Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Jamestown's Cityscape Designs

Jamestown Post-Journal, 5/9/2012.

Excerpt: The concept of a more walkable Jamestown is not new, though.

"Complete Streets is explicitly endorsed by the Neighborhood Plan, and it's sort of implied by the Urban Design Plan," said Peter Lombardi, Jamestown Renaissance Corporation neighborhood initiatives director.

Jamestown's Transportation and Streetscape Enhancement Plan seeks to improve the walkability in the city. It states that city's streets should provide connectivity between neighborhoods, facilitate the movement of pedestrians, goods and services, and offer an attractive setting to both local citizens and visitors alike.

The plan is the next step in implementing the vision for downtown revitalization set forth in the city's recently Completed Urban Design Plan.

Jeff Lehman, Public Works director, said that the city would like to have better flowing street, pedestrian and bike traffic, but it's a difficult feat. The problem we have is there is only so much room," he said. "We're stuck within existing right-of-ways, as there is only so much room on city streets."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

75th Anniversary of Warren's Municipal Building

Excerpt:  The building at the northeast corner of Hickory Street and Third Avenue was dedicated on May 3, 1937. 

At that time, it replaced a 70-year-old structure on the southeast corner of the same intersection. 

The property was acquired from the School District of Warren Borough on July 31, 1936, for the sum of $20,000, according to a copy of the deed. 

The town council and Burgess (Mayor) Raymond W. Steber approved the purchase. Historical documents provided by City Planner David Hildebrand show the general contractor for the construction was E.L. Van Sickle of Bradford and the architect was Lowrie & Green of Harrisburg. 

The total cost of the project was $119,274 with construction taking $92,307 of that. 

The Borough of Warren was awarded a Federal Public Works Administration Grant of $52,560, according to the minutes of a 1936 borough council meeting.

"This structure replaces a municipal building which was 70 years old, which had been remodeled several times, and had passed the point of economic usefulness," a historic document said. "The plan is H-shaped, 137 by 101 feet over all." 

Construction was completed in January 1937.

Downtown Jamestown for Sale

Jamestown Post-Journal, 4/22/2012.

Excerpt:   Out with the old, in with the new. 

Currently, downtown Jamestown offers a large selection of buildings which could be purchased for the installation of new businesses. Several notable buildings downtown, such as the Jamestown post office, currently display "for sale" signs in front of them. 

Other buildings for sale include the TEW Mansion on the corner of Fifth and Main streets, the office complex on the corner of Second Street and Foote Avenue and the law office building at 8 E. Fourth St. Though the number of prominent buildings for sale downtown would suggest that businesses are leaving the city, many realtors in charge of selling the vacant buildings believe there is a transition taking place downtown rather than an exodus.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Areas To Improve in Jamestown, New York

Jamestown Post-Journal, 4/16/2012.

Excerpt: Jamestown has a few claims to fame which the city wears proudly upon its sleeve. Every year, the city hosts Lucy Fest, which attracts tourists from all across the country into the city. Jamestown has the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, the Robert H. Jackson center and the Chautauqua Institution only a short drive away which also attracts tourists. However, Jamestown is a far cry from being a year-round tourist destination. Dolce discussed a few ways which he believes Jamestown could gain some noteriety by placing more emphasis on events it already hosts.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Front portion of Rockford's Midway Theatre can be saved

Rockford Register Star, 4/3/2011.

Excerpt:   A theater where once up to 2,000 people would gather to watch “Jaws” in 1975 and “Caddyshack” in 1980 is likely headed for emergency demolition. 

City building inspectors are checking the shaky Midway Theatre twice daily after a partial roof collapse March 23 because of concerns over its structural integrity. Because it’s a designated historic landmark, every option for saving it is being considered. 

The bowstring lattice structure and roof over the theater portion of the building are so badly deteriorated that it appears unlikely that part can be saved and is probably going to require demolition, said Todd Cagnoni, Rockford deputy director of community and economic development.

Saw A Hole in the Head here in the summer of 1959. The theater is located about a mile from where my grandparents, Herman and Anna Nelson, lived at 1815 Charles Street.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

31 Elm Street in Downtown Springfield Mass

Proposed redevelopment of Springfield Court Square office building draws strong tenant interest. (Springfield Republican, 3/10/2012)

Excerpt:    A key to the current project’s success will be applications for state historic preservation tax credits for the building constructed in 1892, Panteleakis said. 

Under OPAL’s proposal, the first floor would be developed for retail use, and the next four floors would be for office/institutional space. 

The top floor is slated for market rate housing, but that is being re-evaluated due to the strong interest for office space, Panteleakis said. The interest thus far has been mostly from tenants in professional services such as law firms, Panteleakis said. The retail interest has included conversations with representatives of a pub and restaurant, dry cleaners, a health club, flower shop and a bank, he said.