I soon made my application for review—I was willing to take the risks to bring this property back to life. I hoped the commission would see that this would be a win-win for all parties and would allow the addition and exterior changes to the rear. Frank designed the garage addition to flow gracefully into the existing structure. In some ways it looked as though it had always been there. I was hoping the commission would think the same.
There was another issue that needed to be addressed: the removal of a 1920s vent stack near the back of the house. It was a tall structure that originated in the basement boiler room and rose high above the roofline. While its original purpose was to vent steam, it was no longer in use. Unfortunately, it was situated right in the middle of the new kitchen and was problematic for our design. So, in addition to the removal of the old single-car garage and the construction of a new garage, we were asking for the removal of the chimney stack. And we had a few doors and windows on the rear and side of the house that needed to be modified as well.
When the time came for our review, I was very nervous. Frank and Glenn were both there to present, and many of our new neighbors had come to support us. It’s amazing what a humbling experience it is to go before a group that holds such a large decision about your personal ventures in their hands.
In the end, the commission would not allow us to remove the old garage, as they considered it a supporting structure. Through research I had learned that such a structure could be moved and still be classified as supporting, and we struck a deal that allowed us to reposition the old garage on the property.
They also would not allow the steam chimney to be removed from the rooftop, though they did grant permission to add the garage and make some of the window and door modifications. Later, in another review they allowed us to add a new exterior fireplace and chimney.