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Historic door to house on Main Street in Berlin is being replaced

Historic door to house on Main Street in Berlin is being replaced

The Berlin Historic District Commission voted last week to allow a commercial property owner to replace a rotting wooden door in a downtown building.

Berlin Door

Pictured is the existing door at S. Hauptstraße 3 in Berlin.
Photo courtesy

By Tara Fischer, Editor

The Berlin Historic District Commission voted last week to allow the owner of a commercial property to replace a rotten wooden door in a downtown building.

Applicant Deborah Everett asked the commission for approval to replace the current unsightly front door at 3 S. Main Street with a Therma-Tru Smooth-Star fiberglass door. The owner said she wanted to paint it dark green to match the door at Dolle’s Candyland.

While the group agreed that the entrance needed to be replaced for aesthetic reasons, co-chair Laura Stearns argued that the door Everett and her husband had purchased did not fit Berlin’s style.

“It seems like an insignificant door because it doesn’t belong to a store, but the problem is it’s right at the front of the building,” Stearns said. “The door chosen is Craftsman style and it’s a Victorian… it’s the wrong style for the front of this building and it’s one of the most historic buildings.”

According to Stearns, the sleek and simple Craftsman design is the “antithesis” of the detail-oriented Victorian look.

“It’s right on the front of the building and it’s not the right style,” she continued. “To me, it’s the wrong style for a very historic property.”

Everett said she probably won’t be able to return the $3,000 door because it was custom-made to the exact dimensions of the current opening. Still, the commission voted against the fiberglass entrance and instead allowed the applicant to renovate the rotted passageway with new wood and paint it dark green in the meantime. She will continue to search for a suitable replacement.

If Everett finds a door that matches Berlin’s Victorian style, the historical advisory group advises her to seek approval from the commission before purchasing.

“I understand the historic aspect of Main Street,” the applicant said. “Let’s fix this up and revisit it.”

Everett said the entrance opens onto a staircase that leads up to an attic. The owners hope to eventually convert the area into an apartment, but that project is still a long way off. For now, they’re focused on removing the unsightly building from public view.

The Historic District Commission will meet again on Wednesday, August 7, at 5:30 p.m.

This story appears in the July 11, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.