C.P. officials defend library's design

2011-02-08T19:15:00Z 2011-02-08T23:47:04Z C.P. officials defend library's designBy Susan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com
February 08, 2011 7:15 pm  • 

CROWN POINT | Officials are defending the design of a new Crown Point Public Library after Realtor Thomas Fleming alleged it doesn't fully comply with standards for preserving the downtown's historic look.

"We are confident that our architects have met all of the requirements and regulations of the Historic (Preservation) Commission and have taken every step required of us," said Patrick Schuster, an attorney and Library Board member.

A May groundbreaking tentatively has been set for the $12 million library to replace its current home at 214 S. Court St.

Fleming's New Town LLC developed New Town West with retail, office and condo space opposite the planned new library. The site was sold to library officials by New Town LLC.

In an undated letter to city officials, Fleming said he supports the new library and believes its presence in the downtown is "vital."

Fleming's letter also lists library design elements he said don't satisfy guidelines set for the historic district covering the city's downtown, including the proportions of the building, the relationship of materials, texture and color and other elements.

"Basically the elevation doesn't take into account the type of architecture customary in the downtown community," Ryan Fleming said on Tuesday. Ryan Fleming said he is a member of family owned Fleming Realty.

Paul Bremer, chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission which oversees compliance with historic district regulations, said the commission has approved a revised drawing for the library building.

"We approved the brick color and the design of the building," Bremer said.

Fleming's letter points out that historic district regulations permit filing an injunction to "force the issue to re-evaluate the appearance of the building" to conform with requirements.

The Flemings hope to avoid that, Ryan Fleming said.

"Our hope is for an amicable discussion," he said.

Bremer said he be "happy to sit down and discuss anything with them. That's not a problem."

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