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Schielke suggests rethinking  Batavia building’s historic status

The BataviHistoric PreservatiCommissihad recommended 106 North River St. downtown historic district be reclassified from 'contributing' 'significant.'  BataviMayor Jeff Schielke

The Batavia Historic Preservation Commission had recommended 106 North River St., in the downtown historic district be reclassified from "contributing" to "significant." Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said he has serious reservations about changing the historic value of the two-story wood structure. | Linda Girardi~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 29, 2013 6:12AM

BATAVIA — Mayor Jeff Schielke has suggested the city review the historical value of a downtown building, which in his words, “has no historical importance.”

The city is considering changing the historic property classification status from “contributing” to “significant” for the two-story wood structure at the northeast corner of North River and State streets. The building at 106 N. River St. was once the location for a grain and feed bag distribution business in the 1940s and a heating and air-conditioning company around the 1960s.

“From a pure historical importance standpoint, my research leads me to the opinion that this particular building has no historical importance other than some 1940s era signage found on the north side of the structure which advertises heating and air-conditioning services,” the mayor said.

For the past two years, the Batavia Historic Preservation Commission, a six-member citizen appointed board, has been reviewing the inventory of buildings within a portion of the city’s downtown historic district.

The group has used a set of criteria including the age of structure, architectural style, historic use or events that took place in the structure and the potential for upgrades that would be historically consistent, as a basis for their recommendations.

Schielke if the city was interested in saving the sign on the building it could be carefully removed and preserved as a piece of downtown memorabilia.

“The existing building appears to offer little to preserve in my opinion,” the mayor said.

Schielke said George Howarth ran a grain and feed bag distribution business from the building and retired around World War II.

Batavia resident Edgar “Andy” Anderson operated a heating and air-conditioning business at the site, known as “Andy’s Tin Shop,” until around the 1960s.

The building is presently owned by the Larson- Becker Company.

The Community Development Committee had forwarded the Historic Preservation Commission’s recommendation to the full City Council.

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