ORLANDO, Fla. — A historic site in downtown Orlando could get a facelift if the proposed renovations get approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Board.
A developer has proposed changes to Orlando’s Church Street Depot.
According to the proposal, the developer is requesting to construct a glass elevator tower with a staircase, a catwalk to the third floor, and a second-floor balcony for seating; alter the Juliet balcony knee wall, add 2 doors on the east side at the existing window locations, and add restrooms, a new glass-enclosed kitchen, as well as an outdoor bar.
The station was originally built in 1889 and was listed as a local landmark in 1973. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and was incorporated into the Downtown Historic District in 1980.
The style is listed as Richardsonian Romanesque.
According to the proposal, the historic board staff does not recommend approval as submitted.
Some of the reasons that staff cited were:
· The water tower, elevator and stairway have no historic precedent and obscure the main façade of the building.
· The elevator and stairs should be moved to the east side of the building and shortened to access only the second level.
· The second-floor balcony is out of scale and overwhelms the simple proportions of the station on the east and north sides. Exterior second-floor dining should be limited to the existing roof area.
· The third-floor catwalk has no historic precedent as the interior stairs function as access to that floor.
· There should be no exterior access to the third floor. Interior stairs should remain as their removal is not reversible.
· The kitchen and bar do not complement the existing style of the station in material or design.
· No mural should be added to the turret and main façade.
The city’s mural program guidelines do not allow for murals on the front or side façade of historic buildings.
The Orlando Historic Preservation Board will take up this matter during Wednesday’s meeting.
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