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In Home Will Pursue Appeal Over Windows with Sag Harbor ARB

Posted on 26 November 2013

By Kathryn G. Menu

The owners of In Home at 132 Main Street in Sag Harbor announced at Monday night’s Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (ARB) that they will continue to pursue an appeal with that board to allow them to install three aluminum clad wood windows in the second story of their building.

The windows are the same series used in both the Watchcase condominium project and the development of 125 Main Street. At an ARB meeting earlier this month, members of the board said those window in both projects — located like the In Home building in Sag Harbor’s historic district — were not intentionally approved, and asked owners David Brogna and John Scocco to consider using wood windows without cladding.

On Monday night, Brogna said the two had decided to continue with their appeal.

Noting his education includes a degree in environmental design, and professionally his career has been focused on design and retail — including as a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology — Brogna said he and Scocco have shown their commitment to the historic integrity of their building since purchasing it over a decade ago.

The two even unearthed a hidden storefront, buried beneath a built-up façade at 132 Main Street — the historic proof they needed for their original approval by the ARB to install full glass panels on the first floor of the building when renovating the structure back into a retail space.

“So our storefront is historical to our building,” said Brogna.

Now, they want to address the second story windows — windows Brogna called “dangerous to operate,” and windows that are not energy efficient.

“It’s not enough to look good,” he said. “The windows have to perform at a high level for a long time.”

Noting that aluminum clad wood windows are not synthetic, like vinyl for example, Brogna told the ARB he and Scocco will save $3,000 by installing these windows instead of pure wood windows, which come with maintenance and inevitable replacement over time.

However, Scocco noted he and Brogna would look to use true divided light windows, which in appearance are more historically accurate than simulated divided light windows. The aluminum that clads the wood, added Brogna, is heavy-not light or flimsy in nature.

“Historic integrity to us is more than the materials utilized,” he said.

Brogna pointed to the first floor wood windows on the building next door, currently home to Madison & Main restaurant, as a design that has no historic context in Sag Harbor, but is made with wood.

Brogna argued the because the windows they are proposing are wood and simply clad in aluminum, ultimately they are wood windows.

ARB chairman Cee Scott Brown thanked Brogna and Scocco for their presentation.

“I think the only thing I would bring up is that our attorney has said otherwise in the precedent was set unknowingly,” said Brown of both the Watchcase window approvals and the approvals at 125 Main Street.

Brown is part of the sales team for the Watchcase condominiums, although was not named to that position until two years after the project’s initial approval. He has recused himself from any Watchcase applications since becoming a part of that sales team.

Brown said the village attorney Denise Schoen and Brogna and Scocco’s attorney should discuss the issue of the precedent and advise the board.

Sag Harbor architect Anthony Vermandois — frequently in front of the ARB for projects throughout the village — said the argument seemed to be coming down to two windows, an aluminum clad Anderson window and wood windows by Marvin.

“Both are fine, but they are not the only ones,” said Vermandois.

“I would just say when these issues come up, encourage the owners to broaden their horizons,” said Vermandois, adding if a coated steel window — for example — had been used in the Watchcase condominiums perhaps people wouldn’t have been as taken aback by the use of non-wood windows in that project.

Eastville Community Historical Society Fence Tabled

An application for a new fence at the Eastville cemetery was tabled Monday night. Earlier this month, the ARB was presented with plans by Eunice Vaughn of the Eastville Community Historical Society for a fence and sign for the cemetery on Eastville Avenue. The front of the fence, said Vaughn, would be wrought iron, while the rest of the fence was proposed as black chain link.

The ARB asked Vaughn if the historical society would consider stockade fencing instead of chain link, but Vaughn noted the society wanted it to look like a traditional cemetery with wrought iron fencing in front. The project also has financial limitations, she added, funded wholly through a grant, making it impossible to do a full fence in black wrought iron.

Resident Bob Weinstein suggested a fundraiser, but also a short wrought iron fence around the perimeter of the property, which he noted could be more cost effective than a tall wrought iron fence in front and chain link around the remainder.

“We are trying to make this cemetery look as it should and money is a problem,” said Vaughn. “We got a grant and we said we want to try and get this cemetery to look like something … we don’t have any other money.”

“We are all in favor of making this look right, but chain link is not the right way to go,” said Brown.

The ARB suggested the historical society ask for estimates on other kinds of materials for the fence.

In other ARB news, Patricia Weinberg was approved for garage doors at a renovation at 271 Madison Street and Rick and Patti McGahey were approved for renovations and additions to the Madison Street residence known as “the Bottle House.”

The next Sag Harbor ARB meeting will be held on December 12 at 5 p.m.

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