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Project bringing back old style of historic building

The historic building at 311 W. Main St., which was at one time in danger of being demolished, is in the process of being restored, including having two of its original exterior iron posts uncovered and prominently displayed.

On Wednesday, the Architectural Heritage Board approved owner Tim Montgomery’s request to move the ground floor facade back about 18 inches, in order to properly expose the existing iron posts.

Montgomery told the board the posts would become the focal point of the building.

Danville’s preservation coordinator Joni House said the building probably had four posts but, “Lord knows when they disappeared.”

Allowing Montgomery to recess the front facade “will bring it back to what the streetscape probably would have been around the early 1900s,” House said.

In the report, House recommended the AHB approve Montgomery’s plan. She wrote that Montgomery is preserving and incorporating the remaining elements of the original historic storefront.

“The design is contemporary but takes on the historical flavor of the commercial entry,” she wrote. “It does not draw attention away from the building’s historic attributes and enhances the remaining historical material.”

In less than two minutes, the AHB approved Montgomery’s request.

According to the AHB staff report, 311 West Main St. is a three-story, brick commercial building constructed in the Italianate style. “This structure contributes to the Commercial (National Register) District by virtue of its style and material and its contribution to the business and commercial history of Danville in the late 19th century.”

Past building owners include A.S. Robertson in 1869; Harry Evans in 1893; Anna Kinnaird in 1923; Paul Manninit in 1944 and Sam Routenburg in 1976.