A 30-minute delay due to the City of Greenville Design Review Board (DRB) Neighborhood panel meeting’s running long set the tone for the DRB Urban Panel public hearing that followed.
Applicants and panelists alike were clearly aware of the ticking clock, commenting periodically about the length of time the presentations and discussion were taking. Even so, the meeting officially concluded before 6:15 p.m.
The one item of old business held over from April and the two new items on the docket garnered a fair amount of discussion, but all received approval with conditions by the panel.
AC Hotel by Marriott
The AC Hotel by Marriott component of the Camperdown development at 305 S. Main St. returned with revisions to the exterior materials that were recommended at the April DRB public hearing.
Those changes included the proposed stucco elements from April’s presentation being returned to the previously approved metal panels and an added brick pattern on the north elevation to provide more architectural interest.
“We’re building for the long-term,” said panelist Danielle Fontaine, approving of the metal materials over the stucco.
The application by Auro Hotels for a certificate of appropriateness was approved with conditions, which included a recommendation that the proposed blue lighting around the rooftop be changed to white or similar color lighting.
200 E. Camperdown Way
Façade renovations to the future temporary home for the Wyche Law firm at 200 E. Camperdown Way once the firm’s current home is demolished as part of the Grand Bohemian Hotel project were presented by Tara Hile of SHLTR Architects.
The application included new exterior paint and the addition of metal screens at various points that would allow vegetation to grow up them and add visual interest to the 1963 structure.
Fontaine expressed repeatedly her disapproval of the proposed painting of the brick, due to the historic nature of the architecture.
“You can’t unpaint a brick building that’s been painted,” she said.
Fontaine said, in her opinion, that the building is one of the rare well-preserved buildings in Greenville from the 1960s and that in order to preserve architectural history in Greenville, it’s very important to preserve as much of the original as possible.
She added that generally the DRB doesn’t allow painting of historic buildings because it can’t be undone easily, if at all, but the proposed screens on the front and back are acceptable because they could be removed without showing any damage. She also did not like the idea of obscuring the view of the rear stairs with a screen.
“You have a gem of a building,” she said. “That history will be more and more valuable as history goes on.”
Panel chairwoman Carmella Cioffi agreed the color of the brick should remain in the original form.
Both she and panelist Robert Benedict agreed adding a vegetative screen around the stairs was acceptable because it could be removed by a future owner.
“This is a temporary home for Wyche law firm and is not meant to be a big investment for them,” Hyle said, explaining why certain improvements were chosen over others.
The application for a certificate of appropriateness was approved with conditions that previously unpainted brick not be painted and the screen around the stairs be added only if the vegetation wouldn’t damage the stairs.
Camperdown Streetscape Improvements
An application for a certificate appropriateness of a comprehensive streetscape plan for the areas of 32 E. Broad St., 315 S. Main St., and 320 Falls St., which surround the Camperdown site and lead into the Grand Bohemian site, was approved with conditions after some confusion about whether or not the presented stairways were included within the scope of the application.
“Very well done overall,” Fontaine said. “I loved just about everything about it.”
In terms of the staircases leading to and from the elevated Camperdown plaza, Fontaine suggested visual interest either in materials or the addition of public art be considered for the blank walls running along the stairs, as well as a contrasting material be used on each of the landings to provide the pedestrian with a more inviting experience.
Cioffi echoed those sentiments. She also suggested that the colors of the benches and trashcans be considered as a way of adding pops of color to the site that aren’t just plant material.
The applicant, represented by Dan Ford, vice president of land planning with Beau Welling Design, will return for approval by planning staff and two members of the DRB Urban Panel of the stair landings and wall details on Japanese Dogwood Lane and Falls Street and the addition of color in the outdoor furniture.