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Properties in Historic Charlottesville Using Wrap Around Designs

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West Main Street in Charlottesville West Main Street in Charlottesville
Blue Moon Diner Blue Moon Diner
Planned location for the Quirk Hotel Planned location for the Quirk Hotel
Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin Charlottesville City Councilor Kathy Galvin
Mary Joy Scala, preservation and design planner Mary Joy Scala, preservation and design planner
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

Part of historic Charlottesville is catching on to a new trend in urban design called wrap around buildings. Two new high rises on West Main Street are taking the history and building up around it.

Tuesday night the Charlottesville Board of Architectural Review (BAR) approved plans on two projects – a new apartment and retail complex around the Blue Moon Diner and the new Quirk Hotel.

Both properties are moving forward with designs while preserving the history that is already there.

"Those buildings were built in an era about 100 years ago, 150 years ago that really paid attention to the scale of the human being. They had front porches. They had doors and windows that were kind of proportional to a human being,” explained Kathy Galvin, Charlottesville City Council member.

The properties tell the story of Charlottesville.

"There are two buildings - the oldest one was built in 1824, so it’s one of the oldest houses in Charlottesville and next to that is a 1890s house that has a little doctors office added to the side so it kinda shows the transition from residential to commercial along West Main Street,” said Mary Joy Scala, preservation and design planner.

The trend in contemporary preservation is one of the big challenges for Charlottesville.

“Charlottesville is both a city of tradition as well as a city of innovation - that's how we pride ourselves. We're both creative as well as reflective,” Galvin said.

The two new L shaped, wrap around buildings are the BAR’s solution.

“It’s important to keep the old buildings because they're a tangible reminder but then, also it's very exciting to have those new uses,” Scala explained.

The city preservation planner says it's the best of both worlds.

Scala said the project, including the Blue Moon Diner property, is ready to apply for building permit but Quirk Hotel still needs approval. She says it will probably be another six months before they can start building.