A house that's been a fixture of the York City streetscape for nearly 200 years is standing in the way of a popular restaurant's expansion plans.
Customers of the White Rose Bar and Grill frequently ask to host private events for 100 people or more at the 48 N. Beaver St. restaurant.
But, at this point, the answer to those requests is no because the restaurant's current footprint is not big enough to accommodate large parties, manager Jeremiah Anderson said.
"It's heartwrenching for me to turn down business," Anderson said.
So, to make room for more space, Tom Sibol, the restaurant's owner, submitted plans to the city earlier this year to demolish 114 W. Philadelphia St., an adjacent building he also owns.
Sibol's architect, Joseph Mula, said the existing building is also too small to accommodate the types of events the White Rose wants to host.
"It just doesn't work," Mula told the York City Council on Wednesday.
Because the federal-style residence sits within the city's historic district, the demolition plans were referred to the Historical Architectural Review Board.
HARB, as it's known, is a board of volunteers, many of whom specialize in architecture and historic preservation. They review construction plans in the historic district and make recommendations to the council, which has the final say.
In the case of 114 W. Philadelphia St., HARB members unanimously voted to deny Sibol's proposal to raze the building.
Dave Redshaw, a member of HARB, said there are no structural issues with the building.
"The house is in good shape," Redshaw said. "I couldn't possibly justify demolition of that building."
Councilman Michael Helfrich said he researched the building's history and discovered it was built by a Revolutionary War soldier.
Acknowledging community concern, Anderson said the White Rose no longer wants to demolish the building completely.
Instead, he said the White Rose is hoping to work out a compromise with HARB to preserve the building's facade but demolish the bulk of the building and put new construction in its place.
In the meantime, the council is likely to vote on the restaurant's first proposal at its Tuesday meeting.
If the council upholds HARB's denial, the White Rose would have to submit a new application to HARB.
— Reach Erin James at firstname.lastname@example.org.