To be clear it is an occupational habit of historic preservationists to gush over before and after pictures of properties. It probably springs from the desire to demonstrate that old buildings can be brought back to life. A gasp or two is always appreciated! One of our recent achievements is the completion of an attractive renovation of a two-family property located at 10 Irving Street. Irving Street is part of the Upper Albany National Historic District with the property located between Albany and Homestead Avenues. Due to its location in an historic district the renovation project would require Hartford Historic Preservation Commission to gain a building permit. Development Services staff of the City asked if The Preservation Alliance’s Technical Assistance team could consult with the property owners providing advice on a renovation plan.
Our technical assistance comes in many ways ranging from a few comments to providing architectural drawings and consultation and aiding the application process to gain Residential Historic Tax Credits. Let’s be clear it is really the patient and professional guidance provided by Valerio Giadone our architect and Technical Services Advisor. As we have come to expect Valerio met the needs of the property owners to refresh and protect their investment, owners often concerned with the long term cost of maintenance. However, we work to adhere to Hartford’s historic preservation guidelines. Cost of renovation most often centers on the desire to replace wooden painted siding with vinyl. Preservationists usual groan and roll their eyes when the dreaded vinyl is proposed and for good reason. Often when installing vinyl contractors want to take the easiest route so often cover or destroy architectural elements in a rush. We want to be practical on behalf of owners so our success is to negotiate new siding material and installation which can co-exist with the elements so important to a property’s historic value.
Valerio drew up sketches to modify porches and to guide vinyl siding. The proposed work was approved by the Historic Commission and work commenced. We present the completed project with a sense of pride for a job well done. This property now stands out as a fine example of successful restoration and once again is back in the neighborhood providing vitality and long term viability as a community development model.
We think this property a real success and hope that you do as well. Your comments are always appreciated.