Guest blogger Tom Harton offers this update on a Property Lines post from last month:
The owner of a historic building at 42 E. Washington St. has city approval to continue repairing the building’s façade almost three weeks after a stop-work order was issued.
The Antonopoulos family, which has owned the building since the late 1970s, had hired a contractor to fill in the building’s upper floor window openings with concrete block and plaster over the blocks and the rest of the brick façade.
The city issued a stop-work order Feb. 17 because the Regional Center approval for the façade changes hadn’t been granted. Jeff York, a senior planner for the city’s Department of Metropolitan Development, said Monday that a compromise has been reached that will allow work to resume.
The concrete block will be removed, window framing will be installed and a mortar appropriate for the building’s approximately 150-year-old bricks will be used for tuckpointing. The work should be finished by the end of this week.
Though the window openings will be retained, they will be covered with painted plywood—just as they were before the ill-fated repair project started. York said the building, which houses a jewelry store on the first floor, predates the Civil War and might be the oldest downtown.
The owner embarked on the repair project to prevent moisture from coming through the upper floor window openings and to prevent brick from falling onto the sidewalk below.