Albion Preservation Commission backs street-scape plan

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 July 2013 at 12:00 am

Group also backs new doors for church, sign for Pratt Center

The Albion Historic Preservation Commission supported a street-scape plan that includes these bike racks, which will be painted blue and highlight Albion’s canal heritage. Design by DERO Bike Rack Company.

ALBION – The Albion Historic Preservation Commission has approved $50,000 worth of street-scape improvements, including new bike racks, trees in planters, benches painted as murals and other projects.

The Commission voted to support the projects on Thursday. The different projects now will be submitted to state preservation officials and the New York Main Street grant program for their approval.

The street-scape improvements are part of a $477,000 Main Street grant that was awarded for the downtown in December 2011. Most of the grant offered matching funds to property owners to work on their buildings.

The street-scape projects include 10 large tree planters made of concrete and stained pale red to mimic Medina sandstone and 18 smaller flower planters. The planters will be able to be moved by the village DPW and they will have drainage.

Twelve benches will be replaced and local artists will paint murals on them with local heritage themes, including apples, the canal, the trolley system and the quarrying industry, as well as many others.

Four bike racks, all with a tugboat theme, are planned for Main and Bank streets. There will be three smaller hoop-shaped racks and a larger rack that looks like a bicycle.

The street-scape subcommittee also wants to swap out the street signs in the Albion historic district with ones that would be blue with a upper box that says “Historic Albion.”

Those signs are targeted for portions of Liberty, Main and Platt streets, running between the canal and Beaver Street. The state DOT needs to approve those changes.

Two interpretive panels – cast-iron mounted signs – also are planned for the downtown. One is targeted for Waterman Park and would be focused on the downtown architecture. The sign also would have “teasers” about the four other nationally recognized historic districts in Albion: the Cobblestone Society Museum, Courthouse Square, Mount Albion Cemetery and the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor.

Another panel is planned to go near the village parking lot, just north of the Presbyterian Church. The village is expanding the site for parking. There will be space to display two hitching posts. A panel will discuss these artifacts from the horse-and-buggy era and will note that Albion and the 14411 zip code is loaded with old hitching posts and carriage steps.

Other projects include a cast-iron historical marker that will note the downtown business district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Main Street clock will have a sandstone base similar to the one in Medina. A sandstone bench will also be added to the sidewalk and that bench is planned to stay out year-round. The other benches typically are brought inside during the winter.

Mary Anne Braunbach and some of her gardening friends want to create a memorial garden for veterans in front of her building at 138 North Main St. The grant would fund a bronze plaque to be installed on a boulder, noting the garden is a veterans’ memorial.

The commission approved two other projects on Thursday.

The Albion Free Methodist Church wants to replace doors on an addition to the building that was put up in 1985. The double-aluminum doors on the south side of the building and a steel side door will be replaced with bronze-colored aluminum framed doors.

Michael Bonafede and Judith Koehler, owners 118 North Main St., want to change the sign of the building from “Coffeehouse” to the “Pratt Center.” The current sign color, lettering style and signboard will be used.

Editor’s note: Hub editor Tom Rivers is chairman of the street-scape subcommittee.