Angola Goes to Court over First National Window Replacement | Heraldrepublican

ANGOLA – Angola has followed instructions from the Angola Historical Preservation Commission to sue a builder downtown for window replacement.

On Friday, Steuben Circuit Court Judge Allen Wheat approved an injunction against Thomas Blake, the new owner of the original First National Bank of Angola building. Blake bought the building earlier this year and is in the process of renovating its interior to accommodate a variety of businesses.

A hearing on the continuation of the injunction and an injunction by the city has been scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Monday in the Circuit Court.

Friday’s order said that Blake’s replacement of the upper windows should cease pending judicial review of the Historical Preservation Commission’s October 27 decision denying Blake permission to replace the upper windows on the grounds that it was historical were not appropriate.

The new windows were installed last week, apparently before Wheats’s orders, but contrary to the commission’s October 27 decision.

Previously, the commission allowed the replacement of a lower, smaller row of windows, which has the same design as the upper windows.

However, the upper level window project was not approved because the proposed vinyl replacement windows were not considered to be comparable in design or material to the historic building or existing historic windows and were not in line with city guidelines.

The original windows were made of metal frames, and the post and lattice bars were exposed. These elements of the original windows rusted, construction workers on site pointed out on Tuesday. Many panes of glass were cracked on East Maumee Street, where the windows face.

The new windows have bars between two panes of glass to give them the appearance of bars.

Deb Parcell, an employee of Indiana Landmarks, who advised the city, said it was announced at a meeting with Michael Campo, chief financial officer of EnTrust, one of Blake’s companies, on October 19 that the windows would be installed or not installed Commission.

The windows with grilles between the glasses were a feature that Parcell found did not adequately replicate the multi-pane configuration of the historic windows, resulting in the appearance of large, smooth panes of glass that would make a significant visual change in the building.

In a PowerPoint provided by Campo, a summary said that Blake believed that nothing he did was contrary to the historic district’s intent or motion for adequacy.

Campo, who did not comment specifically on the case, said the company must seal the building with new windows before winter. He said there were 28 panes of glass in the existing windows that were broken allowing elements to enter the building.

He also said the company has bars to be attached to the outside of the glass to make the new windows look more like the originals.

Campo said he doesn’t think Angola is business friendly. The companies due to move in are part of a conglomerate that he said would employ 10-15 people in well-paying positions.

“We don’t feel welcome in Angola,” he said. “We’re moving a brick and mortar headquarters up there. We’re a big conglomerate and we’re a real Indiana company. “

Angola’s Mayor Dick Hickman disagreed with Campo about the city’s business climate.

“He received a $ 5,000 grant for his roof project from the start. At the same time, he was told the process they would have to go through to approve other changes he was considering to our premier historic building. Apart from that, I’d better not say anything more about the lawsuit. But I think that shows that we’re business friendly, ”said Hickman.

The building is rated “Outstanding” by Indiana Landmarks for its architectural design and distinctive features, including the two-story, multi-section, metal-framed windows on the north side.

Campo said it was his group’s desire to bring the building back through the job.

“We spent a lot of money to bring a lot of fame back to this old lady of a building,” said Campo.

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