Having stood the test of time since circa 1880, the Sheets Building in downtown Delaware has survived its latest challenge, one that would have brought down the 20 E. William St. structure.
During Wednesday’s Historic Preservation Commission meeting, Dianne Guenther, city development planner, read a letter from City Manager R. Thomas Homan addressed to Roger Koch, commission chairman, expressing the city’s desire to withdraw its request for a Certificate of Appropriateness to demolish the structure.
“We are taking this action because we heard and recognize the concerns of the commission and the public,” the letter states. “Going forward, we will evaluate all options for uses of this facility.”
After Guenther read the letter into record, the commission voted 4-0 (commission members Joe Coleman, Mark Hatten, and Kyle Rohrer were absent) to withdraw the city’s request for demolition, which had been tabled from the September meeting.
During last month’s meeting, city officials submitted a request to demolish the structure to make way for additional downtown parking and easier access to the parking lot located directly behind the building.
City officials noted the city-owned building, which last housed the city’s engineering offices, has set vacant since 2015 and currently has no reasonable economic use to the city.
Commission members, however, took offense to the thought of tearing down a historic structure to make way for parking and tabled a decision on the matter.
Following the city’s decision not to seek demolition of the building at the present time, commission member Sherry Riviera said, “I hope it’s permanent.”
Koch added the commission has and continues to make a difference for Delaware’s historic downtown.
“What this commission has done over the last 15 years has been a major contributing factor to the revitalization and the growth we see in our downtown,” he said. “It hasn’t always been smooth getting there, but I think we’ve been a critical element. I’m pleased we’ve been able to do that.”
Certificates of Appropriateness approved
A request by 12 West LLC for a Certificate of Appropriateness for a scope change for the building currently being constructed at 14 W. William St. (former site of West End Grill) was approved by the commission.
The change involves the type of material being used on the exterior of the building. Instead of Hardiplank siding on all four sides of the building, the commission agreed to allow owner David DiStefano to use horizontal vinyl siding on the sides and back of the building provided it matches the color of the Hardiplank siding on the front of the structure.
DiStefano said the change in materials will allow him to offset some unforeseen plumbing costs.
At previous commission meetings, the building was discussed as a possible location for a family-style sports bar or barbecue eatery.
Also during the meeting, commission members voted in favor of issuing a Certificate of Appropriateness for a patio extension at Roop Brothers Bar, 17 N. Union St.
The owners of the business are extending the existing concrete patio pad and fence to the edge of the building in order to provide a smoking area further away from the main entrance.
The plan calls for 4-foot high black aluminum picket fence to be installed around the patio along with four brick columns, three of which will be topped with lanterns. The fourth column will contain a covered fire feature.
“I think it will be a nice addition to that part of the street,” Koch said.
To avoid intruding on its neighbors, the owners stated no live music or speakers will be allowed on the patio.