Sunday, January 11th, 2009 11:21 am GMT +6 by RickM
Filed under Church Street, City of Beloit, College Park Historic District, Historic Preservation, Landmarks Commission, Neighborhood Discussion, Personal Notes
Yeah, it’s old news. We’ve all seen the ‘vintage’ street lamps that have been going up as streets in the older neighborhoods get new sewer, utilities and general reconstruction. You’ve surely seen them on Harrison, Bluff, Wisconsin and elsewhere. What I wasn’t aware of though was that Church street was likewise upgraded though sans the vintage lamp posts. I understand that Church street was among the first to receive the infrastructure upgrade and reconstruction. This was done though under prior administration.
Happened to be driving by a ‘planned residential development’ today and saw the perfect example of what I’d heard once defined as a ‘garagescape’. You likely only need the picture to illustrate the concept.
I make no secret of my bias, I love old houses and neighborhoods. Residential developments such as these leave me completely cold and help define ‘Generica‘. I can hear the prospective home owner talking to their realtor. “Yes, we’re looking for a three car garage with a house attached. Our garage is the priority as we’ll be miles from absolutely everything and anything we’d ever care to do we want to drive there.” They’re clean, new, fully modern and ‘efficient’ homes I’m sure, but one’s ‘quality of life’ is greatly influenced on where one makes their home and I find these… well, interesting. No doubt our old neighborhood shows it’s wear-n-tear after eighty to a hundred years or more. I wonder what condition this development will be in half as many years.
Me, I love a ‘Porchscape’ pedestrian neighborhood. Likewise, this term is best described by some pics of a neighborhood that looks warm, interesting and inviting even in the snow.
A very enjoyable time as per usual. I don’t think anyone wanted to leave. We hung around yaking for quite some time. I’m guessing there were about a dozen of us. Seems most of the conversation was around the schools and the various educational programs, recent changes, and current initiatives. We talked alot about Horace White park and what’s going on there. We talked about some intriguing upcoming holiday events we may initiate. (more on this as it comes together. shhhh) We talked about city government. A bunch of stuff top-of-mind for the Church Street residents. We’ve a lot of very involved and informed folks among us.
As counter point to the higher minded subjects discussed above, on a more pedestrian note… Given how treacherously icy out it was I was fascinated by a pair of Yaktrax one in the group had used to walk to the gathering.
As an advocate of walking the neighborhood I thought these were very cool. I understand they’re available over at Stanton’s down town. It only takes one spill under these conditions to knock one out of commission. Anyway, I thought these were very cool and will likely pick up a pair.
Just a quick reminder for those living on Church Street that their next regularly scheduled coffee (1st Sunday of the month, 8:00 am) is this Sunday 1/4. C’mon out. Pleasant Street Coffeehouse as per usual. Some folks we’ve not seen for a while.
Also, we’re beginning to reach some critical mass on other streets. This is an enjoyable model other streets could benefit by emulating. We simply need someone to initiate. Interested?
This morning was the most recent monthly Church Street neighbors coffee. This is regularly scheduled on the first Sunday of the month, 8:00 a.m. at the Pleasant Street Coffeehouse. As Bill would say… you’re not there you leave yourself open for us to talk about you.
It’s a good time. Some great conversation including the solutions to many of the worlds problems were presented and now simply await adoption by government leaders… if only they’d ask us. More mundane conversations passed around including:
If you didn’t know the neighbors on Church St. have been meeting for coffee once a month since time immemorial. They’ve been meeting at Pleasant Street Cafe’ on the first Sunday of the month at 8:00 more recently. The purpose is primarily social and Church Street focused. They have been kind enough to welcome some of us non-Church street folks though we recognize it’s primarily a Church street thing and am consious to follow their lead on subjects of interest. It would be grand to see more of the folks living on Church street join them/us.
Anyway, just so you’re in the loop this morning we talked about…
A fundraiser for the Horace White Park. In it’s second year and sponsored by the neighbors on Church Street and friends.
After cleaning out over a hundred pumpkins they were stenciled, carved and put on display in Horace White Park for sale. These neighbors are actively involved in supporting the ongoing improvements to the oldest city park in Beloit. Proceeds will go to the purchase of either a park bench or a tree.
Next year we would invite you to join us. Have to tell you it was a great time. The level of creativity on many of the pumpkins was amazing. Plans for next year’s event are already being discussed. I’d lobby for having it judged. I think the pumpkins were that cool.
Volunteers carving the pumpkins