A New Cornerstone Initiative:
In April of this year the Cornerstone Society joined the Jefferson County Board of
REALTORS as an affiliate member. The goal of joining the local real estate board is to open the door to communication between Cornerstone and the area realtors.
This goal hopefully will be accomplished in several ways. First, the affiliate membership gives Cornerstone an opportunity to attend luncheon meetings that are held by the real estate board. This gives us a chance to talk informally with the people who are responsible for the great majority of the real estate sales within the historic district.
Second, affiliate membership status allows Cornerstone to advertise in the monthly real estate publication, Jefferson County Homes. This magazine is seen not only by those who might be in the market for a home in our area, but is also often picked up by visitors and residents who are curious about the market. The aim is to get the Cornerstone name in front of people in a positive way for a fairly low cost. The first Cornerstone ad was in the May issue, and is being run again in June and July. For those who may not have seen the ad, it basically says that Cornerstone is a good source of answers for people who might have preservation questions.
Third, it is thought that membership in the Board of REALTORS will allow us to offer
continuing education courses for the local real estate professionals. Indiana Landmarks, with which Cornerstone is affiliated, has two courses approved for continuing education units. One is Introduction to Historic Preservation and the other is Indiana Architectural Styles. As new members of the real estate board, Cornerstone has not yet pursued offering the courses, but we hope to in the near future.
Pr_s_rving Histori] Pl_s
In^i[n[’s St[t_wi^_ Pr_s_rv[tion Conf_r_n]_, @pril 9-11, 2014
New Albany hosted Indiana’s annual gathering of preservationists this Spring with much
fanfare and a generous collection of speakers and subjects. Some of the highlights included a fascinating talk by Patricia Van Skaik of Cincinnati’s public library, about the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848, a “World Treasure” and the oldest photograph of urban America. Ms. Van Skaik recalled the heroic saga of the library’s efforts to return the fragile, but incredibly detailed eight-plate daguerreotype to public view.
In addition, conference attendees heard about plans for Indiana’s Bicentennial in 2016. Other sessions told of saving shotguns, promoting tourism and interpreting African American history. A spectacular dinner cruise aboard the Belle of Louisville gave us the thrill of riverboat days, while two lunches in historic buildings (a theatre and a fraternal building), provided grand examples of successful adaptive re-use as public venues. The final dinner was held in the annex to New Albany’s Culbertson Mansion, after a tour of
the stately building, featuring incredible painted walls and ceilings in vibrant eye-tantalizing colors. Preservationists party in the most fabulous places! Among the
attendees were Cornerstone members Camille Fife, Jan Vetrhus, Link Ludington,
Jill and Don Weist, Rhonda Deeg, Ron Zmyzlo, and Pam and Larry Newhouse.
After a long, cold and icy winter, it’s wonderful to see sunshine and feel warm temperatures. Despite the desire to hibernate, it was a busy winter. We were working closely with the Preservation Coordinator to establish the PRESERVATION AND COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM (P.A.C.E.) – a new grants fund for projects in
the historic district, and M.A.I.N. – a historic preservation internship program. We were able to get both programs approved by city council. PACE applications are now available at city hall. Eight interns are now working on projects in Madison through the M.A.I.N program.
Cornerstone’s intern, Karl Marti, comes from the University of Minnesota. He is an artist and architect. His project is a historic structures report on the Wilson Building – the first building that Cornerstone saved and the reason we were organized. There are several public programs planned over the summer so you can learn what all the interns are doing. Karl and I are meeting with the Jefferson County Commissioners to find out more about their plans for the Wilson Building when the probation office moves out.
On behalf of Cornerstone, I attended Indiana Landmarks’ Affiliates’ Conference, May 2 in Huntington, IN. The theme was “Communities for a Lifetime” and several speakers urged us to form partnerships –so that we build coalitions instead of conflict and become a valued resource in the community. Madison was even hailed as the kind of place people now want to live – where historic assets are seen as catalysts for economic development.
Camille and I also shared more of this at the HEALTHY BY DESIGN workshop in Madison this month. Aging in place can dovetail with attracting young families to the historic district (baby strollers and wheelchairs require similar amenities).
We were sad to say good-bye to board members, Ron Hopper and Bob Maile, who realized that other obligations were going to keep them from giving time to Cornerstone. Despite the short service, their ideas were most helpful.