The Platteville Historic Preservation Commission and the owner of Steve’s Pizza Palace could have been described as chefs arguing over the content of a recipe.
The “recipe” is how the restaurant proposed to be attached to Steve’s Pizza should look on the outside, sitting in the city’s Main Street Historic District.
Steve’s Pizza owner John Patakos proposes a brew pub and two restaurants within a three-story addition next to Steve’s Pizza.
After the commission’s input Jan. 5, Delta 3 Engineering of Platteville redesigned the exterior, including a row of windows on the east side of the building.
But Delta 3’s Tammy Black presented both the proposed redesign and the original design.
“He really likes this one, and he’s paying for it,” said Black of Patakos. “So we’re kind of in a spot.”
“I’m not an architect, but for me as a business person I wanted more glass, more visibility for the building,” said Patakos.
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Black pointed out that the original design meets city standards, which do not include architectural style, and is an example of “infill architecture,” a building placed between historic buildings.
“Basically, we feel it meets the standards,” she said. “Are you willing to approve this original design? And if not, why?”
Commission alternate member Garry Prohaska called the original “more ’60s style” than the redesign, like “collegiate architecture probably from the ’50s and ’60s. … It certainly has more glass than any corner building in the entire downtown.
“You don’t have the carryover of rhythm” in the first design, he said, while the second “breaks up that massive amount of glass. … The second design is far superior to the first.”
“This first design certainly meets the standards, but I don’t think we should settle for just standards,” said commission member Paul Mariskanish. “We don’t want ourselves to be like the college” in building design.
“I certainly don’t want to reject an entrepreneur growing his business downtown,” said commission member Troy Maggied. “But the commission was created for a purpose, to keep the character of downtown.”
“I don’t want to approve it,” said commission member Charlotte Eversoll. “To me it doesn’t keep in the rhythm of the downtown district at all.”
“Everybody has a different opinion,” said Delta 3 president Scott Chyko, who said the redesign would cost Patakos $30,000 to $40,000 more than the original. “It meets the design criteria; it may not meet your taste. … I think rhythm for a person of a non-architectural perspective is very subjective.”
The commission previously approved demolishing the ViewPoint Graphics building at 155 E. Main St., and didn’t take action on the request to demolish the building at 45 S. Chestnut St. because it wasn’t in a city historic district. The commission reapproved the ViewPoint demolition without stipulations.
The fate of the ViewPoint building led to a discussion about what removing the ViewPoint building would mean for the State Farm Insurance building next door, owned by Eric and Kris Cleveland. It does not share a common wall with the ViewPoint building. Commission members previously wondered what the cinder block wall that hasn’t seen daylight in decades would look like.
“We’re exposing something that’s covered up” when the ViewPoint building comes down, said Maggied.
Director of Community Development Joe Carroll said the city must approve changes to buildings in the Main Street district, but the city cannot require changes to existing buildings in the district.
“There are some cosmetic things he can do,” said Main Street Program director Jack Luedtke. “Obviously there’s nothing, I’m hearing, that we can require him to do.”
“I don’t think the demolition is an issue; it’s what happens after it,” said Prohaska.