The Wiscasset Historic Preservation Commission approved a certificate of appropriateness for the conversion of part of the former Wiscasset Newspaper office, at 47 Gardiner Road, into an office and water laboratory. The rest of the building could become an apartment or another office.
The new owner of the property is Charles Applebee, who owns Water Quality & Compliance Services Inc., currently at 214 Gardiner Road.
Applebee told the commission he plans to move his office and lab to the new location after he renovates the building, for which he needed a certificate of appropriateness.
The building dates to the 1960s. No historic elements of the building will change, Applebee said. The work on the building will include new gray siding with white trim and red doors. The shutters will be cleaned and painted blue.
Other work will include the installation of new lighting for the deck and parking lot. One heat pump will be added to the office space. “It will be on the north end of the building and not visible from the Gardiner Road,” Applebee said.
Applebee said he does not plan any new buildings on the property at this time, but might like to add a 24-by-36-foot garage in the future.
Applebee showed the commissioners samples of the materials he plans to use.
Chair John Reinhardt and Commissioners Susan Blagdon and Wendy Donovan approved the application 3-0.
The other applicant was Leslie Roberts, who owns the 1807 Pumpkin House at 4 Fort Hill Road. Roberts received the OK to replace downspouts and storm windows.
Roberts purchased the house Aug. 1, according to her application. The building was in need of maintenance and updates. Some interior work has been completed. The wooden gutters have been repaired and repainted. The aluminum storm windows have been removed and will be replaced with hand-crafted wooden storm windows.
The commissioners expressed their appreciation for her work on the house.
Ahead of the referendum vote on whether to repeal the historic preservation ordinance, Reinhardt read a portion of an article from the University of Kansas “Community Tool Box” entitled “Why encourage historic preservation?”
Reinhardt read the following: “It preserves the historic, architectural, and aesthetic character and heritage of a community or area, and helps to provide a sense of place and community. It is an efficient use of resources; it preserves old methods and workmanship; it can add character and charm to a community and emphasize its uniqueness; and it can attract investment and change the nature of a deteriorating neighborhood or area.”
Reinhardt said he hoped the voters of Wiscasset would realize the importance of historic preservation when they vote.