Developer pans library design in CP
By Diane Krieger Spivak firstname.lastname@example.org February 16, 2011 11:08AM
Updated: April 18, 2011 4:45AM
CROWN POINT — Local developer Tom Fleming has contacted city officials to oppose the design of the planned new Crown Point Community Library.
Fleming, owner of Fleming Realty, sold a parcel of property on North Main Street to the library to locate the new building there.
“I’m a firm supporter of the new library,” Fleming said. “The fact that I was willing to sell a property to the library at a reduced price can only further my support.”
But in a letter to city officials, Fleming said several features of the plan approved by the city’s Historic Preservation Commission do not comply with the Downtown Historic District guidelines, including the proportion of the front facade and openings, entrances and porch projections, front elevation and relationship of materials, texture and color.
“The Historic District on Main Street and around the Square has a lot more character,” Fleming said. “I wanted to bring it to the council’s attention.”
“I took great pains to meet all the guidelines for my building across the street from it,” Fleming said of his New Town West, a combination of commercial and residential construction. “It’s a shame to see the library not try to maintain the same effect.”
Fleming planned to construct New Town East on the site, but sold the parcel to the library after the economy slowed.
Fleming said he was not able to address the issue before the commission because it was placed on the agenda at the last minute.
City Director of Community Development Curt Graves said the design was made available at two public workshops.
“It wasn’t slipped in the night of the meeting,” Graves said. “They followed the guidelines and made changes based on the recommendation of the commission.”
Pat Schuster, attorney representing the Library Board, said the library followed all required procedures.
“I love the look of the building,” Schuster said. “It’s not an office building. It’s a library.”
Fleming’s letter said that the zoning code allows him, as an interested party, to file an injunction and force a re-evaluation of the facade.
Fleming declined to say if he would take such action.
“I won’t go that far yet,” he said.
“We think this is a great thing for Crown Point and a great location.”