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December 16, 2017
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Historic district to look over certificates of appropriateness, other projects today

By Tia Lyons
This article was published October 12, 2017 at 5:00 a.m.

The El Dorado Historic District Commission has a packed agenda today with several Certificates of Appropriateness requests and an update on another project.

The commission will meet at noon in the second-floor conference room of city hall.

COAs are required for exterior work that will change the architectural design or historical character on strictures within the city’s commercial historic district.

At least two of the COA requests that are on the agenda will be for projects that have already been completed — a process that is strongly discouraged by the historic district commission’s design guidelines.

One of the after-the-fact COAs is for an ATM at the corner of Jefferson and Cedar.

The cash dispenser was installed by First Financial Bank in preparation for the Sept. 27 — Oct. 1 kickoff of the Murphy Arts District (MAD).

The other post-COA is for signage and a decorative picket fence that covers the bulkhead on the storefront of Coco’z Cottage, 108 N. Washington.

Proceeding with projects within the commercial historic district prior to obtaining a COA carries no punitive action from the commission, property owners can incur costs of having to redo a project if it does not adhere to design guidelines or pay fines levied by the city if the work violates city codes, commissioners said.

Architect Matthew Jennings, of Westlake Reed Leskosky design firm, is on the agenda to present a COA for planned work to the former Elm Street Bakery, 116 E. Elm, the corner of Elm and Jefferson.

The historic name of the building is the Garrett Building, and it is a contributing structure within the commercial historic district.

Contributing structures must be at least 50 years old and not significantly altered from their original appearance.

Exterior alterations that have been proposed for the building — for which a restaurant and upper floor residential development for short-term stays are planned — include a scope of work that is intended to protect the historical character of the building.

Per the COA application, the existing building masonry will be restored; the exterior walls repainted; new second story windows installed; and existing awnings replaced.

Diversified Design and Construction is expected to provide an update on the renovation of Hill’s Recreation Parlor, 205 E. Cedar.

MAD worked with Diversified to come up with a plan to spruce up Hill’s — the only building that remains in the block surrounded by Cedar, Jefferson, Locust and Hill — in time for the MAD grand opening.

The work entailed repointing the mortar joints, cleaning the masonry, and the replicating and replacing of the old woodwork, which had extensive water damage.

MAD entered into an agreement with Hill’s to cover the cost of the work and for Hill’s to maintain the repairs.

Commissioners agreed in August that the work would not require a COA since it involved maintenance and repairs and would not change the architectural design of the building.

Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or tlyons@eldoradonews.com.

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