Avon demo commences
A familiar sight from the Belmont Bridge for over a hundred years began to come down today–- the former Charlottesville Lumber/Better Living Mill Shop building at 310 Avon St. The building's owner has no plans to develop anything on the site, and said it was being taken down for safety reasons. You can read more about it here. The demo, which will also include the former Rent-A-Center space, should take a few days, workers on the site said.
While the building was built around the same time (1890s) as its historically protected neighbor, the Brown’s Milling Company/Beck-Cohen building (to the right in the photo), the old Charlottesville Lumber building appears to have had the misfortune– or fortune, depending on how you feel about old buildings– of falling just outside the boundary of the “Charlottesville-Albemarle County Courthouse historic district” that was listed on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1980, and the National Register (NR) in 1982.
“I read the boundary description, “ says City preservation planner Mary Joy Scala, “and it’s not clear why the boundary was drawn there except they probably wanted to include some industrial buildings to help describe how Charlottesville developed along the railroad tracks. The Norcross warehouse on 4th Street was the only other building included in the NR district from south of the tracks.”
In 1985, says Scala, the Downtown Architectural Design Control (ADC) district was put in place around Main and Water Streets, but it did not include any properties south of the tracks.
“Later, in 2006, we expanded both the Downtown and North Downtown ADC districts so that, taken together, their boundaries would align with the original Courthouse NR district boundaries,” says Scala. “Therefore, the Brown Milling building became protected from demolition. We did not look to expand the ADC boundaries past the original National Register boundary.”
Check out this great demo video by Hook reader and commenter chikadee.