June 18, 2014 - eader Editor
The award-winning rear entrance to Williams Art Glass Studio. (click for larger version)
What used to look like "the back of a factory," as one owner put it, now looks like a "courtyard setting" in downtown Oxford.
As a result, Williams Art Glass Studio/Sunset Antiques, owned by Rick and Karen Williams, was honored June 13 with an "Outstanding Investment" award from Main Street Oakland County.
"We're very proud to be recognized because it wasn't a large-scale project," Karen said.
"We're very proud to accept the award on behalf of Williams Art Glass," Rick said.
Karen and Rick Williams with their award. (click for larger version)
Using a facade grant from the Oxford Downtown Development Authority and design input from Oakland County's Principal Planner/Preservation Architect Ron Campbell, the Williams, who live in Oxford Township, made improvements to the back of their 22 N. Washington St. business, which faces the northeast parking lot.
They installed custom iron fencing with stained glass details along the sidewalk.
They added reclaimed brick columns topped with flower-filled planters, installed new awnings over the rear entrance and two windows, and painted the rear doors and trim.
"Now, it looks like an actual entrance," Karen said. "It looks so much better. It looks good. It looks really good."
The Williams, who have owned the building since 1982, also planted Virginia creeper, a five-leaved ivy, in the hopes that it will "take off" and cover the unpainted block section of the building with greenery.
"I guess it's really beautiful in the fall because it turns orange," Karen said.
The whole project cost $3,102, of which the DDA facade grant covered $1,551. The grant was approved for up to $3,600, so the Williams came in under budget.
Karen noted the new awnings and fence wouldn't have been possible without the DDA grant.
CJ Carnacchio is editor for The Oxford Leader. He lives in the Village of Oxford with his wife Connie and daughter Larissa. When he's not busy working on the newspaper, he enjoys cigars/pipes, Martinis/Scotch, hunting and fishing.