City DopeNews

Neighbors Raise Concerns About Too-Big Five Points Houses

An addition to a historic landmark in Five Points that will make “half a house” a whole house. An addition to the back of a house in the Cloverhurst Historic District. Dormers added to a garage in the back of a Cloverhurst lot. What looks like an apartment building, with multiple roof lines, tacked on to a house that anchors one end of the Henderson Avenue Historic District. And the demolition of a 1956 duplex, to be replaced by a new, 4,000-square-foot house in the Castalia/Milledge Avenue Historic District.

Those are some of the items the Historic Preservation Commission considered at its Apr. 17 meeting. Some were approved, while one—the massive addition proposed for 125 Henderson—was not. The architect presenting the proposal almost apologized to the commission for the design.

Henderson Avenue homeowner Gary Bertsch said he and his neighbors are concerned about the design for 125 Henderson, especially because the roof line of the addition is visible from the street.  

The 4,000-square-foot house on Milledge Circle would be a retirement home for Jamie Boswell, according to his son, Jay Boswell. Records show that the elder Boswell bought the building in 1998 for $100,000. Jay Boswell said his father did so with the intent of eventually moving to a more convenient location.

As presented by architect Joe Smith, the concept design shows a one-and-a-half story house in the Colonial style, with a courtyard, attached garage and front dormers. The roof would be about the same height as the Tudor Revival house on the left side, but 4 feet higher than the house on the right.

“I wanted the city to buy that lot and build a neighborhood park, but that didn’t happen,” said Ann Thomas, who lives with her husband, Roger, in the Tudor house. She said she was a little concerned, because hers is a one-story house. HPC Chairman Jeff Bishop said that height is the problem, and that the commission considers mass and scale in construction projects. Commission member Missy Wilson asked, “What kind of statement is [the retirement home] going to make?”

Both the Henderson Avenue house and the Milledge Circle demolition and construction project, with more and different details, will come before the HPC again.