By Ann McCreary
Preserving two large trees was a key goal in plans for a new commercial/residential building on property next to the River Bank building on Glover Street in Twisp.
Construction is underway on a small, two-story building that will have a business on the ground floor and an apartment on the upper floor.
Owner Barri Bernier of Winthrop purchased the property last summer with the intention of developing it in a way that would preserve the trees that dominate the lot.
“We are committed to saving those two large trees,” said Bernier, who owns the property with her husband, Garth Mudge.
The building is small and compact, with 288 square feet on each floor. The town’s zoning for the property requires that at least 50 percent of the ground floor be commercial, so that floor will serve as office or retail space and the upper floor will be a small residence.
Because of the prominent location on Twisp’s main street, the future of the property and its large trees has generated concern in the past among some town residents. Former Twisp Council member Dwight Filer advocated for preservation of the trees when the lot was listed for sale several years ago.
The largest of the trees— a northern red oak tree—is probably more than 50 years old, Filer said. The species can grow to about 100 feet tall and live as long as 500 years.
The new building, designed by architect Howard Cherrington, “will look similar to a New Orleans garden-style house,” said Bernier. “We thought it would blend with what is already in the town of Twisp. We wanted it to look old because the tree looks old,” she said.
The building will have long porches along two sides of the structure on both the top and bottom floors, she said.