Historic Zoning Commission
Updates for 7-C-20-HZ

7-C-20-HZ

Level II. Major repair or replacement of materials or architectural elements
Request
Awning or canopy; Masonry repair/painting; Other: Exterior lights

All work to be completed on north (side) elevation fronting Cumberland Avenue. Removal of existing fabric canopy above staircase; and removal of copper canopy above ground-level entry. Canopies over doors: installation of four copper canopies over egress doors on side elevations; canopies will project 4' max from the masonry wall, with an approximately 14" eave overhang on each side of the door. Canopies over doors will have a hipped roof with a curved design, 1" standing seam, an 8" tall ogee fascia, and a flush soffit. Canopy over stairs: in place of existing canvas canopy, a powder-coated aluminum canopy will extend from the second-story entry, northwards, down to the first-story entry. The flat canopy will extend 4' from the exterior wall and feature a 12" tall custom fascia with a flush soffit. Canopy will connect to walls with 1.5" by 1.5" square metal supports and triangular brackets. Exterior lighting: new copper light fixtures to be installed in place of existing lights under stair canopy. Two new half-round lights to be installed in place of existing door lights. Basic repairs: repair to existing metal side elevation doors, including patching holes, scraping, sealing, and painting. Masonry repointing (or replacement in-kind in small sections) as needed at anchor points for canopy attachments to brick wall.

Site Info
Georgian; Federal; Commercial Vernacular. (c.1816; 1837; c.1900-1909)

The Lamar House/Bijou Theatre was built as a private residence, the Lamar House, sometime before 1816, and was designed as a late Georgian/early Federal style building. In 1837, a major regrading of Gay Street converted the present street-level entrance from a basement entrance to the building. A photograph from that era shows six over six sash windows, a standing seam metal roof, and a portico and balcony, with a pediment at the attic story and a standing seam metal gable roof. Changes made c.1900-1909 resulted in the current flat roof and overhanging cornice with modillions, the alternating arched and triangular window hoods and the details of the Gay Street entrance, as well as internal changes to the floor plan.


1. The Bijou Theatre is listed individually on the National Register of Historic Places and is a local historic landmark. 2. Work is focused on the Cumberland Avenue elevation, which is a prominent side of the building that serves a utilitarian purpose, providing access to the auditorium and the rear of the theatre. This project was awarded funding from the City of Knoxville's Historic Preservation Fund. 3. Removal of the non-historic fabric canopy over the stairs is appropriate. Masonry repair in the canopy locations is appropriate; contractors should utilize mortar and replacement bricks that are consistent with the existing historic masonry materials. 4. The Theatre has identified 1909 as the central period of significance, drawing on the date the building was converted into the theatre. The majority of the building's exterior features date to the same period. This date provided inspiration for the design of the canopies and lighting fixtures. 5. The exterior door canopies are necessary to protect the large, custom-made egress doors on the side elevation. The patina which develops on a copper canopy allows the canopy to blend in with the historic masonry wall over time. 6. While the SOI standards discourage adding features that "create a false sense of historical development," the proposed stair canopy is thin in profile, simple in design, and utilizes materials that complement the historic building. The canopy will have a significantly smaller visual impact than the existing fabric canopy. 7. The lighting fixtures are modest in design and will not detract from the integrity of the building. The door lights will replace existing fixtures, and the stair lights will be minimally visible due to the canopy.

Staff Recommendation
Installation of canopies

Staff recommends approval of the work as proposed, with the following conditions: 1) the masonry repair project utilize mortar and replacement bricks consistent with the historic structure; 2) when possible, the anchors installed to support the canopy attempt to be installed into mortar joints instead of new holes in bricks.

Level II

Bijou Theatre Individual H Landmark
Planning Staff
Lindsay Crockett
Phone: (865) 215-3795
Email: lindsay.crockett@knoxplanning.org
Location Knoxville
803 S. Gay St. 37902
Applicant
Kelly Wilson Baird & Wilson Sheetmetal, Inc.
Owner
Bijou Theatre center

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