The El Dorado Historic District Commission has signed off on plans for a new restaurant and upper-floor residential development in the building that formerly housed Elm Street Bakery and Rascal’s.
Architect Matthew Jennings said that while he was not at liberty to reveal the type of restaurant that is planned for the space at 116 E. Elm, he jokingly told commissioners, “It’s not a sushi bar.”
Jennings and local architect Michael Rogers — project manager of El Dorado Roofing and Construction, LLC, the contractor for the job — shared the preliminary floor plans as part of a Certificate of Appropriateness request.
Rogers said El Dorado Roofing is partnering with Jennings, historic preservation leader associate for Westlake Reed Leskosky design firm, because of his experience in historic preservation and restoration projects, particularly those that qualify for federal and state tax credits that are available for historic restoration projects.
The Cincinnati-based Westlake Reed Leskosky is the design team behind the Murphy Arts District, which was also a tax credit project.
Rogers and Jennings said alterations to the building, historically known as the Garrett building, will apply to the first and second floors, which measure 5,500 square feet each.
The building formerly housed a post office from 1912 – 1929, Hall’s Drugstore, and most recently Elm Street Bakery and Rascal’s, both of which relocated to 320 W. Main.
Jennings said the storefront of the Garrett building has undergone many variations over the years.
He told commissioners the existing color scheme of browns and greens will be maintained and the look of the storefront cleaned up.
The center door will be removed to return the facade to a more historically appropriate fit.
Rogers said there will also be a return to the original window configuration, noting that masonry will be removed on the west side of the building where windows once were, and awnings will be added to provide shade for the upper-level apartment
Jennings said windows will line all facades of the building.
Rogers and Jennings said the second floor will be transformed into four, contemporary units intended for short-term stays.
The work will also include a new roof and parapet; restoration of the cast-iron detailing; the replacement of the upper-floor window air conditioning units for a new cooling/heating system; the cleaning up of fixtures and conduits; restoration of masonry and repainting.
Stairs and an elevator on Elm Street side of the property will lead to the second floor, and Rogers said there are plans for a new egress to the upper floor on the northeast side of the property, with hopes of also providing parking on the north side of the building.
Rogers said work is projected to begin with some December, with an opening in May or June.
El Dorado historic district commissioners approved the COA, which applies to the exterior work that is planned for the building.
Commissioner Linda Rathbun, vice-chairman of the commission abstained from the vote, citing friendship with the property owner.
Tracy Fort with Edwin Boyd Alderson Properties was listed as the applicant in the COA request.
Tia Lyons may be contacted at 870-862-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org.