Color consultant praises downtown's hues

January 19, 1997


Staff Writer

The "Color Doctor" was in downtown Hagerstown on Saturday, explaining how paint color can showcase the unique architectural features of old buildings.

"Do folks in your town realize what a historic treasure you have?" John Crosby Freeman asked a small group at Girls Inc. on West Washington Street.

Freeman, who was in town this weekend to help Lowe's celebrate the grand opening of its new store on Wesel Boulevard, volunteered to give free advice to residents.


But he said downtown isn't suffering from any major color flaws.

"There's a lot that I like. There is nothing that I dislike intensely," he said.

Freeman is called the "Color Doctor" because he helps people cure their color anxiety.

Kathy Maher, a senior planner for the city of Hagerstown, brought Freeman slides of what she called "color-challenged" buildings in the city.

Freeman prescribed color treatments for different architectural styles and building eras.

Freeman also gave some general advice:

  • Don't use heat methods to remove paint because of the risk of fire.
  • Resist the urge to use white.
  • Gray is the great peacemaker among colors. Use it instead of white.
  • Take a look at what is underneath siding and asbestos shingles.

"Just take off the old and the original character of the house is revealed," he said. "You have to have faith that the original stuff is underneath there."

Freeman, who designed Lowe's Southern Heritage line of paint cards, will be at the new store from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today to give free color advice.

The Herald-Mail Articles