Guidelines for Exterior Display
The South Main Street Historic District of St. Charles is a treasure that dates back to the late 1700s and has taken countless hours and millions of dollars to restore to its vibrant state in 2004. Its preserved and restored buildings, streets and sidewalks provide education, pleasure and profit for visitors, owners, residents and business people. In an effort to safeguard this wonderful area, the South Main Preservation Society appointed a committee of residents, property owners and business owners to examine whether an ordinance might be presented to the City Council providing legal guidelines to protect South Main Street.
After many hours of research, examination, reflection and discussion, it was the consensus of the committee that a better first step would be to provide voluntary guidelines to assist all who labor to make the street attractive and make a living on it to know what is appropriate regarding exterior display. The following is a summary guide, an article of significance by Preservationist Archie Scott that appeared in the Suburban Journal, and pertinent ordinances already on the books of the City of St. Charles.
Exterior Display: Defined
The definition of exterior display includes everything visible to exterior view by our neighbors, our customers and guests visiting the Historic District. Some exterior displays may be intentional. Intentional display examples include: items selected as decorations (a door wreath), functional (a bench), or seasonal (Christmas greenery and ribbons). These should be chosen for appropriateness. Other displays may be unintentional; example: building materials, lawn mowers, ladders and maintenance equipment, dead landscaping and landscape material which is not maintained, weeds and loose trash, permanently parked vehicles, boats and trailers are examples of an inappropriate display.
- What purpose do these guidelines serve?
- How is appropriateness judged?
- Who will judge the appropriateness?
- What is the 19th Century Test?
- What about advertising devices and sidewalk merchandising?
- Where do I go for information if I am in doubt about what I’m doing or thinking of doing in regard to outside display?