A group of Virginia-Highland residents are urging a local business to avoid covering up a historic building in the neighborhood.
Though residents are excited that — a neighborhood pet spa and boutique — is expanding and moving into the former Wolf Camera space at 780 N. Highland Ave., some are unhappy with the decision to cover the historic details that line the building.
"The reason many or most of us moved here is because of the neighborhood's character, and I believe many people shop and dine here for the same reason," Virginia-Highland resident Brian Gross said. "Covering up beautiful historic details will reduce that character — what a shame."
Gross and other residents who are loyal Glamour Paws customers have been vocal about the decision to cover the architecture that could date back to the 1920s.
Residents started a Facebook campaign — Glamour Paws, don't cover up historic detail at 780 N. Highland. The page has about 30 followers and continues to grow each day.
"We are very excited that Glamour Paws is expanding at 780 N. Highland. But please don't cover up the 1920s architectural details," the group description says.
The renovation was first noted by the Architecture Tourist, a local blogger who writes about architecture in the neighborhood.
Business owners Nichole and Hassim Robinson told Patch the plans were approved by the city and the building is not designated a historic landmark. They said the renovation will not damage any of the existing architecture.
"We understand the value of the history and the value of the architecture, which is why we didn’t deface the building for our personal needs," Nichole Robinson said.
"I don't think that by changing this building it will change what Virginia-Highland is. The people make Virginia-Highland. It’s really about the sprit of the neighborhood."
The Robinsons said the contractor is covering the facade of the building and a future tenant could simply remove the cover if they desired.
"It by no means was meant to offend anybody," she said. "If it was a historic building, we wouldn’t have touched it."
The Robinsons said they were hurt by the Facebook campaign and wish residents would have reached out to them directly with questions about the renovation.
"We’re going through a company rebranding and trying to appeal to a broad range of customers, and we felt that a contemporary look went with the rebranding," Hassim Robinson said.
"I thought the neighborhood would be happy that we are moving into that space and giving some life to that side of the neighborhood," Hassim Robinson said.
Glamour Paws is currently located at 776 N. Highland Ave. and . The expansion is set to open in March.
Residents seem to be excited for more businesses in an area of the neighborhood plagued with empty storefronts. The concern is focused on the decision to cover up the architecture.
"I'm a loyal customer and so happy for their success and their expansion into the 780 space," Gross said. "I don't know exactly why they chose to cover over the historical architectural details, but it's saddening to see that beauty covered up."