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HDC Rules Kentlands Firehouse Is Historic

They say the garage can be torn down.

What to do with the Kentlands Firehouse?

After a final site visit, the Historic District Commission began to answer that question last night when they decided it is, in fact, historically significant.

But they also said the garage—which officials first thought was an addition but later learned was part of the original building—should be demolished.

The ailing garage has a leaky, partly collapsed roof and serious mold problems, official said, deeming the mainly empty area structurally unsound. Until recently it was used as a storage area for the .

But the city doesn't have a plan for the site.

The building was constructed in 1961 by Otis Beall Kent, who owned the Kentlands Mansion, and he incorporated remnants of an early 1900s carriage house that previously stood on the spot, according to a consultant's report on the property.

After touring the building exterior and hearing from neighbors, the HDC convened their meeting at and voted to recommend historic designation, but allow the demolition.

Lauren Pruss, a city planner, said that "demolition of the garage would not have a detrimental effect on the historicity of the main building."

"The next step is to schedule a joint public hearing with the [Mayor and City Council] and Planning Commission regarding historic designation," Pruss added. "The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the [Mayor and City Council] as well, with the [Mayor and City Council] making the final decision."

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