CHAPTER 12: PUBLIC REALM

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12.1 INTRODUCTION

Along with private residential and commercial buildings and spaces, public spaces and buildings also contribute to the unique historic character of a preservation zone. Public spaces include streetscapes, alleyscapes, and parks. Public buildings cover a broad variety of buildings such as police stations, libraries, post of fices, and civic buildings.

Streetscapes add to the character of each HPOZ neighborhood through the maintenance and preservation  of  historic  elements.  Street  trees in particular contribute to the experience of those driving or walking through an HPOZ area. Character de fi ning elements of streetscapes may include historic street  lights, signs, street  furniture, curbs, sidewalks, walkways in the public right-of-way, public planting strips and street trees.

Alleys, the lowest category of streets, may not exist in all HPOZ areas, but if present they traditionally serve as the vehicular entry and exit to garages providing an important element of the neighborhood character.

Like alleys, parks are sometimes present in an HPOZ area and, as  such, traditional elements should be preserved and maintained, and the addition of new elements should be compatible with the historic character of the neighborhood.

Additions to public buildings may require the installation of ramps, handrails and other entry elements  that  make  a  building  entrance more accessible. These elements should be introduced carefully so that character-de fi ning features are not obscured or harmed. Guidelines relating to public buildings covering Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and location of parking lots are covered in this section. Guidelines for new  and existing historic public buildings  are the same as those in the commercial rehabilitation and in fill sections excluding those on storefronts. Please refer to those sections when making changes, constructing additions or construction of new public buildings.

 

GUIDELINES

Consult with the Public Works Department regarding new and replacement work in the public right-of-way.

1.  Protect and preserve street, sidewalk, alley and landscape elements, such as topography, patterns, features, and materials that contribute to the historic character of the preservation zone.

a. Preserve and maintain mature street trees. Alternatives such as pruning, root-pruning or meandering sidewalks should be exhausted prior to the removal of a mature street tree.

Where mature street trees are to be removed, the tree should be replaced with a minimum 24-inch box tree of similar species (including palm trees) in an approximately similar location.


b. Trim mature trees so that the existing canopies are preserved.

c. Preserve and maintain historically significant landscaping in the public planting strips.


d. Use landscaping to screen public parking lots from view of public streets.


e. New plantings in the public planting strip should be compatible with the historic character of the Preservation Zone.

Paving and Curbs


2. Maintain and preserve historic curb con figuration, material and paving. Widening existing driveways is generally inappropriate.


3. New curb cuts are inappropriate. Use of public alleys for lots that traditionally take vehicular access from the alley is encouraged.


4. For repair or construction work in the Preservation Zone right-of- way, replace in-kind historic features such as granite curbs, etc.


5. Avoid conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular traf fic by minimizing curb cuts that  cross  sidewalks  on  Western  Avenue and Jefferson Boulevard. Access from alleys and side-streets is preferred.

Signage


6. Preserve and maintain historic street signs.


7. New street signage shall be placed so that historic features  are least obstructed.

Street Furniture

8. New street furniture, such as benches, bike racks, drinking fountains, and trash containers, should be compatible in design, color and material with the historic character of the Preservation Zone. Use of traditional designs constructed of wood or cast iron is encouraged.


Utilities


9. New utility poles, etc. shall be placed in the least obtrusive location. Consider introducing new utility lines underground to reduce impacts to historic character of preservation zone


Street Lights


10. Preserve and maintain existing historic street lights.


11. New street lighting should be consistent with existing historic  street lights. If there are no existing historic street lights, new lights should be compatible in design, materials, and scale with the historic character of the Preservation Zone.


Side walks


12. Preserve historic sidewalks.


13. Replace only those portions of sidewalks that have deteriorated. When portions of a sidewalk are replaced special attention should be paid to replicating score lines, texture, coloration and swirl-patterns.


14. New sidewalks should be compatible with the historic character of the streetscape.


15. Maintain public walkway connections between streets and between buildings.


16. Walk streets in Jefferson Park should be maintained, and left open, well-lighted and accessible to the general public.


Alley scapes


17. Preserve existing alleys as public rights-of-way.


18. Preserve traditional relationships between alleys and garages.


19. Preserve traditional fencing along alley right-of-ways.


20. The introduction of new fencing should be compatible with existing historic fencing.


21. Encourage programs that provide security for public alleys while improving accessibility to property owners.


Public Buildings


22. New public buildings should comply with the appropriate In- fill Design Guidelines.


23. Introduce accessible ramps and entry features  so  that  character defining elements of the building’s entryways are impacted to the least extent possible.


24. Construct new access ramps and entry features so that they are reversible.


25. Locate new parking lots and parking structures to the rear of public buildings to reduce impacts on neighborhood character.


26. Construction of parking areas for public buildings  should be screened from view of adjacent residential structures.

Parks


27. Preserve and maintain any existing historic elements such as walkway materials, mature trees, plantings, park benches and lighting.


28. Replace in-kind elements that cannot be repaired.


29. New elements  such as public benches, walkways, drinking fountains, and fencing should be compatible with the existing historic character of the Preservation Zone