Courthouse Square commission OK renovation of South Lamar building

Published 3:01 pm Tuesday, August 2, 2022

A new company is looking to make a home just off the Courthouse Square.

A representative of BankPlus, a personal and business banking company, requested permission from the Courthouse Square Historic Preservation Commission to renovate a structure at 409 South Lamar Boulevard. The building is located just next to Spring Street Cigars.

BankPlus has 38 locations across Mississippi but none in Oxford.

The applicant, Wade Thompson of Wier Boerner Allin Architecture, applied for several changes to the existing building including paint to the existing building, new siding, trim and a monument sign displaying the BankPlus logo on behalf of owner Elizabeth Allen — Senior Vice President and Director of Facilities for BankPlus.

The renovation will change the exterior from the red brick and white siding a trim to a grey and off-white scheme with new windows and doors.

The City Planning Staff has approved all other requests except to paint the building’s brick veneer.

According to the Oxford Design Guidelines, bricks and stone that have never been painted should remain unpainted, and commercial sealants or waterproof coatings should not be applied. The city ideally addresses moisture problems in masonry walls by addressing the source of water infiltration

“The request to paint the brick is not a result of having to deal with any kind of moisture infiltration,” said Thompson. “We haven’t really noticed any issues in that regard. It was coming from the response to brighten up the front, make the front feel a little bit more inviting and to bring it more into the character of some of the immediate neighbors.”

Despite concerns, commissioners agreed that the renovation would improve the look of the one-story bungalow and noted many contributing and non-contributing buildings are updated to painted brick to reflect trends in style.

The Commission approved the request for exterior renovations to the South Lamar building.