The St. Thomas-St. John Historic Preservation Committee made it clear to State Historic Preservation Office Director Sean Krigger, Tuesday, that members of the board believed they were not getting the support they needed from paid government workers at the Preservation Office. Committee members are volunteers.
Member David Knight Sr. said, “We don’t get enough support from the technician and the Preservation Office, and I am tired of it.” He added that the committee was “on the verge of revolt.”
Committee member Enrique Rodriguez said he walked through the town and “I couldn’t believe the number of violations.” He said he took photos of the violations and forwarded them to the Preservation Office, but “nothing happened.”
The comments came after the committee spent about an hour discussing an application by Rudolfo and Natalie Brown, owners of the Midtown Guest House, to put tables on the cement slabs over the public gut in front of their café.
Members agreed that the issue should not have come before them because the Browns did not own or lease the property they were proposing to use. Krigger said he had originally invited the Browns to make an application concerning sign violations he saw at their establishment.
The board Tuesday also discussed cutting openings in the small wall surrounding the recently dedicated Freedom statue in Emancipation Garden.
For cultural reasons, the Freedom statue replaced the King Christian bust, which was relocated to Fort Christian. Krigger said the Freedom statue was seen as something people would want to be photographed beside and the wall around that discouraged closeness. He added that discussions had begun concerning what landscaping would be appropriate for the circle.
The committee also approved the modification of plans approved in 2015 for the Board of Education to renovate its building at Dronningens Gade 62 to house conference facilities. The plans had to be modified because of extensive water damage suffered in the 2017 hurricanes.
Pamela Montegut chaired the committee meeting.