Neighbors save historic Northwest Portland house

Through the efforts of many, this historic house was saved. Northwest Neighbors for Preservation also will hope to name the house to the National Register of Historic Places.

The Reclamation Administration

THEY DID IT!

Congratulations Northwest Neighbors for Preservation on a job well done.  North West Portland will continue to exemplify the history, culture, and beauty of our fair city.

The 112-year-old Goldsmith house on the corner of Northwest 24th Avenue and Quimby Street has been sold to a group of local residents to save it from the backhoe’s claw.

Last week, between 10 and 20 neighbors bought the lot on which the Victorian house stands. They also bought the lot to the north, upon which there is a 1920s cottage of little historical value. The group proposes to call itself Northwest Neighbors for Preservation.

Rick Michaelson says that some of the investors put in more money than others, but they all did it “for a little bit of interest and the joy of seeing the house saved.”

by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOSEPH GALLIVAN - The Goldsmith house at 1507 N.W. 24th Ave. awaits its fate: deconstruction and replacement by townhouses or a last-minute reprieve from the wrecking ball.

Northwest Portland neighbors pooled their money to buy the Goldsmith house on Northwest…

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On Wisconsin: Wooden bullet helps researchers make affordable shelters : Wsj

Those of us in “tornado alley” appreciate any opportunities to have tornado safe shelters…

The Reclamation Administration

Safe room testing

Bob Falk, a research engineer at Forest Products Laboratory in Madison, stands near an air cannon that fires 2-by-4s at 100 miles per hour into a wall designed for a tornado safe room. The walls of the room are made of interlocking pieces of lumber, making the rooms more affordable.

That’s why Falk and his team of engineers have been using an air cannon to fire, at 100 mph, 12-foot long, 15-pound southern pine 2-by-4s into specially designed walls made of some of the cheapest wood available.

The cannon mimics the forces of an F5 tornado with 250-mph winds. The lumber used to make the walls of the shelter is of such low quality, Falk had to specially order it because he couldn’t find it at area lumber yards or hardware stores.

“This is quite a resilient design,” Falk said after a test shot. “All we’re trying to do is…

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A Bald Eagle visit in Northeast Texas?

We had a Bald Eagle visit our very full, and fish-laden, pond yesterday and scoop up one of our huge catfish; it was so big it couldn’t fly and carry it. The eagle kept having to land and I guess eat it down to a size he could handle. Once finally in the air, a trio of hawks chased it, I imagine to see if he would drop it for a free lunch. I will be watching to see if he visits again. I have never seen a Bald Eagle in my life, so this was exciting to watch.

We did take some pictures, but the distance does not show the eagle very distinctly, although with binoculars we could see the distinct white head, huge beak, and the wing span when he took off was just amazing.  

City of Brotherly Love finally tackles neighborhood blight – latimes.com

Trying different strategies to achieve a goal of fewer abandoned and run down properties

The Reclamation Administration

Neighborhoods where the new strategies have been applied have seen home prices rise 31% over four years, compared with a 1% rise in comparable areas, according to a study by Ira Goldstein of the Reinvestment Fund. The initiatives increased home values by $74 million throughout Philadelphia, Goldstein said, and brought in $2.2 million more in transfer tax receipts.

Philadelphia had been spending millions of dollars a year to tear down vacant properties, and it didn’t seem to be making much headway, said Rebecca Swanson, who directs the city’s vacant building strategy. So in 2011, city officials decided to try a strategy they hoped would prevent properties from becoming run down in the first place.

The city utilized software used by the IRS to track down owners of the vacant buildings. Then the city took the owners to a newly created Blight Court. The door and window ordinance also allows the…

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