New library design revisions approved

2011-05-12T00:00:00Z New library design revisions approvedBy Susan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | The design for a new library planned in the city's historic downtown won final approval from a group overseeing historic district compliance.

But the Certificate of Appropriateness issued by the Historic Preservation Commission at its Wednesday meeting did not sit well with Realtor Ryan Fleming.

Fleming said after the meeting he will seek legal advice within the next few days about proceeding with an injunction to halt construction.

"We will be doing whatever we can to stop any action on the project," Fleming said.

A June 1 groundbreaking is planned.

Fleming and his father, Thomas Fleming, own Fleming Realty. They have alleged for months the design doesn't fully comply with standards for preserving the downtown's historic look, including proportions of the building, the relationship of materials, texture and color and other elements.

The Flemings met with library and city officials last week at the urging of Mayor David Uran, Ryan Fleming said. But no mention of the meeting, or the Flemings' continued objections, was made at the commission's Wednesday meeting, Ryan Fleming said.

Halting the project is "something no one wants to do," Fleming said. "But our hand has been forced."

In the final revision of the library's design approved Wednesday, architects shortened a tower planned near the main entrance to just over 26 feet, down from 46 feet in the original plan. Masonry trim at the lower end of the building was changed to a limestone color from ebony.

Library Director Lynn Frank said the structure's design does comply with historic district regulations.

"From what the experts say, that is the case," Frank said. "We've gone through all the steps and spoken with all the people we need to."

The 46,000-square-foot, $12 million structure in the 100 block of North Main Street will replace the library at 214 S. Court St.

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