agreed this was a good point. It was noted there is not too much blue in the proposed sign and it does have a lot of gold in it. The board voted to approve the door and to refurbish the signage.


The commercial property at 5463 Liberty Avenue was next with Chuck Norton requesting approval for awnings, siding, landscaping, and other upgrades. He said the brown vinyl siding is deteriorating and will be replaced with a gray cedar shake vinyl siding on the lower section and a gray lap siding on the upper section. The five windows will be removed and remaining windows will be lowered with header being 8 foot and 6 inches. The clock tower siding will be replaced, a matching gray fabric awning may be installed across the front and the east side of the entire building the tuxedo gray to match the new siding. There will be a 24-inch brick wall back from the sidewalk in front of the building with sandstone cap. The brick will be red to match the neighbor’s planter and building to the west, the Inter Urban Station Building. There will be two new floor to ceiling windows on the east side to match the eight existing floor to ceiling windows in front of the building. There may be a patio area in a portion of the parking lot near the flagpole in the northeast corner bordered by a brick wall to match the proposed in the front of the building. Member Suszko said she appreciated the work that is being done in this area of the town. The board approved the projects as submitted.


Lastly, the Paradise Salon at 654 Grand Street request for siding was reviewed with a change. The color approved by the board two months ago, a dark gray blue color, is no longer available, and they would like to go with Hampton Blue which is closest to what the board had approved. The board approved the new color.


The Design and Review board will meet again on Wednesday, September 5, at 6 p.m. at the municipal complex on Decatur Street.


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