ARB Approves Demolition



by Marissa Maier

Tora Matsuoka, owner of Sen Restaurant and the recently opened Phao Thai Kitchen, visited the Sag Harbor Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board on Thursday, April 9, to again discuss his sign for the Phao. Matsuoka had hoped to hang a 12 inch wide, and 5 inch thick, sign from the awning of the restaurant. Some board members, like Robert Tortora, felt the sign should be mounted onto the building over the awning. Matsuoka argued that the restaurant lies on the side of the street which gets the most sun, thus the awning is often put down. Matsuoka said when the awning is down a sign mounted to the building wouldn’t be visible to sidewalk traffic.

“The sign is less about design and is more about visibility,” said Matsuoka.

However, board member Diane Schiavoni was adamantly against this option. She preferred the sign be mounted onto a column in between the two windows of the restaurant – instead of being mounted above the awning or hung from the awning.

Eventually, the board reached a consensus. Tortora suggested Matsuoka purchase a piece of wood in the same dimensions as the proposed sign. The board asked Matsuoka to hang the piece of wood from the awning – so they will be able to ascertain whether the sign will be obtrusive.

“I don’t have a problem just looking at the [piece of wood] to see how the sign would look,” said ARB chairman Cee Scott Brown.

Approving the demolition of village homes has been a widely debated issue at the ARB recently, but on Thursday Erika Hecht’s proposal to demolish her home on Suffolk Street was approved after the architect presented a revised plan. The plans include the construction of a federalist Greek-revival style home, with five eyebrow windows and a recessed entrance. The board approved the demolition of the home, but asked the architect to return with specifics on which materials will be used for the project.

Of the project, Brown said, “I think it is going to fit nicely on the block.”