BAR to demolisher: "Put back what you took out..."
Downtown Mall property owner Joe Gieck, who demolished the historic store front of the former Victory Shoe Store at 219 West Main Street without a permit or BAR review, appeared
before BAR members tonight to propose a new design for the storefront. But BAR member Syd Knight called it a "fishing expedition rather than a serious design." BAR member Brian Hogg said the easier answer was "to put back what you took out or come back with a design that better captures the original." And BAR Chair Fred Wolf called the curved glass panels of the old store front "extremely unique, and a special part of the Mall." BAR members declined to vote on Gieck's proposed design, and offered him the opportunity to defer the proposal. The BAR also suggested that they try to locate the glass that was removed. If that wasn't possible, they said, there are companies that still make such curved glass.
“It should be replaced as it was, or if that’s not what the applicant wants, then they need to do more research on the 1921 appearance,” said City preservation planner Mary Joy Scala. “The BAR will expect to see an accurate, carefully dimensioned proposal.”
Meanwhile, according to Scala, the City Attorney's office has been directed to seek an appropriate fine for Gieck (a legendary UVA athletic trainer who once tried to trip a Virginia Tech football player from the sidelines), a fine that can be up to half the value of the property under city zoning code. Until the BAR approves a new design plan, said Scala, no other exterior work will be allowed.
Updated 12/16/2009 4:23pm