New additions approved at home on Gilchrist Avenue

December 15, 2017
By Marcy Shortuse

BY SUE ERWIN – The Boca Grande Historic Preservation Board unanimously passed a request to construct two separate additions at the residence located at 121 Gilchrist Avenue.
The subject property is a contributing site within the Boca Grande Historic District.
The request was to enclose an existing porch on the residence and construct a freestanding, two-story garage for cars and golf carts. The garage would include an exercise room and bathroom on the second floor.
Lee County Planner Peter Blackwell said the additions to the house are acceptable, as they do not impact the historical designation, and the footprint of the house should remain the same.
The location of the garage was changed slightly to accommodate the existing trees.
“Staff reviewed this application, and we recommend that the Historic Preservation Board make a finding that the proposed conditions are in compliance with the Secretary of Interior standards for rehabilitation, and that the Board approve the special certificate of appropriateness for this property,” Blackwell said.
Board member Susan Hanafee pointed out that this house is very special to the island, as it once belonged to Frank and Louise Crowninshield, and there are certain elements within the interior that were brought from Italy.
Blackwell said the additions should not affect the interior of the house.
There was a question from a resident asking if the trees on Gilchrist Avenue would be affected.
A representative speaking on behalf of the applicants said none of the trees would be touched.
Board member Bill Caldwell voted to accept the project as recommended by the staff. The motion passed.
The second case on the agenda regarding a renovation at Gasparilla Inn Cottage 39 was withdrawn earlier this week by the applicant.
“We expect them to be refiling in the future, but at this time they have decided not to pursue the case,” Blackwell said.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 17, 2018 at 10 a.m.