DES MOINES, Iowa, May 25, 2011 - Agriculture Under Secretary for Rural Development Dallas Tonsager today was presented with the 2011 Main Street Leadership Award by the National Trust for Historic Preservation in honor of USDA's support to revitalize rural commercial areas. He accepted the award on behalf of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
 
"USDA, and especially the Rural Development mission area, is honored to receive this prestigious award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation" said Tonsager. "Main street America drives the rural economy.  Our work with the Trust helps ensure that the nation's small town main streets are restored as vibrant and economic engines of their communities.  A healthy main street is a sign of a strong, growing local economy."
 
     The National Trust Main Street Leadership Award is presented annually and recognizes individuals or organizations that have provided strong leadership either locally or nationally in making significant, lasting contributions to commercial district revitalization; inspiring actions that can be duplicated in other communities; and making long-term contributions to a community's revitalization over time.
 
     USDA was recognized for its support through the Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) and the Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) program which seek to create jobs, strengthen business, offer training and financial assistance to local entrepreneurs in rural communities. The goal of the RCDI program is to develop the capacity and ability of private, nonprofit community-based housing and community development organizations, and low- income rural communities to undertake projects related to housing, community facilities, community and economic development projects in rural areas. For more information visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/HAD-RCDI_Grants.html.
 
   The RBEG program provides grants for rural projects that finance and facilitate development of small and emerging rural businesses help fund distance learning networks, and help fund employment related adult education programs. To learn more about this program, visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/BCP-LoanAndGrants.html.
 
For example, in 2009, Main Street Momence (Momence, Ill.) received a $99,000 Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG) as seed capital to establish a revolving loan fund that businesses in the area could use to revitalize the Main Street. The local government of Kankakee County matched the federal funding with $50,000. Four neighborhood businesses used their loans to refurbish, expand, and maintain their businesses and helped create or save 27 full time jobs 20 part-time jobs.
 
   USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure and facility programs through a national network of state and local offices. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America. Rural Development has an existing portfolio of more than $150 billion in loans and loan guarantees. Visit http://www.rurdev.usda.gov for additional information about the agency's programs or to locate the USDA Rural Development office nearest you.
 
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With Japan's nuclear crisis and a wave of instability crossing the Middle East, pols and pundits are turning again to the question of our energy future. Will civil war and strife disrupt access to oil and our way of life? Can the United States change its century-old pattern of relying heavily upon petroleum?

People will reach different answers to these questions and draw different conclusions about what to do. It would be helpful, however, if everyone could get the factual premises right.

Unfortunately, one thing all too many observers have in common is an erroneous understanding of what the term "proven oil reserves" means. The myths surrounding this oft-cited figure are pervasive. And there's no way to have a realistic conversation about energy without getting facts and definitions straight.

ROCK ISLAND, Ill. -  March 4, 2011 - In anticipation of spring snowmelt and rainfall, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, is ensuring its three Iowa reservoirs are ready for increased inflows to assist in reducing the risk of downstream flooding.

Saylorville Lake in Johnston, Iowa, is currently at 836.32 feet (0.35 percent of flood storage used); approximately one-third foot above its normal pool elevation of 836 feet due to increased inflow into the reservoir. As inflows decrease, the reservoir level will be maintained at the normal pool elevation in anticipation of spring rain and snowmelt runoff. The normal conservation pool represents 11.5 percent (23.9 billion gallons) of Saylorville Lake's total storage capacity of 184.7 billion gallons. Fluctuation of the pool level will result from snowmelt and rainfall entering the reservoir.

The Saylorville Lake project encompasses 25,515 acres of land and water and provides 13 recreation sites. An estimated 1,300,000 visits occurred in fiscal year 2010 with an economic impact of approximately $27,000,000. Since its completion in 1977, the reservoir has prevented more than $183,500,000* in flood-related damages.

Coralville Lake in Iowa City, Iowa, is currently at 681.1 feet; approximately 2.1 feet above its spring conservation pool elevation of 679 feet and is being lowered to reach that elevation. As inflows decrease, the reservoir level will be maintained at the spring pool elevation in anticipation of spring rain and snowmelt runoff. The spring pool is four feet below Coralville Lake's normal (summer) pool elevation of 683 feet and provides approximately 4 billion gallons of additional flood storage. The spring pool represents 3.7 percent (5.11 billion gallons) of Coralville Lake's total storage capacity of 128 billion gallons. Fluctuation of the pool level will result from snowmelt and rainfall entering the reservoir.

The Coralville Lake project encompasses 24,591 acres of land and water and provides 11 recreation sites. An estimated 1,138,090 visits occurred in fiscal year 2010 with an economic impact of approximately $22,400,000. Since its completion in 1958, the reservoir has prevented more than $184,000,000* in flood-related damages.

Lake Red Rock in Knoxville, Iowa, is currently at 734.36 feet (0.0 percent of flood storage used); approximately 7.6 feet below its normal pool elevation of 742 feet. The pool level was lowered to replace the dam's Tainter gate cables and complete additional construction work to bring the reservoir to its full functional capability. As inflows increase, the reservoir level will be maintained at the normal pool elevation in anticipation of spring rain and snowmelt runoff. The normal conservation pool represents approximately 11.6 percent (61.59 billion gallons) of Lake Red Rock's total storage capacity of 467.92 billion gallons.

The Lake Red Rock project encompasses 50,300 acres of land and water and provides 11 recreation sites. An estimated 741,250 visits occurred in fiscal year 2010 with an economic impact of approximately $14,300,000. Since its completion in 1969, the reservoir has prevented more than $559,000,000* in flood-related damages.

Reservoir pool levels are maintained for authorized project purposes which include flood control, water supply (Saylorville Lake only), low flow augmentation, fish and wildlife management and recreation. Lowering pool levels an additional amount in the spring could result in bank sloughing, increases the risk for fish kills and significantly increases the potential for ice jams at the controlling works which could impact reservoir releases and cause pool levels to rise more rapidly. Additionally, lowering reservoirs beyond their authorized level does not afford significant flood storage capacity as empty reservoirs would fill to flood storage capacity within 18 to 33 hours during flood events similar to 2008.

For more information about the District's reservoir operations, visit the reservoir website on the WWW @:

* Flood-related damages are not indexed for 2011 price levels. Figures are representative of the year in which they occurred.

Announcement at Pheasant Fest Marks 25th Anniversary of CRP, Opens New Conservation Opportunities to Landowners 

OMAHA, Jan. 28, 2011 – Speaking today at National Pheasant Fest 2011, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the next general signup for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) will begin on March 14, 2011, and continue through April 15, 2011. This is the second consecutive year that USDA has offered a general CRP signup.

"Over the past 25 years, support for CRP has grown thanks to strong backing from farmers, ranchers, conservationists, hunters, fishermen and other outdoor sports enthusiasts," said Vilsack. "Not only has CRP contributed to the national effort to improve water and air quality, it has preserved habitat for wildlife, and prevented soil erosion by protecting the most sensitive areas including those prone to flash flooding and runoff. Today's announcement continues the Obama Administration's effort to conserve sensitive areas and improve wildlife habitat."

Through CRP, eligible landowners receive annual rental payments and cost-share assistance to establish long-term, resource conserving covers on eligible farmland. Land can be enrolled for a period of up to 15 years. During the general signup period, farmers and ranchers may offer eligible land at their county Farm Service Agency (FSA) office. Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring this fall may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this signup are scheduled to become effective Oct. 1, 2011. The general sign-up for CRP will not affect cropped acres for this growing season. Acres will be enrolled in the program in the fall.

To help ensure that interested farmers and ranchers are aware of the signup period, USDA has signed partnership agreements with several conservation and wildlife organizations that will play an active role in USDA's 2011 CRP outreach efforts. They include; Pheasants Forever, Ducks Unlimited, National Association of State Foresters, Playa Lakes Joint Venture (Lesser Prairie Chicken/Sage Grouse), and the Longleaf Incorporated Bobwhite Conservation Initiative.

The FSA implements CRP on behalf of Commodity Credit Corporation. FSA will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environmental benefits to be gained from enrolling the land in CRP. The EBI consists of five environmental factors (wildlife, water, soil, air and enduring benefits) and cost. Decisions on the EBI cutoff will be made after the sign-up ends and after analyzing the EBI data of all the offers.

In addition to the general sign-up, CRP's continuous sign-up program will be ongoing. Continuous acres represent the most environmentally desirable and sensitive land. For more information, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.

CRP protects millions of acres of American topsoil from erosion and is designed to safeguard the Nation's natural resources. By reducing water runoff and sedimentation, CRP protects groundwater and helps improve the condition of lakes, rivers, ponds, and streams. Acreage enrolled in the CRP is planted to resource-conserving vegetative covers, making the program a major contributor to increased wildlife populations in many parts of the country. Through the 2008 Farm Bill, CRP is authorized for a maximum enrollment of 32 million acres. USDA estimates that contracts on 3.3 million to 6.5 million acres are scheduled to expire annually between now and 2014.

Without action, two million Americans will lose coverage

WASHINGTON, D.C. –Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) today joined 28 senators in calling for a vote to preserve unemployment insurance for another year.  Without action, benefits for workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own will begin to expire on Tuesday, November 30.  In a letter sent to Senate leadership, the senators urged a continuation of the unemployment benefits program through December 31, 2011.

The senators wrote: "Currently, the national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.  At the current rate, without a reauthorization, we would cut the life line that millions of Americans use to stay afloat.  Equally importantly, we would endanger our fragile economic recovery by reducing the amount Americans spend on groceries, utilities and other basic needs."

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, if Congress fails to take action, two million workers will lose their unemployment benefits this December.   Each month after that, over one million more would fall off the rolls.  By April 2011, six million workers would be without benefits.

Preserving unemployment benefits will not only provide vital assistance to laid off workers and their families, it will have a significant benefit to the economy.  Goldman Sachs has said that an expiration of unemployment benefits would cause economic growth to fall by half a percentage point.  The Economic Policy Institute has said that extending benefits would increase the gross domestic product by 0.7 percent and create the full-time equivalent of 723,000 jobs.  A U.S. Department of Labor report commissioned by the Bush Administration found that unemployment benefits in the recent recession saved 1.6 million jobs per quarter and lowered the unemployment rate by 1.2 percent.

The letter is signed by Senators Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Mark Begich (D-AK), Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Roland W. Burris (D-IL), Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD), Robert Casey (D-PA), Christopher J. Dodd (D-CT), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Al Franken (D-MN), Kirsten E. Gillibrand (D-NY), John F. Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Frank R. Lautenberg (D-NJ), Patrick J. Leahy (D-VT), Carl Levin (D-MI), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Barbara A. Mikulski (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Jack Reed (D-RI), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Tom Udall (D-NM), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

The text of the letter sent to the Senate Majority Leader and Chairman of the Finance Committee is below:

The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
United States Senate
S-221, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Max Baucus
Chairman, Finance Committee
United States Senate
511 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Majority Leader Reid and Chairman Baucus,

We are writing to urge a reauthorization of the current federal unemployment benefits programs through December 31, 2011.  As our nation continues to battle high unemployment rates, we must act immediately to continue vital safety net coverage for those most in need.

With nearly 15 million Americans unemployed and the number of unemployed expected to remain high beyond 2011, a long-term renewal of the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and full federal funding of the Extended Benefit programs are necessary to keep our economy on the road to recovery, as well as to keep food on the table and a roof over the head of families across America.  

For the past six decades, Congress has provided federally funded unemployment insurance benefits during every recession.  Further, federal unemployment insurance benefits have always been provided until the economy was on a stable path of growth.  In fact, the highest unemployment rate at which federally funded unemployment benefits were not extended was 7.2 percent.  Currently, the national unemployment rate is 9.6 percent.  At the current rate, without a reauthorization, we would cut the life line that millions of Americans use to stay afloat.  Equally importantly, we would endanger our fragile economic recovery by reducing the amount Americans spend on groceries, utilities and other basic needs.  A reduction in consumer spending would cause a direct negative impact on the economic recovery.  Goldman Sachs has estimated that if federal unemployment benefits are allowed to expire, growth would fall by half a percentage point.  An end to this vital safety net program would not only harm millions of Americans, it would also be counterproductive in spurring economic growth.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, if Congress fails to take action, two million workers will lose their unemployment benefits this December.   Each month after that, over 1 million more would fall off the rolls, and by April 2011, 6 million workers would be without benefits.  When there is a single job for every five unemployed workers, ending federally funded unemployment insurance programs will only send more Americans on the path to poverty.  

We understand the fiscal concerns that arise when debating a continuation of unemployment insurance programs.  However, a broad spectrum of economists has stated that these benefits have a significant stimulative effect and a greater impact on gross domestic product than most other federal programs.  In fact, the Economic Policy Institute has stated that an extension of federally funded extended benefits would increase gross domestic product by 0.7 percent and save or create the full-time equivalent of 723,000 jobs.  A U.S. Department of Labor report, commissioned during the Bush Administration, has found that unemployment benefits during the most recent recession saved 1.6 million jobs per quarter, lowered the unemployment rate by 1.2 percentage points, and reduced the decline in gross domestic product by 18.3 percent.  Based on this information, now is not the time to end federally funded unemployment benefits.

Federally funded benefits will begin to expire on November 30th.  Due to the impending date, we request action be taken immediately to reauthorize these important benefits through December 31, 2011.  We thank you for your consideration of our request.  As we recover from the worst recession since the 1930s, we are committed to ensuring our constituents are able to properly provide for their families.   

WASHINGTON - Senator Chuck Grassley, along with Senators Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ron Wyden of Oregon, sent a letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Chairman Daniel Akaka and Ranking Member Richard Burr requesting their support in passing the "Honor America's Guard-Reserve Retirees Act" yet this year.

The legislation grants full Veteran status to National Guard and Reserve members who served for 20 or more years and who through no fault of their own were never activated.

"Veteran is a title that honors America's selfless service members with proper dignity and respect," Grassley said. "Unfortunately, there has been an injustice for many National Guard and Reservists whose service to their country has not been fully recognized.  I support this legislation that corrects this inequality and grants them the recognition they have earned."

Click here to read Grassley's letter.

The next meeting for the Scott County Historic Preservation Society (SCHPS)  will be held on March 11, 2010 at 7pm at the Beer Cellar Room at the Front Street Brewery located at 208 E. River Dr., Davenport, IA
Dr. Frank Claudy will perform on the Irish flute, playing authentic music of Ireland. Come early for optional dinner from 6-7pm
For more information contact Duane Timm at bigdaddydtimm@yahoo.com or  563-323-4088.

"A mixed economy is a mixture of freedom and controls -- with no principles, rules, or theories to define either. Since the introduction of controls necessitates and leads to further controls, it is an unstable, explosive mixture which, ultimately, has to repeal the controls or collapse into dictatorship." -- Ayn Rand, "The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus," 1965

The Republicans, it seems, often cannot do anything right -- and, now, we are hearing that directly from the mouth of no less an authority than the chair of the Republican National Committee himself. Michael Steele, in his new book Right Now: A 12-Step Program for Defeating the Obama Agenda, is convinced that Republicans have "screwed up" for the most part since Ronald Reagan was president.

Well, there's certainly no doubt of that. From Bush Senior's violation of his now-famous "Read my lips: no new taxes" pledge to Bush Junior's bogus "weapons of mass destruction" invasion of Iraq, the Republicans have presided over, and been directly responsible for, some of the most explosive and imperialistic growth of government in history -- while, it should be added, enjoying a majority in both houses of Congress from 2003 through 2007.

On Saturday, October 3, the Deere & Company world headquarters in Moline will be one of nine historic sites honored by Landmarks Illinois as part of the 15th-annual Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. Situated on 1,400 acres of land and spanning a man-made ravine, the Deere & Company headquarters was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and is an icon of the Modern movement. Completed in 1964, the original seven-story office complex was the first architectural design to use Cor-Ten steel as a primary building material. For more information on the awards, visit Landmarks.org/awards.htm.



Chicago, Ill. - On Saturday, October 3, the Deere & Company World Headquarters will be one of nine historic sites honored by Landmarks Illinois as part of the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards. This 15th-annual event honors individuals, organizations and projects throughout the state that represent excellence in historic preservation.

Situated on 1,400 acres of land and spanning a man-made ravine, the Deere & Company World Headquarters in Moline was designed by architect Eero Saarinen and is an icon of the Modern movement.  Completed in 1964, the original seven-story office complex is the first architectural design to use Cor-Ten steel as a primary building material.

The surrounding landscape, designed by Hideo Sasaki & Associates, includes artwork by abstract sculptor Henry Moore. The sleek, contemporary campus quickly became a model for office complexes during the latter half of the 20th century. In 1978, the company expanded, adding a 200,000-square-foot addition by Saarinen's successor firm, Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo & Associates.

The complex has won numerous design awards and is included on the American Institute of Architect's list of 150 Great Places in Illinois. For 45 years, Deere & Company has maintained this groundbreaking headquarters building through continuous care and meticulous attention to detail throughout its evolution.

"We were extremely pleased with the quality of award submissions received this year," said Jim Peters, president & CEO of Landmarks Illinois. "The nine winners are truly representative of the most successful, innovative and inspiring preservation work in Illinois."

Since 1994, Landmarks Illinois has been assisted by a generous grant from the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation to honor those whose works demonstrate a commitment to excellence in historic preservation and inspire others to take action to preserve, protect and promote historic resources throughout Illinois.

The award itself is a small-scale replica of the entrance arch and a portion of the Trading Room from Louis Sullivan's Chicago Stock Exchange building, which was demolished in 1972. The fight to save this important part of Chicago's built environment led to the founding of Landmarks Illinois in 1971. In addition, winners receive a $500 cash award.

The awards ceremony will be held October 3, from 4:30?7:30 p.m. at The Chicago Club and is open to the public. Tickets are available at $40 for members and $50 for non-members. To make a reservation, contact Landmarks Illinois at 312-922-1742 no later than September 30th.

Landmarks Illinois would like to thank the members of this year's awards jury for generously donating their time and expertise: Clark Christensen, AIA Historic Resources Committee; Marty Harper, Landmarks Illinois Board of Trustees; Christina Morris, National Trust for Historic Preservation - Midwest Regional Office; Anthony Rubano, Illinois Historic Preservation Agency; and Jennifer Fritz-Williams, City of Elgin - Planning and Neighborhood Services.

For more information about the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation Preservation Awards, visit www.Landmarks.org.

The other eight award winners are:

Sears, Roebuck and Co. Power House  Chicago

Project of the Year

Located in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood, this industrial power house was completed in 1905 as one of four main buildings designed by the architectural firm of Nimmons & Fellows for the Sears, Roebuck and Company world headquarters. This structure generated steam, electricity and compressed air, providing power to the entire 55-acre complex. Following the company's relocation to the Sears Tower in 1973, the power house declined in use, and was fully decommissioned in 2004. Developer Charles H. Shaw and the Homan Arthington Foundation partnered with the Henry Ford Learning Institute to create an adaptive use plan that converted the former power house into a state-of-the-art educational facility. As part of the rehabilitation, original machinery was documented and portions were preserved for incorporation into the classrooms and common areas. The school opened its doors to students this fall, offering a math and science-based curriculum that prepares students for the future while paying homage to Chicago's early technological success.

Heimbach Residence Blue Island

Restoration

Designed by Bertrand Goldberg in 1939, this small-scale building is an early example of the architect's work. Commissioned by Dr. Aaron Heimbach, the house featured both residential living space and an office for the owner's medical practice. After Dr. Heimbach's death in 1980, subsequent owners made numerous changes to Goldberg's design. The current owners purchased the home in 1997 and, in 2004, they embarked on a four-year, multi-phase restoration effort. Work included tuckpointing and masonry replacement, reconstruction of the second floor terrace, reglazing of over 90 windows, and a full upgrade of the house's heating and electrical systems which required tearing out and repouring the concrete slab throughout the entire first floor. The awards jury praised the owners, saying "the extent of the work and the visibility of this house make it a model for Blue Island preservation." The Heimbach house is one of only six surviving residential designs by Goldberg, and is now protected by local landmark status.

Garrison School Lofts and Town Homes  Rockford

Rehabilitation

This 1887 brick Italianate, located in the Signal Hill neighborhood, is the oldest surviving schoolhouse in Rockford. Designed by local architect George Bradley, the main building, an 1892 addition and a 1920 gymnasium (Peterson & Johnson, architects) sat vacant for 12 years before the Morrissey Family purchased the complex for redevelopment in 2001.  Conscious of the property's historic importance to the community, the owners pursued and were granted listing on the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. The school and gymnasium were carefully rehabilitated and retain many of their historic architectural details, which were incorporated into new residential units. The revitalization of these two buildings, plus 18 new townhomes on the adjacent lot, has been a catalyst for broader community revitalization efforts.

Overton Hygienic Building  Chicago

Rehabilitation

Located within Chicago's Black Metropolis - Bronzeville Historic District and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this 1922 building was designed by architect Z. Erol Smith and built using funds raised by the local African-American community. This four-story, 31,000 square-foot office building originally housed Anthony Overton's cosmetic company and some of the first commercial real estate in the city marketed and leased exclusively to the black community. By the 1980s, the building had been abandoned, and it sat vacant and deteriorating for the next 20 years. In 2006, the Davis Group LLC began an extensive restoration of the building which included replacement of 300 terra cotta pieces and the replication of 117 wooden-sash windows. At street level, 1,300 square feet of storefront space that had been previously boarded up was rehabilitated, creating a more inviting atmosphere along the State Street corridor. The awards jury noted that "the rehabilitation of the Overton Hygienic Building, an anchor within the community, is paving the way for further revitalization within the neighborhood."

Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley  Geneva

Advocacy

A gift from Norway during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition, this Viking ship replica sailed across the Atlantic and served as a major attraction during the fair. For many years, the ship was in dry dock in Chicago's Lincoln Park Zoo but it was eventually relocated to its current site in Good Templar Park during the mid-1990s. After more than a century of exposure to the elements and numerous relocations, the ship was in need of a more permanent preservation solution. In the winter of 2006-07, the Viking ship was named to both the Fox Valley and statewide lists of endangered historic resources. Soon afterwards, the ship was selected as one of 25 candidates to compete in the Chicagoland Partners in Preservation Grant challenge. Co-sponsored by American Express and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the online voting process lasted four weeks and prompted a creative "Get out the Vote" campaign by this local grassroots organization. Finishing in 2nd place, the Viking Ship stabilization effort was awarded 100% of the requested funds, which have been used to rebuild the structural support system, repair cracks in the wood, and provide a secure shelter and viewing platform for the vessel. The jury remarked that "without the work of the Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley, the fate of this rare and invaluable historic resource would still be in jeopardy."

Pacesetter Gardens Riverdale

Rehabilitation

At the time of its construction in 1960, Pacesetter Gardens signified a new era of suburban homebuilding. These attached row houses, designed by architect and developer Harry M. Quinn, received national media attention upon their completion and helped spark a new trend in home design. Pacesetter provided housing opportunities to families who were unable to afford a single-family home by offering a rent-to-own option. As early as the 1970s, however, the units fell victim to neglect at the hands of absentee landlords, eventually leading to the deterioration of both the buildings and the community as a whole. With the help of elected officials, federal, state and local grants were obtained for a neighborhood revitalization effort that preserved the affordable housing element and added commercial components to the plan. This contemporary model for community planning has proven more successful than its 1960s predecessors. In 2007, Holsten Real Estate Development Corporation broke ground and one year later the first residents were able to move in to the restored units. ADA accessible lifts and green technology were added to bring the townhomes into the 21st century. Hallmarks of the 1960 design that were carefully preserved include colorful aluminum siding, replicated metal window shutters, plus original doors and hardware.

Pullman House Tour & Façade Assistance Program Chicago

Education

The Historic Pullman House Tour has been a collaborative effort between the Historic Pullman Foundation and the Pullman Civic Organization for over 35 years. The annual day-long event showcases the Pullman Historic District, focusing on several homes that have been restored to reflect their historic past and emphasize the significant features of these workers' residents. The proceeds from the Historic Pullman House Tour are used to fund a façade grant program managed by the Pullman Civic Organization's Beman Committee. These matching grants, capped at $1,000 each, are awarded to private homeowners undertaking façade improvement projects on their Pullman homes. Projects have included masonry restoration, reproduction and/or restoration of historic doors, windows, and details, slate roofing, and repainting with historically appropriate colors. Since the creation of the grant program in 2004, over two dozen properties have benefitted from this incentive program.

Father George Lane  Chicago

President's Award

Father George Lane, the President and Publisher of Loyola Press and a founding member of the Holy Family Preservation Society, has been one of the most dedicated advocates for church architecture and preservation in Chicago. His 1981 publication, Chicago Churches and Synagogues, is an informative survey of Chicago area religious buildings that has become a primary resource for architects and preservationists seeking reliable and scholarly material on the subject. In 1990, it was Lane who led the effort to stave off demolition of the historic 1857 Holy Family Church and helped raise over $1 million in restoration funds before a looming December 31st deadline. His appreciation for these lovingly crafted structures - which often serve as quiet refuges among the urban din - and his dogged support for their care and maintenance over the decades has made Father Lane one of the best possible advocates for their continued preservation.

-End-

 

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