Statement for Release: Historic Commission Hearing

PRESS RELEASE — The first hearing in regards to the approval of Trestle Crossing is this evening at 6:00 pm. There are many questions the public is hoping to having answered in regards to the project. The most pressing is the size of the building.
The following statement has been approved for release prior to the hearing:

In regards to the size and scale of the building : The town guidelines state that architects must “Design the height of the proposed building to be compatible with the height of historic buildings on the block or the street.” As part of our study, prior to design, we asked the surveyors to survey the actual elevations along the tops of the parapet walls of the existing older buildings along Broadway.

As currently designed, the elevation at the top of the northeastern corner of Trestle Crossing, at its juncture with the Mountain Vista Properties building, is 2413.56 feet. By comparison, the elevation at the top of the parapet wall at the corner of the Town Hardware building is 2413.10 feet (above the angled entry door at the corner of Broadway and State Street). In other words, measured against a perfectly level line between the two buildings, there’s less than 6 inches of difference in elevation between the highest points of these two structures.

As can be seen in the perspective rendering produced by Osgood Landscape Architecture (below), which is highly accurate, though the elevations of the buildings’ bases vary with the slope of the hill, there is an obvious similarity in height along the tops, or parapets, of these buildings. It’s this similarity that makes Trestle Crossing compatible from a height standpoint with Broadway ‘s overall streetscape, and allows it to blend in visually with the existing buildings on the block. I hope that what the perspective rendering reveals in this sense might come as a pleasant surprise to some who feel apprehensive about the scale of the proposed building.

The fact that Broadway is the widest street downtown also lends a significant advantage, in that it would more easily visually accommodate a three-story structure than a narrower street might.

Another question that has been frequently asked about is the facade of the building and how the building will fit in with the existing downtown aesthetic. The following statement has been approved for release prior to the hearing this evening:

The vintage buildings in downtown Black Mountain were built in increments, over a long period of time. Where they were constructed on hills, these buildings typically had fairly narrow storefronts that were stepped up and down the hill to allow patrons to enter the stores or offices directly from the sidewalk.

In designing Trestle Crossing, we took what is in reality a large single structure and visually divided it into smaller, individually-designed storefronts that likewise step down the hill along Broadway, just as the original storefronts in downtown Black Mountain do. These individual storefronts reflect the scale, character, rhythm, and variety represented in the original buildings in the downtown historic district.

-The Trestle Team