ST. ALBANS CITY — St. Albans City is seeking permission to remove four existing buildings to make way for two new apartment buildings on Maiden Lane and a 25,000 square foot commercial building on Main Street.
Another building, 12 Congress Street, was considered for demolition but will remain after an analysis by historic preservationist Suzanne Jamele.
That decision was announced Monday evening at a Development Review Board (DRB) hearing. The DRB will ultimately decide whether or not to approve the requested demolitions.
In keeping with city regulations regarding the demolition of historic buildings, the city hired Jamele to do an assessment of the historic value of the five buildings it was considering removing: 85-87 North Main Street, 89-91 North Main Street, 8-10 Congress Street, 12 Congress Street, and 10 Maiden Lane.
Four of the buildings are from the 19th century, while the Maiden Lane was likely built in the late 1940’s after a 1948 fire destroyed the Jesse Welden Inn.
The city, which now owns all five buildings, had initially said it wasn’t going to purchase 12 Congress Street. However, over the course of the initial design work that changed. The city bought the building and considered demolition.
Jamele’s assessment changed that. After reviewing the condition and history of all five buildings, she wrote of 12 Congress: “Of the four 19th century buildings included in this project, this building remains the most intact and has the greatest ability to convey the early to mid 19th century period of development in St. Albans.”
Of the four buildings, 12 Congress had the least altered exterior. Jamele was unable to assess the interior. She described it as “a good example of a sidehill plan Greek Revival style dwelling.”
The other three buildings had all been substantially altered. 85-87 North Main was significantly remodeled in 1978, so much so that it was listed as “non-contributing” when the city’s historic district was created in 1979. It had “no visible historic material on the inside or outside,” Jamele wrote.
For more on the city’s request to demolish the buildings, pick up a copy of Thursday’s Messenger or subscribe to our digital edition.