Monday, June 22, 2009

Gonna get me Shotgun and... Rehab it!

Reinventing the Shotgun House for Contemporary Living: A Workshop for Fans and Friends of the Shotgun

"I love shotgun houses. But I don't want to walk from the front to the back without going through all of the rooms!"

Ron Stiller, local architect with special interest in historic buildings says a shotgun's interior can be changed to accommodate today's living styles. And on Tuesday, June 30, if you attend our workshop, you can learn to redesign the interior of a shotgun house for contemporary living while leaving the exterior in tact. Attend "Reinventing the Shotgun House for Contemporary Living" at Carnegie Center, 201 E Spring Street, New Albany, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM.

Ron Stiller, himself a shotgun house owner, explains how room additions can sensitively accommodate today’s living styles without sacrificing architectural character. Ron shows examples of designs for installing stairs to a second floor, solving problems of privacy, the cost of changing the interior design, and how modifications can conserve energy.

Real estate broker Ed Clere discusses from a real estate appreciation and sale perspective how to evaluate a shotgun house and its renovation to maximize its value.

The workshop -- free and open to the public – requires reservations by calling Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana – 812 284- 4534. Sponsors: Historic Landmarks Foundation and Develop New Albany.

Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana, the largest statewide or local preservation group in the U.S., saves, restores, and protects places of architectural and historical significance. From its ten offices, Historic Landmarks leads and assists others in rescuing endangered landmarks and preserving buildings and districts. Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana is a private, not-for-profit organization. For more information, call Historic Landmarks, 317-639-4534/800-450-4534 or visit

Develop New Albany, Inc., a non-profit organization composed of businesses and community volunteers commits its resources to the economic revitalization and historic preservation of Downtown New Albany. For more information, call Develop New Albany, 812-941-0018 or 812-949-4900, or visit

Submitted by Judy Martin, Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Seeing Green. Touring Green. Contemplating Green.

There’s been much discussion recently about Adaptive Reuse. I’m pleased. And not just because I like the topic. I’m pleased because the discussion is taking place here in New Albany and there has been something rare in these parts – consensus.

I’m speaking of the historic Coyle building of course. Click below to start a slideshow of the current building.

I commend all involved in the potential project and look forward to this historic building and large block being reused and contributing to the continued revitalization of New Albany.

Good Timing

Call it a stroke of planning genius (or dumb luck) but back in May a visit had been planned to The Green Building in Louisville. A group of interested New Albanians, including city representatives, wanted to see this historic and LEED certified building. The tour was yesterday. Click below to view the slide show.

It was an inspiring tour. The Green Building sets a standard in the area. There’s much to learn and take away from the project. Perhaps one day soon we’ll be giving tours of our own standard setting project at the Coyle site?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Don’t Be Afraid of the Friendly Street

There has been a posting hiatus here at Our History because of recent travels. The hiatus is now over.

One of my recent destinations was Germany. The most amazing thing about the visit, besides the breweries in and around Bamberg, was how easy it was to move around town without a car.

Which leads me to this question:

Is there anything scary in this photograph?

That street is walkable and bike accessible. It’s a friendly street. Why are some New Albanians so afraid of this photograph? Why is there fear-mongering about traffic calming, bike lanes and converting one-way drag strips to two-way streets?

Can anyone honestly tell me that an investment to upgrade an existing street in New Albany to look like this would be a bad investment? Would this not be an improvement to “quality of life” in the area?

Perhaps it is just “change” that frightens some. Unfortunately the world is changing. The future that is coming includes streets that look like this one.