At the December meeting, the historic board considered a case where the contractor mistakenly built a structure three feet taller than approved. The property under discussion is the large guesthouse still under construction behind 741 S 4th Avenue. Because the structure was built so tall, it loomed over Railroad Avenue and appeared much taller than any building nearby. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture before the garage roof was lowered but you can see what it looks like today. The three feet it was lowered gives a normal appearance to the garage and makes it similar in height to other structures nearby.
It is no simple matter to lower a roof after the exterior framing and sheathing are finished. The roof was disconnected from the surrounding structure and then lifted by a crane. The supporting walls could then be shortened and the roof reattached. This process was time consuming and we all know “time is money”.
This picture shows how much the roof was lowered. It was essentially at the same height as the rest of the guesthouse before lowering.
The expense and delay caused by this mistake caused a good deal of stress for the property owner. In the end, though, he corrected the mistake to bring the project into acceptable compliance with its approval.
There is a lesson here for the rest of us. It is not sufficient to obtain historic board approval of a project, all exterior details of construction must follow the approved plans. Failure to do so can cost you a lot of time and money.