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Plan to move building to historic area in Hillyard rejected

Paul Breithaupt’s plans to move a newer building to a lot near the intersection of North Market Street and East Queen Avenue, where Hillyard’s Alaskan Tavern burned down in 2010, met a roadblock at the Spokane City-County Historic Landmarks committee meeting on June 19.

Because the lot is located within the Historic Hillyard District, the landmarks commission must issue a certificate of appropriateness before any building – constructed from scratch or hauled in on wheels – may be erected within the district.

The landmarks commission voted to not give Breithaupt’s project a certificate of appropriateness.

Breithaupt, who testified before the commission, said he was never told by the planning department that he needed a special permission for construction within a historic district.

“We are meeting all the centers and corridors requirements,” Breithaupt said, explaining how his project complies with comprehensive plan regulations. “Someone clearly dropped the ball here.”

He added that the building – the old Miller’s Tavern sitting on blocks just off Hawthorne Road in north Spokane – is nothing but a shell or a bunch of construction material that could be made to fit.

“Reusing a building instead of constructing one from scratch is an environmentally friendly solution,” Breithaupt said, explaining that the facade of the building and the side facing Queen Avenues would be “modified to fit in with the other old buildings.”

Among the landmarks commission’s concerns were that Breithaupt had not designated a use for the building, and that the false front he proposed putting on the building wouldn’t match the old two- or three-story brick buildings in Hillyard.

“It’s very important to us that a new building preserves the historic character of the district,” said city/county historic preservation officer Kristen Griffin. “We don’t want anything that creates a false sense of history.”

Breithaupt, who operates the Barbary Coast at 5209 N. Market St., was encouraged to submit more details about his project and reapply.