Council rejects Sager plan to hire architect

May 01, 1997


Staff Writer

Hagerstown City Council members have rejected a proposal to hire an architect to design facade improvements for a downtown, city-owned building.

The council on Tuesday night rejected the proposal by Mayor Steven T. Sager by a 3-2 vote.

Councilman William Breichner said there's no point in having the design work done before city officials know what use the 38 S. Potomac St. building will be put to.

"Let the future owner decide what to do with it," Breichner said Wednesday.

Design-Build Architects of Hagerstown had submitted a design bid of $5,000.

Council members Fred Kramer and Lewis Metzner also opposed the facade design contract. Council members Susan Saum-Wicklein and Mark Jameson voted for it.


Sager said Wednesday that he proposed having the design work done to get a head start on the project. Maryland Historical Trust officials will want the building's facade restored to its original storefront, he said.

The facade of the building, which once housed Tristate Electrical Supply Co. Inc., was altered in the 1960s, Sager said.

One possible use for the building would be to house a proposed Discovery Station, which would have interactive exhibits of science, technology and local history.

City officials' attempts to lure the National Museum of Civil War Medicine's headquarters to the building failed in March after the museum's board decided to stay in Frederick, Md.

Breichner said he voted against a facade design for the building at 17-21 E. Franklin St. in March for the same reason - city officials still don't know what the building will house.

The contract for that design was approved by a 3-2 vote with Metzner and Breichner opposed, said City Clerk Gann Breichner.

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