Cape May HPC Approves Two Restorations with Elevators


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CAPE MAY — The city’s Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) granted approvals on Monday for two historic home renovations that will include elevators.

A growing trend is to include elevators in homes here, not so much to keep up with the Joneses, Trumps or Hiltons, but to provide access for those with disabilities.

HPC gave final approval for a large renovation to an historic home at 537 Bank St., a tiny structure that may have housed railroad workers many years ago.

Ron and Terri Diubaldi applied to move the house nine feet aay from the property line.

The house will be set on new pilings. A large addition will be constructed on the back of the house with a rear deck.

A detached, one and half story garage will be built which will match the house as far as roof, siding and windows.

The home will have an elevator going from driveway level to an attic. Architect Stephen Fenwick said the design of the house is for barrier-free accessibility.

He said the elevator was permitted to start below the 10.5-foot flood level.

Fenwick agreed the home would be sided in cedar shingles.

At a December 2008 hearing, the applicant requested railings and windows constructed of vinyl materials, but HPC insisted on use of wood since the home is historic and located in the historic district.

HPC Commissioner Corbin Cogswell asked if pilings would be driven into the ground by jet or screw pile. Fenwick said only the last few feet of pilings would be driven into the ground.

Fenwick described the current condition of the house as “awful.”

HPC Commissioner Tom Carroll suggested privacy lattice on basement trim rather than straight boards that would emphasize how much taller the home is than neighboring houses.

HPC granted approval for a rear addition to be constructed on an historic home at 213 Broadway owned by Bruce Hector, who was also represented by Fenwick. He said the house was on a 50-foot by 80-foot undersized lot.

The house has a small addition with a one-story shed roof which would be demolished. The addition would be two stories and expand the home’s kitchen, laundry and mud rooms, said Fenwick.

An elevator would be entered at ground level in the mud room and would rise a half stop to the main living level. The elevator would have doors on both sides, he said. It would continue to the second floor.

Fenwick said the applicant needed zoning board approval for the project since not all setbacks for the property would be met.

The applicant agreed to make a railing on a handicap ramp match the railing on a wrap-around porch.

The house is clad in asbestos siding. HPC regulations require wood siding. Carroll suggested removing asbestos siding from the entire house. He said the original clapboard siding may still be underneath that asbestos siding.

Contact Fichter at (609) 886-8600 Ext 30 or at: