If you’re in the Adirondacks near Saranac Lake, NY make sure to stop by Donnelly’s Ice Cream on Route 86. A small white building on the side of the road has been making soft serve ice cream since 1953 (with the same ice cream maker!). You line up in and out of the building to order, but only choose your size as their is one flavor per day. Homemade, locally made and a local favorite – what more could you want from ice cream in the summer? There’s plenty of parking and a great view and it’s delicious ice cream. Enjoy!
Preservation ABCs is a series that will work its way from A to Z, bringing words into conversation that are relevant to historic preservation, whether it’s an idea, feature or vocabulary term. The idea is to help you see preservation everywhere you look and wherever you go. Enjoy! See previous letters.
U is for Utilities
Our streets, towns, and cities have telephone lines, fiber optic cables, cell towers, water lines, sewer lines, etc. These are utilities, and they are a fact of life for just about everyone (unless you’re choosing to live “off grid”). Utilities are most often above ground if you’re referring to wires and cables (see this discussion), whereas water and sewer lines are underground. All come into play in all sorts of projects, whether new construction, rehabilitation, or transportation, to name a few. The locations of utilities are important, as is the sustainability of utilities. Are underground wires the better choice for weather related problems?
While utilities wires are a necessity to modern life (until everything is wireless someday), the fact is that there are more wires than in the past. And these wires can obscure viewsheds to and from historic buildings (example seen here). Traffic signals, telephones, cable: sometimes these can be overwhelming in our view. Consider these questions. Should traffic signals have mast arms or overhead wires? Should street lights be attached to telephone poles or separate structures? Where should a traffic signal control box be located? To which part of the house should the utilities connect?
Not sure what you think? The next time you see a telephone pole, count how many wires are strung across it. How would your neighborhood look with wires or without wires (hence, they are underground)? The next time you are in a downtown or neighborhood core, look around. Do you see wires?
What do you think is the best solution? Undergrounding utilities is expensive, but makes an incredible difference, whether people consciously realize it or not.
In Vermont and across the country we all see too many schoolhouses abandoned or neglected. Sometimes these buildings will have better fates: converted to residences, used as community centers, or as a museum. And some have even better fates, like the Root Schoolhouse and the Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse, both of Norwich, VT. These two have recently been listed in the National Register of Historic Places. To celebrate and to raise money for the continued restoration and work on the buildings, there is a wine tasting on Wednesday July 10 in Norwich, VT. See below for details.
Here’s a note from Peter Stanzel of the Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse Association and Brian Cook of the Root District Game Club telling about the event:
In June 2013, two Norwich one-room schoolhouses, Beaver Meadow School (246 Chapel Hill Road) and Root School (987 Union Village Road), were added to the National Register of Historic Places. The two schoolhouses join the Norwich Village Historic District (added in 1991) and the Beaver Meadow Union Chapel (added in 1995) on the Register, the National Park Service’s official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation.On behalf of the members of the Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse Association and the Root District Game Club, the neighborhood groups that have taken care of these buildings for more than sixty years, we would like to thank the Norwich Historic Preservation Commission for initiating the nomination of the schoolhouses to the Register, with special thanks to Peter Brink, Phil Dechert, and Nancy Hoggson for their leadership. Last year, the Commission received a grant from the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation and the National Park Service to hire a consultant to prepare the applications nominating the schoolhouses to the Register. That consultant, architectural historian Lyssa Papazian, did phenomenal work on these applications and we thank her as well.We would like to invite the community to come join us in celebrating the schoolhouses and their addition to the Register. Dan & Whit’s and Norwich Inn will host a wine-tasting fundraiser in support of the Beaver Meadow Schoolhouse Association and the Root District Game Club on Wednesday, July 10, from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at the Inn. Tickets are fifteen dollars if purchased in advance at Dan & Whit’s or twenty dollars if purchased at the door, with six dollars from each ticket sold benefiting our groups. Furthermore, for each bottle of wine purchased at the event, one dollar will be donated to our groups. Many thanks to Dan Fraser for once again inviting the schoolhouses to be the beneficiaries of this fun event.Much work remains in order to preserve and restore the schoolhouses. The schoolhouses’ addition to the National Register of Historic Places is a terrific tool that we believe will help us succeed. Even more important to our success, however, is the increasing support the schoolhouses have received from the community over the past couple of years. Please join us, both on July 10 and beyond!
Preservation is about community, and most often that is why preservation works. So if you’re around, stop by. What sort of preservationist doesn’t like good conversation and wine, right?! And look for more from the Norwich Historical Society and good news about the schoolhouses.
The Old Red Mill (also known as Chittenden Mills) is one of two remaining mills of the eight that once operated on the Brown’s River in Jericho. Chittenden Mills operated as a cabinet shop and starch mill with varying sources of power over the years. Today the building operates as a museum. Read the history from the Jericho Historical Society.
Just in time for the holiday weekend!
Nice Ride Minnesota offered the perfect way to tour the beautiful Minneapolis. Here are some of the sites along my travels: bike paths, bridges, museums, and buildings, all on a gorgeous day!
My one concern: where was I supposed to find ice cream? Otherwise, thanks for the hospitality, Minneapolis!
Photos of Minnesota’s SIA 2013 adventures will continue to appear; I can’t get enough!