Friday, October 24, 2008

We ate, we drank, we learned about historic windows, in a not so sleepy downtown

A preview of what downtown can and should be? That’s what I saw last night. An event at the YMCA, an event at the Grand and our educational window restoration workshop at the historic Baer Building (future home to the River City Winery).

For a period of time we actually had a legitimate parking problem downtown. Pedestrians moved briskly up and down the streets. Some, in the case of our workshop, visiting New Albany for the first time.

There was hustle and there was bustle, exactly as there should be.

Our head count topped 40. We drank locally crafted wine. We ate food provided by a downtown eatery. We sat in a historic building, being exquisitely restored, that will be home to a winery, business offices and restaurant. We were educated about sustaining important resources – historic wooden windows. And we contributed to a vibrant downtown scene. It was a fun night.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Bloomington Road Trip! – The Cornelius O'Brien Conference on Historic Preservation

It’s good to get out of town every now and then. Last Thursday and Friday I attended the Cornelius O'Brien Conference on Historic Preservation in Bloomington which was hosted by Indiana University and sponsored by the DHPA and Indiana Main Street Program.

It was my first extended stay in Bloomington. You can color me impressed.

The economic engine of 37,000 college students has dramatic impact to the city (I can only imagine what our downtown would look like were the IUS campus a bit closer).

Here are two of my highlights from the visit, which oddly aren’t directly related to preservation.

Walking Tour of New Construction*:

I thought these were three good examples of new construction in a downtown setting. This tour drew my attention, as I’m certain that more new construction is on the way to New Albany. Your thoughts on the designs?

*The Von Lee is a hybrid new construction – a lot of what you see on the first floor is from an older structure. The upper stories are new.

Indiana Artisan Program

If you are an artist interested in expanding your market you need to get a hold of Eric Freeman, Project Manager for the Indiana Artisan program. I’m serious - he wants to hear from you. Email him at or call 317-607-8715.

The program will promote handcrafted art, provide grant funding for business development, as well as help develop tourism related artisan related trails and outlets throughout the state.

Check it out.

Monday, October 13, 2008

How Ted Spends a Rare Vacation

It’s been a rarity this year but, I’ve got some time off. The “to do” list is monstrous and hopelessly unachievable given the time allotted for completion (one week). So I should probably get off of the computer and get to work.

A slide show summary of progress after three good weather days is below. The north side of the home had been the primary goal for 2008. It’s coming along nicely. Everything is primed, caulked and ready for paint.

The last couple slides are of a single window which got my attention all of today. I had some surprises: missing chunks of wood, some rot in the window sill and a lucky number 13. The number 13 has some significance and I found it altogether fitting that I’d find it under a dozen coats of paint today.

It was there because back in the day numbered stamps were placed in windows sills that matched numbered storm windows which were normally removed during warm weather months. The stamped numbers made it easy to keep track of what storm went with each window.

Why it was fitting that I found 13 will be a post topic in the near future.