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Historic Pres Comm Minutes 2007-02-20

City of Gardiner
Historic Preservation Commission

      6 Church St.                                                                                                        Telephone 207-582-6892
      Gardiner, Me. 04345                                                                                           Fax             207-582-6895


February 20, 2007
Gardiner Public Library – Hazzard Reading Room

Present:                Kirk Mohney     Mike Giberson   Geri Robbins-Doyle                                              Victor Tessari, Alt                                                     

Absent:         Clarence McKay, Chair   Gail Ham        Derrick Grant. Alt.
Also Present:   David Cichowski, Code Enforcement Officer
       Dorothy Morang Grey – Recording Secretary
Robert L. Johnston              Phyllis Gardiner

1.)     Call Meeting to Order
Kirk Mohney called the meeting to order at 6:05 PM

2.)     Roll Call
Roll call was taken.
Consideration of October 17, 2006 Minutes

Geri Robbins-Doyle moved to accept the minutes as written. Michael Giberson seconded the motion.
Vote: 4 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.

4.)     Consideration of a Certificate of Appropriateness from Up Street Properties, LLC, Robert L. Johnston, Applicant
        Proposal: To rehabilitate the storefront
        Location: 279-283 Water Street, City Tax Map 37, Lot 119
        Land Use Ordinance Reference: Section 9, Article F.

Robert “Logan” Johnston said that he and Phyllis Gardiner purchased the building known as the “Barker Block” in July of 2006.  The have finished the rehab work of the prior owner.
In talking with the CEO, Logan found that he needs to meet with the Fire Marshal’s Office because the building is a mixed use, retail and residential.  

Logan said they want to be able to divide the first floor into two sections of equal size to be used for retail. It is a large area with a center beam down the middle, which lends itself to dividing the space.  After talking with the CEO and the Fire Marshal, he found that he couldn’t use the plan that was previously approved.

Logan showed some pictures of the Barker Block from the 1920s, which he believes to be the original façade and noted that there was no side entrance to the upper floors.  The upper floors were accessed from the rear of the building. When the building was purchased in 1954, the current, lower façade was created. It is glass with brushed aluminum with Formica made to look like granite.  The façade is in rough shape.  

Logan said that the new plan is to remove the entire 1954 storefront and lower façade and replace it with an insulated aluminum/glass system.  They would re-align the doorway to the middle of the building and meet ADA standards.  They would remove one of the existing columns and re-engineer the structure supporting the existing granite lintel with a new 7’ long steel I-beam and three new steel posts.  The new entrance/doorway will be set back from the sidewalk about 4’ and in line with the 2nd floor stairway.  This would restore the historical recessed entry way.  They found the two original doors in an upstairs room, but the doors don’t meet today’s ADA requirements.  He said they want to use these doors as fixed sidelights. If the space is not rented as one unit and ends up being divided, Logan will come back to get a permit to build an interior vestibule through which the two areas would access.  They are not changing the side stairway to allow for 2 means of egress and the door will be incorporated as part of the entire façade.

Kirk asked about the windows on the 3rd floor as shown on the elevation drawing and asked if Logan was proposing replacing them.  Logan said no.

Kirk asked what was behind the sheet metal on the storefront columns.  Logan said he thought maybe brick.  Kirk asked if it were possible to leave the masonry right up to the lintel.  Logan said if it is in decent shape, he would – it was a good idea.

Kirk asked about the interior tin ceilings.  Logan said that the tin ceilings have been used as part of the fire stop system.  The tin was removed in some areas and he was going to have to sheet rock those areas.  The previous owner cut out sections of the ceiling.

Kirk asked about the differing heights of the doors – those proposed and the side door to the  2nd floor.  He asked if there had been any thought to making it all consistent.  Logan said a projection on the 2nd floor over the door may cause that to be this way.  There is an insulated panel over the transom.  Geri Robbins-Doyle noted that 261 Water St has the same situation.  Logan described the huge stairway in the back all the way to the 4th floor and that the 4th floor has been plastered and wall papered and has gas lamp fixtures.

Dave asked about the material for the new side door.  Logan said it would be a new aluminum door with a bang-out bar.  David asked about the granite.  Logan said it was held up currently by the steel posts.

Geri Robbins-Doyle recommends to approve the Certificate of Appropriateness for Up Street Properties, LLC to rehabilitate the storefront located at 279-283 Water St and to incorporate Kirk Mohney’s suggestion of using the masonry corner face, if possible.  Victor Tessari seconded the motion.

There was a short discussion about the consistency of the height of all of the doors.
Vote: 4 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.

The Committee members thanked the Applicants for the great application.


Kirk Mohney asked about the status with Black Diamond.  He said it was quite clear in the motion that the materials were to be replaced in kind.  He said he will work with David after the meeting on this.

Mike Giberson asked if internally lit signs were allowed on the back side of the downtown  buildings facing the parking lot.  There is a huge sign behind Gerard’s.  David said he thinks it has been there for a while.  They discussed when it might have been put there.  David said he would look into it.  David said he has asked about a number of internally lit signs throughout the downtown area and some owners have said they have them by agreement and others were grandfathered.

5.)     Adjourn
        Geri Robbins-Doyle made a motion to adjourn.  Mike Giberson seconded the motion.
        Vote:  4 in favor. 0 opposed. Motion passed.
Meeting adjourned.

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