Replacement eyed for fire-ravaged building | Local News

A two-story “neo-traditional” building is proposed in Gettysburg to replace a structure demolished after a March 2021 fire, project architect Gary Shaffer said Monday.

The structure at 531 Baltimore St. would be the new home of the Blue and Gray Gift Shop, which was housed at the site until a vehicle slammed into that building and exploded into flames, killing the Baltimore man at the wheel.

The vehicle was “the third or fourth” to hit the building in 41 years, co-owner Tony Strickland said.

“To prevent another collision,” bollard-type barriers are included in plans for the site, said Shaffer, of Shaffer Design Associates in Gettysburg. A bollard is a short, strong vertical post.

The architectural design will “pick up traditional elements” of the prior building, which was originally used as a residence, and integrate them into a new structure, Shaffer said.

If all goes well, the building could be complete early next year, he said.

Plans call for retail space for the shop downstairs and office space for the business upstairs, said co-owner Julie Strickland. She and her father attended Monday’s borough planning commission meeting along with Shaffer and Dominic Picarelli of the KPI Technology engineering firm.

The planning commission could make no decision because some elements such as landscaping had not yet been added to the plan, but the building’s “footprint” poses no difficulties, borough Director of Planning, Zoning, and Code Enforcement Carly Marshall said.

Commission members reached a consensus in favor of reviewing the plan during their June 20 meeting, set for 7 pm at the borough hall, 59 E. High St.

Before the 2021 fire, the vehicle was traveling about 70 mph when it went straight instead of following a curve on Baltimore Street, according to borough Police Chief Robert Glenny.

The fire heavily damaged 529 Baltimore St, site of the Crystal Wand shop and four apartments. The damage structure still stands. Restoration plans, not yet implemented, began moving through the borough approval process last year.

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