The stately Town House, seat of Sykesville town government, is looking a little scrappy but it will soon be restored to its original grandeur.
A contractor has removed yellowing aluminum siding from the two-story building and exposed the bare wooden shingles underneath. Soon, a carpenter will repair the wood and prepare it for a coat of paint.
In restoring the wooden exterior of its offices, the town is practicing the historic preservation that it preaches to Main Street merchants and homeowners.
The white siding was installed in the early 1970s, long before Sykesville had a Historic District Commission to guard the character of its original buildings.
As part of a plan to restore the Town House's exterior, the town replaced the roof last fall. Those repairs required workers to remove some siding.
Matching the white that had yellowed with new pieces would be nearly impossible. The town opted to remove the remaining siding and paint the underlying wood.
The town has budgeted $35,000 for the project.
The town paid Conrey Construction, a local contractor, $1,500 for stripping the siding and disposing of it.
A carpenter will begin restoring the wood. A painting contract will go out to bid soon.
"We hope to have everything done by Fallfest," said Matthew H. Candland, town manager, referring to the town's annual celebration the first Saturday of October.
The building was constructed about 1883 as a private residence overlooking Main Street. Aging black-and-white photos show it was painted in dark colors with a cream trim.
The town purchased it for about $35,000 in 1969 and converted it into offices.
"The building was big enough for offices, available and convenient," said Wiley Purkey, a member of the historic commission. "Its location looking down on Main Street was also good."
Purkey has studied the old photos and run color tests to determine what the past paint schemes were.
The newly restored look will probably be a reddish brown with the same cream trim.
The contractor will also replace the vinyl shutters with wooden ones.
The shutters will be painted dark green or brown.
Pub Date: 5/30/99