The historic buildings at 301 and 305 Main Street will wait until after the first of the new year to get new faces, but no one is dragging their feet.
At the Aug. 28 Placerville City Council meeting, the council heard an update on the restoration progress of the buildings from City Manager Cleve Morris. They have long been a source of interest and contention within the community and beyond. One of the buildings formerly housed the Hangman’s Tree bar, built over the stump of the oak tree used for vigilante hangings that earned the city’s former name of Hangtown.
A series of owners addressed the structural damage of the 150-year-old buildings with little success. In 2012, Camino residents Sue and Tim Taylor purchased the buildings with an eye to restoring them. Escrow closed on the two buildings during the first week of March and the new owners began meeting with city staff to discuss the process of restoration.
According to the update timeline presented to the City Council, the Historical Advisory Committee reviewed and approved the Taylor’s plan for the buildings in May and in June, the Placerville Planning Commission reviewed and approved the Taylors’ site plan.
“The process is taking longer than some have expected, although we have been in regular contact with the Taylors and they have responded to our requests,” said City Manager Cleve Morris.
In July, city staff met with Doug Ketron the engineer on the project to request further information and in late August, staff met with the Taylors to discuss the demolition work needed to repair structural damage.
“The demolition involves tearing up the sidewalk and blocking the pathway,” said Morris. “We could have pushed things so it could start in November, but that is right during the downtown holiday season.
In order to minimize the disruption during the holiday season, the Taylors agreed to start the demolition process immediately after the first of the new year and finish up structural repairs by the spring.
“We didn’t want to disrupt downtown and we all came to agreement about when to start on the repairing the foundation,” said Sue Taylor.”We won’t start on the interior until the structural repairs have been completed.”
City staff and the Taylors also discussed taking the chain link fence down in front of the properties temporarily but the Taylors’ insurance company requires that a fence remain in front of the vacant buildings. The Taylors are willing to work on positioning the fence to cause the least disruption to traffic flow.
“We are working well with the city and although it might look slow, we are making positive progress and moving along,” said Taylor. “Everyone has a part they need to do and we’re all working on this.”
Contact Wendy Schultz at 530 344-5069 or email@example.com. Follow @wschultzMtDemo on Twitter.