Twice a month, the city of Birmingham’s Design Review Committee convenes to discuss plans to make alterations to structures that fall within one of the city’s many historic and commercial revitalization districts. This column summarizes recent DRC activity, with projects grouped by type and location. This edition of Design Review recaps the DRC meeting from July 23, 2014.
Five Points West
The Five Points West Burger King (2229 Bessemer Road) is getting a facelift. Franchises throughout the US are getting exterior upgrades and the Bessemer Road location will look similar to the one at UAB. The mansard roof will be removed, as well as the bands of tile, towers will be added at the entryways and the monument sign will be refaced. Landscaping and signage plans will return to the committee at a later date.
Cultural District / Uptown
The first of five proposed districts under the new open container ordinance came before the committee to discuss potential signage options for boundary designation. The proposal as presented to the committee included signage painted on the sidewalks. Because this is the first, and precedent-setting, district, the committee expressed some concerns regarding the plan – especially in that the designs did not match the existing Uptown signage theme – as well as the plainness of the signage and lack of trash disposals at the boundaries. A working session will be scheduled to discuss signage design and placement options for the district.
Rozar’s (3003 Sixth Avenue South) returned to the committee regarding the approved signage plan. The previous approval included a caveat regarding the placement of the sign, and during installation, it was determined the sign did not fit either recommended location. The committee discussed a number of alternatives, which will be taken back to the owners for a decision.
The building next door to Berthon’s (2205 Seventh Avenue South) is soon to be occupied again by Kassouf Healthcare Solutions. The exterior treatment will remove shrubbery, metal panels and the railing. The metal elements will be replaced. A monument sign similar to the Kassouf sign on University will be added to the exterior as well. The committee recommended the shrubs be minimized rather than removed to screen the cars, spurring an amended motion to include a landscaping plan for the lower level parking.
Status: Approved, with the new landscaping plan to be approved by staff.
Plans were presented to the committee for a rear addition to a home in Forest Park (937 Linwood Road). Besides the addition to the structure, updates will be made to the rear yard. A metal fence will be removed and replaced with a brick fence, which will return the fence to the actual property line and out of the right of way. The neighborhood committee previously approved the plans. The committee members’ concerns about the landscaping between the new fence and street were met with a discussion and agreement on appropriate trees for the area.