The proposed new building for KVMR at 120 Bridge St. took another step toward becoming reality tonight. The Nevada City Planning Commission approved the architectural design with a few minor tweeks, moving it forward to further public hearings.
Sitting through an NC planning session can be somewhat like being waterboarded. The City’s stringent requirements for removing an existing structure usually brings out a crowd, but most were in agreement that the new building will be an asset to downtown, and keep the station in the city limits. The hearing lasted for a good three hours, with commissioners examining every excruiating detail with a fine tooth comb. It never ceases to amaze me how they can split a single hair into enough strands to make a toupee for Don Trump. Still, it’s that attention that has made Nevada City unique among the many foothill towns.
There were some concerns from citizens. Some were uncomfortable with the radio tower/sign design, feeling that it deviated too much from the city’s sign limits. One resident was concerned about radiation from radio signals. (Note the lightning bolts in my illustration, which was commissioned for a thank you card for donators to the recent pledge drive.) The station’s engineer explained that there would only be a low-power narrow UHF signal that would eliminate the need for tinfoil headwear. There were a few other issues with aesthetics and parking, but in the end there was unanimous consent to move forward.
This project is a real shot in the arm for Nevada City, and will mutually benefit the Nevada Theatre with upgrades to the backstage area. A definite win-win for all.
I am happy to hear that the design was approved. I wanted to go to the meeting but could not. I think the re-design “feels” a lot more like the current sheds.
I love the illustration, RL! It captures the eclectic nature of their programming.
The new retro station design will look very good on that corner and will gain a certain patina over time, entirely consistent with the NC’s commitment to historical architecture.
KSUE, my hometown Susanville station was housed for years in an adorable 30’s Deco building with glass block at the entry and a cool radio tower, out on the edge of town.
When the station moved out, someone bought it and remodeled it into a residence with a pitched roof and vinyl windows.
It’s just a generic house there now.
Susanville lost a little slice of character that day.
The creative use of the tower on the new KVMR building adds that special touch of nostalgia that puts older folks in mind of the days of the old radio stations so many of us saw, as kids from the back of the family station wagon, on those long family motor trips.
I am glad to see this project moving forward. I appricate the historical sugnificance of the buildings in Nevada City but I could not agree with the “Save the Sheds” campaign that was brought forth. I really didn’t see the need to “mimic” the sheds in the new design but as long as it fits in with the downtown (unlike our “historic” courthouse) I am excited to see the project complete. One thing for sure, a mountain was made of a mole hill to get this done….sheesh.