Medina planners have concerns about modern look for historic building

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 7 August 2014 at 12:00 am

Opinion sought from State Historic Preservation Office

MEDINA – The owners of one of the historic downtown buildings in Medina wants to give the first floor façade a modern look with six reflective glass panels.

An image of how the façade looked in the late 1800s would be affixed to the reflective glass.

“It makes it functional and durable,” Bob Sanderson, one of the building owners, told the Village Planning Board.

Sanderson and Tim Hungerford own the site at 414 Main St. They said there are structural issues that make it difficult for the façade to have a recessed doorway like some of the other sites on Main Street.

Making the façade with a completely flat front would make the site more sturdy. They have proposed the façade look black with the reflecting panels with the image from the 1800s.

“This screams too modern to me,” said Marcia Tuohey, a Planning Board member.

Todd Benlsey, another Planning Board member, said the current façade “is definitely an eyesore.” The site is vacant and was last used by Fast Fitness, which has moved to a former hardware store across from the library on West Avenue.

But Bensley has reservations about the proposal, and wonders if Sanderson and Hungerford could make it look more traditional.

“We’re trying to keep a 19th Century, 20th Century flavor,” Bensley said.

Planning Board Chairman Chris Busch said the project shouldn’t be voted down just because it utilizes new technology and materials.

The board tabled its decision, wanting input first from the State Historic Preservation Office. Sanderson and Hungerford said they would seek the office’s opinion.

The façade would be split into two storefronts. Hungerford said there are prospective tenants for the building.