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Revised plan for Munjoy Hill theater under scrutiny again

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Revised plan for Munjoy Hill theater under scrutiny again

PORTLAND — The Historic Preservation Board on Wednesday again will consider a proposal to build a 400-seat performance hall at the St. Lawrence Arts Center on Munjoy Hill.

The Friends of the St. Lawrence Church, the nonprofit group that owns and operates the center, is proposing a performance hall where the historic church's sanctuary once stood, at the corner of Congress and Munjoy streets. The sanctuary, built in 1897, was demolished in 2008 after years of deterioration.

On Dec. 5, 2012, the board held a preliminary workshop on the proposal. Based on feedback from board members and the public at the meeting, project architect David Lloyd revised the design, which was shown a few days later at another public meeting.

Wednesday's workshop will focus on further revisions to the design, submitted to city staff in January. The revisions include setting back the Congress Street facade of the building 9 feet, and shortening its height by 5 feet.

The project must receive approval from the board because the St. Lawrence property is protected by the city's historic preservation code. The project must also receive approval from the Planning Board.

In a busy agenda, the preservation board is also scheduled to hold a public hearing on final plans for a 110-room boutique hotel at 390 Congress St., a vacant building that dates to 1923 and was formerly the headquarters of The Portland Press Herald. A preliminary workshop on alterations to the building was held in November.

The board meets Wednesday at 5 p.m. in City Hall.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.