first 100% wind-powered town in America, I happened upon the website for Rock Port's Atchison County Memorial Building. Built in 1921 in honor of World War I veterans, the building is a National Historic Landmark, says the website, but it is falling apart. Rather than see this impressive edifice crumble, locals have formed a non-profit foundation to restore the Memorial Building and protect its place as a cultural center for the community. The building still gets some use as a theater, and the Foundation wants to keep it going. The Foundation's goals include fixing up the building inside and out, installing a veterans museum and walk of honor, and establish an ongoing maintenance endowment.Reading up on Rock Port, Missouri, the
The first phase, exterior renovation, is expected to cost $548,000. Subsequent phases will rack up another $1,750,000.
So Rock Port, town of 1300, looks at that big price tag, and do they say, "No way—we can't afford that"? Nope: they start fundraising. The Foundation has raised $200,000 so far, including a number of individuals and groups who have each kicked in more than $5000, and they are applying for various tax credits through the Neighborhood Assistance Program.
So look at that building: impressive architecture, big columns, a unique building in the middle of town that everyone sees as they pass through. A building that can establish the identity of a the downtown area and the entire community. A solid old building that a community effort could restore to grandeur.
Sound familiar, Madisonites? Anyone getting any bright ideas?
Guest column: Bob Mercer’s important role in Pierre - This guest column was written by Noel Hamiel, a retired editor and publisher of numerous South Dakota newspapers, including Yankton and Mitchell newspapers...
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