Mount Airy to move forward with plans to revive Flat Iron building -- Gazette.Net


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Mount Airy officials are moving forward with plans to determine the future of the historic Flat Iron building.

For more than 100 years, the nearly 2,100 square-foot building at 2 Park Ave. has been a part of the town’s historic district. But, now the building is in need of significant upgrades, including repairs from water damage found in the concrete foundation and updates to the building’s upper floor and roof, according to Barney Quinn, town engineer.

During a meeting Monday, the five-member Mount Airy Town Council gave Quinn permission to hire a consultant to conduct a feasibility study on the building, so that town officials can determine how much it would cost to make significant updates to the three-story building and to find out what options the town has for its future use.

“There’s a lot of things for us to consider moving forward,” Quinn said. “There’s going to be a lot of options here.”

Quinn said that the feasibility study will cost about $25,000.

The current building was built in the 1890s and was formerly used as the town’s offices. Now it houses the Historical Society of Mount Airy Museum and the town’s resident trooper program. As part of that program, five Maryland state troopers perform the duties of a local police force for the town.

Pete Bowlus, of the Historical Society, said at the meeting that the town needs to move forward with plans for the Flat Iron building.

“This building needs to be renovated and saved,” he said. “We need this building, [so] let’s get this study started and move on.”

As well as the feasibility study, Quinn said that a boundaries study and testing on the building foundation will need done in the future. Previously, a structural analysis was done on the building last spring, and an internal needs study was also conducted last fall.

myoung@gazette.net