Archive for Friday, October 28, 2011

Historic Resources Commission blocks plans for downtown hotel

October 28, 2011


A hotel planned for downtown Lawrence was nixed by the Historic Resources Commission on Thursday night. The commission found the project did not meet the intent of the Downtown Design Guidelines, which were established to maintain the historic character of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire streets.

The top three floors of the multi-story hotel would have included an 81-room TownePlace by Marriott, 36 apartments spread throughout the second and third floors, and a restaurant and wine bar on the ground floor.

The development team, which is led by Lawrence businessman Doug Compton and architect Mike Treanor, now can request a hearing before the Lawrence City Commission.

The Historic Resources Commission did approve a separate project at 1043 Ind., which is to become 50 two-bedroom apartments. At issue was relocating the building known as the Varsity House, which is currently at that address. The commission approved moving the building, which once housed varsity football players at Kansas University, to make way for the apartments.


TheStonesSuck 6 years, 8 months ago

Looks like someone forgot to grease the wheels.

infidel 6 years, 8 months ago

I never knew there was a historic character of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire streets. Its just a bunch of bars and restaurants.

This is not a surprise, the Lawrence hippies are always against progress. The project will get built just like all the rest. It is to bad the town has such a well deserved anti business reputation. .

woodscolt 6 years, 8 months ago

"I never knew there was a historic character of Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire streets. Its just a bunch of bars and restaurants."

Thats why we have the HRC so people like you don't have to be historically knowledgeable of downtown Lawrence. This building will be built, it will have to have modifications to the plan. It isn't unusual to have the first few submissions sent back to the drawing board. Your just upset because you couldn't get your way. Maybe all the people in favor of this building should hold their breath and and sit in a corner and kick their feet. Of course this building will be built and it would be hard to look more out of place than the art center or the parking garage, none of which fit any historical resemblance to Mass. So what is your real complaint. Oh, just a tantrum

chootspa 6 years, 8 months ago

Did you catch how they approved a different project for an apartment building during the same meeting? They've built several buildings downtown, including Compton's. This wasn't about being "against progress."

woodscolt 6 years, 8 months ago

Of course the real complaint by the winers for the building is not that we don't have progress but rather "we don't get everything we want just like we want it and when we want it. Then its the obligatory " its the hippies". It is at least amusing.

droppinplates 6 years, 8 months ago

Another idea rejected in Lawrence. What a shocker.

Matt Kuhlman 6 years, 8 months ago

The historic resources commission is such a joke. Does it really detract from the old buildings on Mass. to have a new building put in the next street over? No. Is it really that important to enforce these arbitrary guidelines so that new buildings such as the Hobbs Taylor Lofts and the 9th and NH project share a vague similarity with old buildings in the area by having a hokey, stylized facade? No.

George_Braziller 6 years, 8 months ago

It wasn't an issue of whether or not a new building could be built. Downtown design guidelines state that buildings should step down in height as they get closer to adjacent neighborhoods. The HRC rejected it because of the height relative to the buildings around it. If the developer had proposed a four story building with all the appropriate design elements the HRC would have approved the request.

Matt Kuhlman 6 years, 8 months ago

That's what I'm saying, the "appropriate design elements" are a joke. All you end up with is a bunch of buildings that have the two-dimensional feel of an amusement park setting. Historic downtown buildings are so great and interesting because they are accurate physical representations of the time they were built in, they shouldn't be the canon for all future building in Lawrence. It would be preferable to allow builders to make new buildings that reflect the innovations made in modern architecture over the last hundred years rather than wrap their new buildings in an 'old timey' facade, and doing so would not take anything away from Lawrence's historic buildings, provided we're not tearing any down to put in new buildings.

woodscolt 6 years, 8 months ago

This is not a surprise, the Lawrence hippies are always against progress.

It would seem to me your comment indicates that you must think the building across the street from this proposed project is not progress. Or any of the other surrounding buildings. Every building in the area is relatively new by downtown standards and you invoke the old, hippies against progress. Sorry to have to inform you that your comment is a bit disingenuous. If all those buildings were rejected then maybe you night not sound so silly. Thanks for the amusement though.

flyin_squirrel 6 years, 8 months ago

And the US Bank building isn't ugly/out of place historically? Go out to an East Coast City to see Historical buildings. In Lawrence we call the ugly pile of junk Varsity House Historic...

Hooligan_016 6 years, 8 months ago

How about if a developer were looking to put something like a McDonald's on that corner ... would the detractors here still be harping about the HRC rejecting a proposal?

The HRC made the right decision. The developers will come back with better design now.

FlawontheKaw 6 years, 8 months ago

You should see some of the McDonalds in JC. Richies like McDs too but insist they be built with fancy looking "upscal" exteriors. Some things are just so wrong.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 8 months ago

There is not enough land at that location anyway. No room for service vehicles, etc. We should infill, but that building is just too tight a fit.

bearded_gnome 6 years, 8 months ago

did I miss something in prior ljworld editions? on which corner is this proposed for construction?

Carol Bowen 6 years, 7 months ago

Across the street from the Compton's current project where construction equipment is being stored.

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