Unapproved Alteration Work on the Orlando Historically Protected Landmark Firestone Building

By Mark Baratelli
It was recently revealed that demolition of some exterior features of the historically protected landmark Firestone building at 578 N. Orange Ave took place with neither permits or Historic Preservation Board review. The Architect was only given a Minor Certificate of Appropriateness to make alterations to the non historic walls and roll up doors which face Orange Avenue and Concord Street. The unapproved work included removal of exterior windows, a brick header and other historic materials.

The structure was designated as an Orlando Landmark in 1982.

The unapproved demolition was part of a proposal that went before the Board April 4th which includes the removal of a storefront and kneewalls and the addition of doors, balcony and exit stairs on the Orange Avenue façade. The project will also alter the Concord Street façade with the removal and relocation of existing metal screens and the addition of a new exterior balcony with 2 metal exit stairs. The balcony and stair railings are metal with Plexiglas inserts.

The board was not satisfied with those plans and gave him a month to come up with "a better design that would be less damaging to the historic nature of the building."

Interior demolition work began December 2017. See Video Here.

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