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GELD Plans "Cultural Connection" To Old Train Station Style

Attorney Bob Collins, representing Groton Electric Light Department, presented Town Center Overlay District Committee (TCODC) with four different versions of drawings for their new facility on Station Ave. GELD wanted to keep the feeling of the old train station that was once located at the very end of the street, and, with that in mind, included some fieldstone as part of the building. Collins displayed some old postcards of the Railroad Station that showed the use of this type of stone in the front porch area.

Collins said four versions of the drawings include: One utilizing stone on the facade; one with stone eliminated and replaced with clapboards; the third with the same building design but a gable would be replaced with an eyebrow and a bump out at the entry, and lastly, the same building with no stone, clapboards and a recessed entry. He said that he liked the eyebrow gables, the recessed entry opening onto the walkway and the lowered roofline in back of the building.

The plan also calls for benches and there was a suggestion that perhaps the stone could be incorporated into a small wall with seating on top. TCODC Chair Dan Barton asked about utilizing the four-foot overhang of the building as an area for shelter.

TCODC member Fay Raynor said she wanted to see changes in the pitch of the roof adding, "If you have to run the calcs again, run the calcs again." Collins advised her that the calculations that have already been done were approved by Conservation Commission and any changes would have to go back to them for re-approvals.

Barton suggested keeping the same eave line. "I don't think that this would change the calcs but I like the idea of the lower roof line as the view from the rail trail." He then asked GELD to provide a section cut to actually see the roof/bracket/bump out and eave. He thanked the GELD team for listening to their input.

Barton said he liked the fact that it is a regional station without using the stone, vertical window casings; pulled in doorway and roofline, he felt, made a huge improvement. Landscape architect Lorayne Black advised that she wanted to see more evergreens to replace some proposed pear trees on the site. Michelle Collette stressed that the Planning Board would be looking to ensure that there were no invasive plants in the plan.

Barton said he wanted to schedule a meeting to pull all the comments so that TCODC can present their findings to the Planning Board.

He offered some suggestions - put in structure support for a second floor even though one is not in the plan; he liked the cultural connection to the train station, a screen to hide the compressor, snow guards, lighting plan and the hours of operations of the lights, an idea of the signage with both its material and lighting.

He added that he would like to see the GELD logo on the cupola of their building, possibly a flag pole and a drop box for paying bills. The drop box was a request from the Accessibility Committee.

The next meeting for TCODC will be Thursday, Nov. 15, 5 to 6:30 p.m. prior to the Planning Board meeting.

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