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Unique personal touch to cherished history marks Odette’s renovation


A certificate of appropriateness for façade improvements to the recently relocated Odette’s building was approved with resounding enthusiasm at the March 19 meeting of the New Hope Borough Council.

Richard Zaveta of Zaveta Custom Homes presented the planned efforts at restoration with a PowerPoint show detailing the project.

He prefaced the presentation by expressing his personal motivation from his own family ties. His mother was born 85 years ago on New Hope’s South Main Street and performed at the original Odette’s building when it was the River House.

Working closely with the Historic Architectural Review Board, Zaveta shared several images, including the oldest known existing photographs of the structure, which was originally built in 1794. The River House was purchased in 1961 by Odette Myrtil Logan and renamed Chez Odette, where its history as a piano bar and cabaret continued until it closed shortly after river floods in 2006.

Zaveta discussed details, including the decision to use no plastic or rubber, and employ only materials “appropriate” to the original construction. The slides showed fine detail of hinges and glass, and only lime-based cements which also have the natural color, texture and patina consistent with the original stone.

Custom mahogany all-wood windows with brass chains and pulleys and traditional hardware were selected to ensure accurate reproduction of the original, and will be completed with 1 ¾-inch louvered cedar shutters.

Mayor Larry Keller exclaimed, “Fabulous,” after the presentation, and the board voiced strong and enthusiastic praise as well.

In other business, a permit for the New Hope Celebrates parade on May 18 was approved unanimously. Also approved was the Sept. 8 Run Now, Wine Later event. The sixth annual 5k run stars at New Hope-Solebury High School and ends at the Bucks County Playhouse.

Runners will be greeted at the finish with a food- and wine-tasting festival. Those who choose not to run can also participate with more of a wine now, run not approach.

Authorization for the borough engineer to advertise the 2019 Road Paving project was approved. The project addresses improvements to Waterloo Street, East Mechanic Street and East Randolph Street, including bid alternatives for stormwater improvements to Stoney Hill Road.

A public hearing on adopting an ordinance proposing a business privilege tax was discussed. A $10 license fee is currently added to a flat-fee business privilege tax of $360 annually.