A clash of architecture faces Mansion neighborhood planning panel | Arkansas Blog

A clash of architecture faces Mansion neighborhood planning panel

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PROPOSED HOME: At 13th and Spring.
  • PROPOSED HOME: At 13th and Spring.

Interesting item on the Capitol Zoning District Commission meeting this Thursday. It's a proposal by Matthew Mentgen to build a new two-story single family home on a long- vacant lot at 1301 Spring St.

The extensive study of the proposal can be read here.

The bottom line is that the commission staff, though sympathetic to "innovative"  construction in the Governor's Mansion neighborhood, has recommended against approval of the plan because of the design. It acknowledges that some modern commercial buildings lie north across the street, but outside the boundaries of the Mansion neighborhood protected by the commission.

Staff rather finds that the 1300 block of Spring Street is comprised predominantly of Victorian-era houses (notably the Queen Anne style), characterized by vertically-oriented rectangles and isosceles triangles. Staff believes the horizontal rectangles, trapezoids, and right triangles that characterize this new design represent an abrupt break with the overall visual character of the Mansion Area. Staff believes this lot could potentially serve as a sort of architectural transition between the Modern forms across 13th Street and the more traditional forms to the south, but maintains that this proposal represents a step too far toward the contemporary.

Staff does not lightly recommend denial of an application for residential new construction, but regrettably, must arrive at that conclusion in this case. Staff commends the applicant’s bold vision and willingness to invest in the District. Staff urges the applicant to consider more a more traditional building form, with a hipped and/or gabled roof, and a more vertical orientation.

TODAY: Here's how the lot looked in 2016 photo.
  • TODAY: Here's how the lot looked in 2016 photo.

Coincidentally, the Commission also is scheduled to consider a plan to rehabilitate property east across an alley from this lot known as The Ruins, the remains of a Mediterranean-style apartment project at 305 W. 13th St. that was never completed.

THE RUINS: Redevelopment proposed.
  • THE RUINS: Redevelopment proposed.

The staff has recommended approval of a proposal by Todd Raney to use the existing remains as part of redevelopment of the lot as a single-family home.

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