Jumat, 21 November 2008
Stuck in Traffic
Springfield, IL did NOT get the Simpson's movie. That means little to me but to some broadcasters it is the opening line for so-called news stories here in Lincoln's land.
It seems some business folks in town, who are really great people, chose to buy a home from the Lincoln era. This particular home recently ended up in the shadows of a newly constructed medical facility expansion. The property, and therefore the house, was scheduled to become - of all things - a parking lot. The couple purchased the home and had to move it within the designated time allowed by the medical facility and fortunately they had already purchased a lot in the historical area.
That's the background.
Sunday was moving day. A firm from St. Louis arrived with the equipment and talent to move the 300 ton brick structure. Streets were closed; a tree was removed and limbs from others cut off. Signs were taken down to let the house pass along the to its new destination. Nine hours and five blocks later the house arrived.
Did I mention Mr. Lincoln helped find financing for the house, something like $650 +/- a few? He did. Therein, the increased interest in the home - a Lincoln connection. The house is the Maisenbacher Home. They took really good care of it, apparently.
Back to the move, or what was clearly about to become the partial move.
Let me put you on hold momentarily and bring you up to speed on the side stories. You see I dawdled a while at the local Barnes & Noble Monday. We don't get the newspaper at our house anymore so when the house move came up in a discussion with 3 strangers I was interested. The new owners are personal friends of mine and former clients. That has no impact on the events other than I can vouch for them being good citizens and right-hearted, decent people. Anyway, I learned of a conversation one of these new acquaintances had while standing and watching the move. He was talking to the guy who was to put in the foundation.
The question presented was "How are you going to do this?" The answer was "I don't have a clue."
Are you starting to see the concern, soon to become a problem? Yes, the house is passing in front of the man who is in charge of building a foundation for it so WHERE is the house going to be placed now? The lot is small; the house is clearly large enough that it was wider than the street.
By the way, local radio media has taken to referring to this one block section of a side street as a "major thoroughfare".
The house resides in the street at this time.
Springfield's mayor thought he could slide a request for Tax Incentive Financing (TIF) into the hands of the aldermen, without them seeing it. Something along the lines of $822,000 was his idea. This was to help with the cost of the foundation and the renovation. Ouch. One alderman saw it. Now not every time one alderman sees something does he/she share it with the others; that's not the governmental way, folks. But in this case he did and the hands went up. It was a verbal brawl.
The new owners are in the middle of it all while their new prospective business is in the middle of the street.
See for yourselves.
Springfield was making great headway when President-Elect used the Old State Capitol as the backdrop for his announcements and it received a lot of attention.
This story will probably be even bigger news.
Stay tuned. More will follow undoubtedly. There's just no way around this house.