Archive for Saturday, January 14, 2012

25 years ago: Neighborhood strongly opposes bank expansion on Tennessee Street

January 14, 2012


From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Jan. 14, 1987:

Overriding a petition-backed opposition drive from the Old West Lawrence Neighborhood Assn., the Lawrence City Commission had voted unanimously to approve a rezoning request from the Douglas County Bank. The bank, located at Ninth and Kentucky, requested that bank-owned land on the east side of Tennessee between Eighth and Ninth be rezoned from residential and off-street parking uses to the residential-office category. The eight lots in question included four houses, some vacant lots, and a parking lot. OWL members voiced their strong opposition, saying that the tearing down of the houses and expansion of the bank would threaten the neighborhood. Bank representative John Lungstrum said, "The bank has experienced such growth and success that the facility is overcrowded. It must be expanded. And we've pledged at all the stages to work with the neighborhood to create a project that everybody can be proud of." Oliver Finney, 821 Ohio, one of many OWL residents at the 2 1/2 hour long debate, responded, "This is not a prairie. This is an area that already contains structures and an ambiance of real value."


Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

One of the homes demolished in the course of the expansion of the Douglas County Bank had been completely renovated, which was done by a couple that operated under the name of Rainbow Renovations. I was inside of it once, and it was beautifully done.

One of their later projects was to renovate 1000 Ohio Street, which is known today as Halcyon House Bed and Breakfast, along with a couple other houses that are also in the 1000 block of Ohio Street, but I do not know the exact addresses. They did a fabulous job on all of them.

1000 Ohio has an incredibly interesting history. When the property was first sold for the construction of the home, the parcel that was purchased was 160 acres! The property was purchased from one of the Indian tribes, but I do not remember which one. But it's stated on the abstract of the house, so that tidbit of information is not totally lost for future historians.

Obviously, it was a very elegant home when it was first built, as it is today also. But, as the decades turned into over a century, it fell into disrepair, and became a rental owned by a property owner, now deceased, who had very little interest in it.

He was much more interested in his career as a college professor at KU, and had inherited the property from his mother. He was an excellent professor, and I took three classes under him in a subject that was considered to be very difficult.

So, he didn't care much about 1000 Ohio and it was split into several apartments. One of the walls in the entryway which had been built inside it was covered by a very large and somewhat well done mural that depicted Winnie the Pooh and his friends. The house became known as Pooh Corner.

Years passed, and Pooh Corner fell into incredible disrepair, to the point that it could no longer be rented. It was at that point that Rainbow Renovations purchased the property, along with the others, for renovation.

I was told later that Rainbow Renovations, despite their incredible work, was quite a disappointment for the investors because they lost a great deal of money on the venture.

I was inside 1000 Ohio prior to the renovation on a few occasions, and those were very incredible experiences! And that was followed by the experience of being inside the home that the couple had already renovated which was demolished for the expansion of Douglas County Bank. That was also an incredible experience! And, it had everything to do with me being inside 1000 Ohio a few times.

I'll leave the details of all that out, except for a tidbit: An advertisement was taken out in the paper concerning those events. Then, about five years later, in 1982, I was discussing 1000 Ohio with a colleague at work that had seen the advertisement years before. He had this to say: "Only you would have done that!"

And one of the owners of Rainbow Renovations had this to say about it: "That was not vandalism."

Obviously, I have left the most interesting parts out.

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

When I think of Pooh Corner and the years between January 1974 and January 1986, the English version of "Dorogoi dlinnoyu" ("Дорогой длинною", literally "By the long road"), comes to mind:

'Those Were The Days' (original in English, 1962) - The Limeliters

'Those Were The Days' (1968) - Mary Hopkin

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

For comparison: 'Those Were The Days' (The original Russian song) - Дорогой длинною

Ron Holzwarth 6 years, 2 months ago

It sure does sound good in French! 'Le Temmps Ded Fleurs' - Dalida But the lyrics in the French version have a very different meaning, the title translates to: 'The Time Of The Flowers'

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