Historic and Design Review Commission (HDRC) – August 7, 2019

517 E. Houston St. – Sol Frank Building

This Art Deco style store is one of the smaller and less ornate buildings that contributes to the Alamo Plaza Historic District.  But its modest scale and simplicity does not make it less worthy of architecturally compatible renovation.

We opposed the applicant’s current proposal to add a balcony and continuous glass panels across the storefront.  These changes would have obscured and detracted from the vertical design elements that give the building its architectural character.  Read our full statement.

The commission denied the proposed changes, in accordance with the recommendation from Office of Historic Preservation staff.

518 Nevada – Jacobs House

We supported landmark designation for Reverend John T. and Nellie Jacobs’ home at 518 Nevada.  The reverend and his wife served as early leaders of the East End Methodist Church.  After Rev.  Jacobs died in 1911, the church was renamed Jacobs Chapel in his honor.

The couple’s c. 1905 Folk Victorian style home retains many character defining features of the style.  It is located in the Historic Gardens neighborhood, which served as home to black working-class families through the early 1920s.  If enough original housing stock remains intact, the area has the potential to become a historic district.  Read our full statement.

HDRC approved the finding of significance for the Jacobs House, which the Office of Historic Preservation initiated.  Unfortunately, the owner was not supportive of the designation.

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