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Wednesday, September 17, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 41.0° F  A Few Clouds
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Madison city staff recommend against razing two buildings for State Street Block 100 project
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Schubert Building, 120 W. Mifflin St.
Schubert Building, 120 W. Mifflin St.
Credit:City of Madison

Madison city staff is recommending the Landmarks Commission vote against some aspects of the development proposed for the 100 block of State Street, including the demolition of the Schubert Building, 120 W. Mifflin St., and the Fairchild Building, 122 W. Mifflin St.

The staff recommendations (PDF), prepared by Amy Scanlon, the city's preservation planner, did not recommend against the plan as a whole, however. Staff found that alterations proposed to the Castle & Doyle building, 125 State St., which is an historic landmark, are acceptable. The developers originally proposed razing the building and rebuilding its faade. However, they have since decided to save it. However, it will be altered, including the removal of a rear fire escape, requiring Landmarks' approval.

On the project's other historic landmark, the Schubert Building on Mifflin, which is slated for demolition, Scanlon recommends against granting approval. "Staff believes that this structure, being a designated landmark, is of such architectural and historic significance that the demolition would be detrimental to the public interest," Scanlon writes. "The loss of a landmark building is detrimental to the cultural and social history and to the way that cultural resources are valued in the city."

The Fairchild Building, at the corner of Mifflin and Fairchild streets, does not have landmark status. However, Scanlon recommends against allowing it to be demolished. "Staff believes that the Fairchild Building has historic value and is structurally sound and therefore recommends that it not be demolished."

Scanlon doesn't oppose demolition of three other buildings. The Vallender Building, the flatiron building at the corner of State and Fairchild, has "historic interest," she writes, but adds that due to its poor condition "it appears that it is not feasible to warrant restoration of the building."

Scanlon finds that the new construction proposed for the site does not take away from the historic character of State Street. However, she writes, "On the Fairchild Street faade, staff feels that the new building is visually intrusive to the Castle and Doyle Building."

The Landmarks Commission is set to take up the project at its meeting on Monday, January 30. The Urban Design Commission will look at it on February 1.

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