HPC approves half of plans for 241 Broad Street

The Rome Historic Preservation Commission approved plans for replacing the second floor windows at 241 Broad St. Wednesday but had several issues with the ground level design.

Rome’s Historic Preservation Commission approved half of developer Wayne Robinson’s plans for renovations to the facade at 241 Broad St., but want more detail regarding the street level section.

HPC members were fine with Robinson’s plans to replace windows on the second floor of the building. The upper level is being redesigned for residential use.

But the Broad Street entrance to the building — which Robinson said he hopes will house “another nice restaurant” — proved to be more problematic.

The HPC group was concerned about a planned 25-foot recess, which is significantly deeper than most building entrances on Broad Street. The downtown design guidelines stipulate that a front entry should not be recessed more than 4 feet from the front facade.

Robinson and his architect, Mark Cochran, explained that part of the rationale is to offer additional outdoor dining space. Robinson said most restaurants today do not need more than 3,000 square feet of indoor floor space and the building has more than 4,200 square feet.

Under questioning, Robinson and Cochran said they don’t have any specific foul weather plans for the open space in front of the building.

The panel also expressed concern about a 2-foot-tall brick wall that would be a part of the entrance.

Robinson also told the HPC that if a different type of retailer were to approach him with a good idea for use of the first floor, his plans could change right away.

Rather than reject the first floor design all together, the HPC found the plans incomplete. That will allow Robinson to resubmit them at any time in the future, when they are firmed up.

Also on Wednesday, Brittany Griffin in the Rome-Floyd County Planning Department announced that the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Fall Ramble will come to Rome on Oct. 17.

The Ramble features tours of homes and properties that are not always open to the public. A complete list of facilities the tour will include has not been established yet.

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