Bishop’s Building reprise proposed

Historic City News has learned from the St. Augustine Report published by the City Department of Public Affairs, that If plans can pass muster with two citizen boards and our City Commission, the Bishop’s Building will return to the St. George Street half of the Bank of America parking lot.

The commercial/residential Bishop’s Building is similar to the adjacent former McCrory’s building and stood in today’s Bank of America parking lot at St. George Street and Cathedral Place for half a century.

Architect Don Crichlow goes before our Historic Architectural Review Board (HARB) February 19 and Planning and Zoning Board (PZB) March 2 for a Planned Unit Development (PUD) on the site. At issue: the design is not colonial as called for in the Historic Preservation District, and there’s an issue with lot coverage, according to Planning and Building Director Mark Knight.

Crichlow, a city commissioner, will seek an opinion of appropriateness from HARB and a PUD from the planning board. While the design is not early colonial, it is historic, Crichlow says, reflecting the Bishop’s Building that stood there from 1889 to the 1960s, with such businesses as the Neptune Grill, Rector’s Restaurant, and Leonardi’s Jewelers. It was named appropriately as a commercial enterprise of the St. Augustine Diocese.

Plans call for retail along the street and a 16-18 room boutique hotel upstairs.

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