What is a landmark or a historic building? A part of the history, culture, hopes and dreams of the spirit of the people who put down roots to settle for future generations. It's not just the structure, but the memory of that structure. Usually it was a rallying point of the community. All the things that happened there long remembered. Often the beauty and craftsmanship and materials that these historic buildings have are hard to replace as would the location.. Historic buildings are usually in the center and highly accessible for the original neighborhoods. Even if expensive to restore, the public good it does more than pays into the community what was invested. This church in Gary, Indiana, has a lot of potential to once again come alive.
Trains as Part of our Historic American Heritage
There is debate on whether increasing the speed of Amtrak to 110 miles per hour will benefit the transportation capacity or be able to bring in revenue. Certainly the old steam and coal locomotives could travel easily at 75 miles per hour. Train speed records were set at around 110 miles per hour back in the 1800s. However, with today's faster car travel and air travel, because of the stops, Amtrak may have difficulty if the goal is to compete with car travel. However, a lesson may be learned from steam paddle boats (which have not disappeared) and pleasure cruise ships. Amtrak was not just about getting from one place to another, it was the state of the art answer to luxury in long distance travel itself. These were the luxury liners of our prairies and can still be. Cruise ships not only take people to different locations, they become the end destination of the very vacation itself. Amtrak could provide this very luxury to the American public who want to see more of America, but don't want to spend time searching for hotels, filling the car with gas, eating fast food, etc. While car trips will always be part of the Americana, we could invest in the future of Amtrak's Historic vacation tours, with all of the past's and present luxuries.
Residential Green Roofs
I had the luck of getting an estimate for replacing our roof, which is overdue for replacement. Because our roof has never been replaced and poorly ventilated, we have to add additional beams to the attic structure. This actually sounds like a disaster, but for me was good news because it meant that the structure would have to be strengthened and then some, enough for a green roof. I then found a company referral for people who do nothing but green roofs on homes in Wisconsin. Horray! Green roofs if done by a certified construction company (which this is) last 30 years, which a conventional roof cannot even dream of duplicating. The price? Well within the range of the estimates given by the roofer who came out to give us a price range. A green roof also lowers the heat stress on your home, reduces flooding from roof and keeps the air temperature cooler while reducing noise significantly from outside. Most green roofs are planted with short succulents, thus if you are worried about snow build up, the standard rake or hot wires should keep the snow melted off enough. Don't be shy, be green!!
Why Keep an Old Mall?
Damage incurred due to chemical application of unknown substance by unknown parties in Fall 2017, still present after good level of precipitation during winter and Spring 2018 Backyard of one of the homes affected along Churchill Lane abutting IL-53