Thursday, January 8, 2009

Detroit News and Greenfield Village News

Two items of local importance.
First -
In a recent survey of 2,500 employees and entrepreneurs across the nation conducted by Yahoo Real Estate, Detroit was voted 2nd worst place to live and work in the United States. Only New York 'bested' Detroit as the absolute worst.
The best? New York - best and worst.
New York was voted best because of its entertainment, Central Park and great public transportation. However the high rent, cramped subways and long suburban commutes vaulted it to the top of the worst list.
Why is Detroit such a rotten place? Well, the city's public relations image, dwindling population, collapsing auto industry, schools, poverty in the city, and the text message scandal as reason's they would not want to live and work here. The top two negative attributes of Detroit according to the poll were health and safety and image.
Last April, I wrote a blog about What Others Are Saying About Us and it's amazing how quickly this area went from bad to worse. What bothers me even more is that this black zit of a city is bringing down the whole state of Michigan; when folks abroad think of Michigan, they invariably think of Detroit.
That's what happens when incompetence runs a major city, and the state's governors (for the last 30 years) allows it to happen.
Yes, we have wonderful things in the Detroit area - and in all of Michigan - but not enough to keep the natives from moving - there are no jobs and the prospects are slim.
And I don't see light at the end of the tunnel.
So what happens now? Lots of politically correct and feel-good speeches, but that's about it.

OK, enough politics. Back to history.
And second -
Unfortunately, some more bad news, although this will have a happy ending - -
The Sarah Jordan Boarding House in Greenfield Village, which was built in New Jersey in 1870, housed many of Thomas Edison's workers during its 1870's/1880's heyday and was one of the first ever to have electricity installed by Edison himself, caught fire on the afternoon of Monday January 5th. One of the workers at the Village wrote this on Facebook: No major structural damage. The front room's ceiling (floor of the front right bedroom) is a bit bad, but has some bracing. Most things made it out alright, but will need cleaned/dried. Lots of cosmetic damage. With the water on the roof, it may need replaced, but may not. The porch will need replaced.

The house is now badly scarred - fire totally torched the top two rooms and most of the bottom parlor, as far as I could see (I couldn't go in). All the artifacts (charred, dirty, untouched, and everything in between) were moved all night until the house was stripped.

He went on to say that many of the artifacts were damaged, and some were lost, but most were saved.
It seems that a construction worker may have accidently started the fire while working on the gutter.
The folks at The Henry Ford have all of the original blueprints from when Henry Ford's chief architect, Ed Cutler, brought the structure to the Village in 1929, so repairs will be wonderfully accurate.
Still, it's upsetting to come so close to losing such an important piece of history.


No comments: