putnam hotel
RENDERING COURTESY MILES ARCHITECTURE GROUP LOOKING AHEAD — This concept image for the future of the Hotel Putnam, tentatively named Putnam Estates, from December shows what the building may look like after renovations. Following the latest round of changes, and more coming down the road, it won’t look exactly like this. For example, on each side of the building, the middle window of the three may be made into a door. While the exact design is in flux, plans are moving ahead for demolition of various portions of the original building, due to problems with its structural integrity. Demolition will be done by hand, DeLand Chief Building Official Joe Levrault explained, because bringing in the big guns to do demolition work could damage other parts of the 100-year-old building.

DeLand’s Hotel Putnam, at 225 W. New York Ave., is a bit of an eyesore. But after multiple owners and years of development plans coming and going, the new owners, Axia Group, are getting closer and closer to opening up 71 apartments in the old hotel.

Representatives from Miles Architecture Group, the architects working on the Putnam, presented their latest plans to the DeLand Historic Preservation Board June 2.

Since most of the members of the Historic Preservation Board had no huge qualms with the latest construction plans, Chief Building Official Joe Levrault said several demolition permits could be approved as soon as June 6.

The latest additions to the project include changing an interior area once planned to be amenities for residents into four additional apartments — bringing the total units planned to 71 — changing where windows will be located in various rooms and parts of the building, and demolishing the turrets overlooking the top of the building to rebuild them.

On the front of the building, two large windows will turn into doors.

“Things did not fall well within the existing building on some of the upper floors,” Miles Beach said, explaining why changes were made to the layout of the windows to conform to the construction plans.

The changes were largely OK with the Historic Preservation Board, save two members, Ross Janke and Charles Jordan.

Jordan said the new changes, in addition to past changes proposed by the architects for the building, were simply changing the Putnam too much.

“This is no longer a preservation project. This is a shell that is convenient to have because it’s so big,” Jordan said. “I would not vote for this or any changes that are not keeping with the standards.”

Among the other board members, many recognized that, even if they were less excited about some of the changes to the building’s exterior, restoring the Hotel Putnam to productive use is a project that the city wants to see completed.

Some of the changes to the building have been made to comply with city codes, such as a requirement for fireproof stairwells.

“I think you’re trying your best,” Board Member Dagny Robertson said. “I think it’s a difficult situation.”

Even as demolition orders get signed off on, construction is still in its early phases.


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