SMPS

ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR
THE SOUTH MAIN STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT


The Guidelines were adopted by Council in September, 1997. A copy of the Guidelines is available at the office of Community Development, City Hall.
 
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Historic Overview
Chapter 3: Architectural Styles of South Main Street
Chapter 4: Guidelines for Historic Properties
Chapter 5: Guidelines for Additions
Chapter 6: Guidelines for New Construction
& Alterations to Non-Contributing Structures

Chapter 7: Guidelines for All Projects
Chapter 8: Guidelines for Signs
Glossary


COLOR CHART - Martin Senour Exterior Williamsburg Collection


EXCERPTS:
The Guidelines state that the following must be met:

Definition: Guideline – In the context of this document, a “guideline” is a requirement that must be met, in order to be in accordance with the intent of these Guidelines. (p11)

Definition:  Shall – Where the term “shall” is used in a Design Guideline, compliance is required. (p11)

Definition: Imperative mood ~many of the Guidelines are written in the imperative mood. ~in such cases, the user shall comply. (p11)

Definition: Inappropriate – When the term “inappropriate” is used, the relevant design approach shall not be allowed. (p11)

These Guidelines shall apply to all new construction in the South Main Street Historic District~ The city’s Historic Landmarks Preservation and Architectural Review Board will use the Guidelines for All New Construction in formal reviews of proposed changes to these undeveloped properties. (p51)

One of the purposes of design review is to assure that any potential negative visual impact of new construction is eliminated or minimized. (p51)

Goal for the design of new buildings~ The goal is to accommodate change in a manner that is compatible with the historic character of the District during its period of significance. (p6)

The HLPARB will base their decision the seven goals identified for the district. These goals are to 1) protect the integrity of the Historic District, 2) protect the sense of time and place conveyed by the historic buildings as a collection, 3) promote a sense of identity for the District, 4) protect property values and investments, 5) minimize negative impacts on adjacent properties from inappropriate development, 6) encourage pedestrian activity and 7) convey a sense of human scale. (p3)

The goal is to accommodate change in a manner that is compatible with the historic character of the District during its period of significance. (p6)

Change should be reflected in subtle ways, with differences in detail, rather than in broad-scale features, such as building massing and materials. Therefore, new construction should be similar to that seen historically in overall mass and scale, materials, and treatment of openings. (p7)

~even one large, inappropriate building (will) impede one’s ability to interpret the historic character. Therefore, the design of new construction must be carefully considered. (p51)

Such features upon which to draw include the way in which a building is located on its site, the manner in which it relates to the street and its basic mass, form and materials. When these design variables are arranged in a new building to be similar to those seen traditionally in the area, visual compatibility results. (p52)

Designs that accurately convey the styles of buildings seen historically in the District also may be employed. Care must be used in this case to assure that the basic form, mass and scaling of the new building is similar to that of the historic references upon which the design may draw, in addition to using details from the historic period. If not, the character of the historic style may be mis-conveyed and the continuity of the District may be weakened. (p52)

Site features such as building setbacks, walkways, fences, landscaping, and gardens are all significant elements of the South Main Street Historic District. (p52)

When these design variables are arranged in a new building to be similar to those seen traditionally in the area, visual compatibility results. (p52)

New construction projects shall do their best to include such character-defining features so as to become an integral element within the District itself. (p52)

The form, mass and scale of a building are some of the most important design issues in the historic district. The traditional scale of the District dominates much of the neighborhood and this enhances the “pedestrian friendly” character of the street. The form, mass and scale seen currently in the District lends itself to a visual continuity which must not be destroyed by alterations, additions or new construction. (p54)

A new building shall appear similar in scale to historic structures found traditionally in the area. (p54, 6.13)

—Break up the mass of a larger structure into a grouping of “modules”, each of which is within scale with buildings seen traditionally. —The primary ridge line of a structure shall not exceed the typical maximum length of those seen on historic buildings in the District. —A single wall plane in the front façade shall not exceed the typical maximum width of that seen on comparable historic buildings in the District. (p54, 6.13)

A new building shall appear similar in height to those seen traditionally in the District. —The building shall not exceed two stories. (p54, 6.14)

Use a roof form similar to that used historically. (p55, 6.18)

Materials shall appear similar in character to those used historically. (p57, 6.29)

The front of a new building should be composed to appear similar in character to that of historic structures in its immediate context.  [Definition: Context – The context relates to those properties and structures adjacent to, and within the same block, as the proposed project. p11] (p57)

Employ floor-to-floor heights which appear similar to those seen historically. (p54, 6.15)

Maintain the historic solid-to-void ratio seen traditionally in the District. (p54, 6.16)

Eave depths shall be similar to those seen traditionally in the neighborhood. (p55, 6.23)

The front of a new building should be composed to appear similar in character to that of historic structures in its immediate context. (p57, 6.31)

~a sense of visual continuity bound (South Main Street) into a whole. This was because basic material, form and scale of building remained common even though the details of construction and style varied. (p15)

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