The architect and contractor met with the code inspector today, and the good news is he will accept all the code variance requests we made. The bad news is we have to put in sprinklers.
Technically, the building code specifically allows for variances for historic buildings, but the inspector can interpret this any way he wishes. While we aren’t thrilled with the added expense of sprinklers, I’ve read that they can be installed without being obvious, so it’s not the worst thing in the world. And, heaven forbid we actually have a fire, I’ll be very grateful we have them.