Historic Zoning Commission Discusses Historic Tour Grant, Spencer Building, Welcomes Mayor-elect Rawls
BROWNSVILLE, Tennessee (June 19, 2014) ó In their first meeting following this weekís mayoral elections, the Brownsville Historic Zoning Commission (HZC) welcomed Mayor Elect Bill Rawls. Rawls sat in on the meeting at City Hall as an observer. He encouraged the Historic Zoning Commission to seek additional input from court square building owners before approving new commercial historical design guidelines.
The HZC seeks to work with the owners of buildings in Brownsville to ensure that period-correct renovations and repairs are made to the town’s remaining historically significant structures. This often involves details like awnings, windows and brickwork.
With ongoing construction at the Spencer Law building and facade restoration projects at four other court square buildings, the Historic Zoning Commission expects the townís historic square to undergo a significant number of changes in the next 12 months.
City Building Inspector Jerry McClinton says the Spencer Law building is undergoing extensive rehabilitation. Work is ongoing now to stabilize the building. McClinton says steel poles are being inserted into the structure to support the walls in addition to new beams throughout the facade. “I think the majority of the front is going to come off, be re-tucked and put back together,” he noted.
Though work on the Spencer building has already begun and the four facade projects have already been approved, future changes to court square businesses could be affected by the new historical design guidelines. The HZC plans to provide building owners on court square an opportunity to provide feedback on the guidelines at their next regularly scheduled meeting.
City Planner Sharon Hayes, who is stepping down after the change in administration, announced that Brownsville has been awarded an $18,000 grant to create a historic tour. “We want to develop a heritage tour that links all of our important assets, starting with Exit 56 and the Delta Heritage Center and connecting them to downtown and the historic districts,” said Hayes. Hayes also expects The Mindfield and Nutbush to be incorporated in some way into the tour, which will feature a smartphone app in addition to traditional printed materials.
“It will be a great way to promote Brownsville and promote our historic assets,” said Hayes.