The Idyllwild Historic Preservation District board approved its first plans for renovation of a structure within district boundaries — Ferro, the new restaurant that will occupy the building previously home to Hidden Village Chinese Restaurant at 25840 Cedar Street.

Last week, the board reviewed design plans and examples of materials and colors to be used in revising the exterior of the structure, built in 1933. Project designer Robert Priefer made the presentation on behalf of property owner David Butterfield and restaurant owners Frank and Lori Ferro, who were in attendance at the meeting.

The Riverside County Board of Supervisors appointed the IHPD board to review plans for renovating buildings within IHPD boundaries that are considered “contributing resources,” ones surveyed and catalogued as having historic value to the district.

Priefer displayed and discussed architectural drawings, and a palette of materials that would, when completed, return the exterior to a more cabin-like appearance from that of the oriental design of Hidden Village. Keith Herron, county Parks and Open Space Resource bureau chief, noted that the building had been altered since its original construction in 1933. “It was probably built as a residence originally,” said Herron, observing that the existing second-story dormer was likely added later.

Priefer, at the board’s previous May 1 meeting, had stated that when property owner and business principals learned the building was a contributing resource, they stopped work on the project and contacted Herron and county planning. “We’re on board to preserve the integrity of the [original] architecture,” said Priefer at the May 22 presentation.

Overall colors to be used, including new fireproof shingles, are two tones of brown. Windows will be double-hung casement windows. “We’re going back to the original placement and size of windows and eliminating the plate-glass windows introduced when the building was a dress shop,” said Priefer.

“I want to express appreciation [to the building and business owners],” said Herron. “They learned late [about need to conform to district guidelines] and subsequently stated that they wanted to do this right. The approach they have taken is about as good as you get. The best thing is going back to the fenestration [windows] of the original.”

Vice Chair Nancy Borchers said, “This will be a wonderful example for us to use in the future.”

Herron reminded the principals to consult district design guidelines regarding signage appropriate for the district.

On Herron’s recommendation, the board approved the project as a package, not as individual documents. Herron said he would note the approval as fast-tracked.

The IHPD has an existing board vacancy. Anyone interested may contact Herron, who serves as the liaison between the local board and the county, at [email protected]

The district next plans an informational presentation to property owners and renters within the district. Scheduled from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, June 1, at Creekstone Inn, light hors d’oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages will be served. Herron will give a presentation on the historic district and the Historic Alteration Permit process.