"Good riddance" is what Grady Locklear, chairman of the Historic Preservation Design Review Committee, said after the group approved the demolition of a building that has been an eyesore along East Canal Street for many years.
On Thursday, the …
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On Thursday, the committee approved two separate requests to demolish the vacant, two-story brick building next to the Sumter County Administration Building on East Canal Street and construct in its place a three-story building that will provide public access to the county offices housed next door.
Currently, the public has access to the entire administration building where the auditor, treasurer and other county offices are located, according to a staff report provided by Sumter City-County Planning Department.
If the proposed building is constructed, the public would be able to access the necessary county agencies, and county employees will have more security inside the administration building, Helen Roodman, city-county senior planner, said.
There is no historical significance to the 1,300-square-foot brick building, nor are there any architectural designs that need to be preserved, according to staff reports.
The exterior of the new building will tie in design elements of Sumter County Judicial Center, on the other side of Harvin Street, and complement the look of the administration building to create a cohesive public space, she said.
Right now, she said, there are a lot of buildings in the area with no connection to each other.
A crosswalk will also be added between the new building and the judicial center as well as other streetscape elements that will tie the area together, Roodman said.
And while the new building is being constructed, the county administration building - constructed in the 1970s - will receive some much-needed exterior updates, she said.
Committee member Scott Bell recused himself from the consideration of both matters because he involved in the project.
Vacant building to become studio apartments
The former Heritage Finance Corp. and Courthouse Barbershop building at 134 and 136 N. Main St. will undergo exterior and interior renovations to create two tenant spaces on the first floor and four studio apartments on the second floor.
The building was constructed in 1925 and is considered to be a contributing structure in the Downtown Sumter National Register Historic District, made up of buildings deemed worthy of preservation because of their historical significance.
Minimal changes will be made to the front of the building while multiple closed-off window spaces will be opened and two balconies will be constructed at the rear, Roodman said.
Six parking spaces will be marked at the rear of the building, one for each of the living spaces and two extras.
Committee member Bell recused himself from the vote because he is the project architect.
Neglected historic home to get new life
The plan is to convert the two-story house in the 400 block of West Hampton Avenue into a duplex with separate two-bedroom living spaces on each floor, Roodman said.
The exterior of the structure will keep the look of a single-family house.
According to a report, the house "had been subject to a continuous pattern of severe neglect, which has left the structure in severe disrepair."
The house was built in 1884 - contributing to the historical aesthetic of the Hampton Park District - and has beautiful bones that the applicant will try to revive and restore, Roodman said.
Vinyl siding on the exterior will be removed and replaced with weatherboard siding that will be painted yellow, according to a report. Dark green accents will also be added to the exterior.
And a dilapidated addition - supposedly built in the 1960s or 70s - that was never recorded during a property survey will be removed from the property.
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