Imagine the surprise in hearing WVOX report the Chamber of Commerce's decision to cancel the Thanksgiving Day Parade . According to the report, The decision was made Tuesday night to forgo the traditional parade , a staple of community gathering for the past 47 years, due to lack of support. This is a shock and, might I say, an embarrassment as a New Rochelle resident . The president of WVOX, commented on the news with a sad tone to his editorial as he spoke about the lack of "mom and pop" businesses along the route who typically enjoyed the bounty of people congregating along the way. You don't usually hear a sad tone when Bill O'Shaughnessy speaks.
You can't help but wonder how a decision like this takes shape and what it actually says about the condition of this fine city. There are, in fact, about 50 kids in the Webster School Twirler Squad who have been working after school for weeks in hopes of marching, wide eyed and smiling ear to ear, thankful for the opportunity to show off a little, as they stake their claim as part of our community. It was sad to watch their eyes well up when they found out they wouldn't get their 15 minutes of fame after working so hard. How do you explain to them it's because nobody cared enough ? What's the lesson to be learned here?Read more
There will be a meeting of the Sound End Civic League, Monday September 14 at the YMCA on Weyman Avenue, 7:30 p.m.Read more
I agree , in these times we all need to pay more attention to the conditions around us . From Echo Bay to LeCount Place to our school taxes , Avalon 911 calls , budget contractions , Board of Ed challenges , and on and on , there hasn't been this much focus on so many issues for as long as I can remember . Personally , I support this kind of participation by the citizens . I once wrote that things will get better and perhaps it will have more to do with what we do rather than the politicians , and believe me , the more we get involved , in anything/ everything , the better New Rochelle will be for all of us .Read more
There will be no room for remorse . That about sums it up when speaking of the consequences of misguided demolition . The fact is , there has been no actual review of the possibilities of an adaptive re-use of the Armory , by this or any other administration . The only consideration given was the City asking the most recent developer , Forest City- Ratner , what they want to do with the property . Hardly in-depth thinking . Granted the city doesn't have much experience in this area , but that only reinforces the need to stop and take a closer look at just what might happen and what we will loose forever . There is no going back .Read more
The world premiere production of Crazy Enough will not take place at the New Rochelle Center Stage at the Armory so it will not be weaving music and story into a ride through the darkest alleys and brightest vistas faced by the human mind. Instead, the Armory sits idle, awaiting Noam Bramson's wrecking ball.
If we take a look at some stellar examples of the principles I spoke of earlier, we can use some imagination and apply some of their best ideas to the Armory. I often point to the Portland Center Stage Armory for many reasons but primarily for Portland's approach to their project . At one point, the Portland Armory was to be demolished but it was saved at the last moment. In that particular case, salvation came in the form of a theater company looking for a home.
The engineering firm behind the reinvention of the Portland Armory as a theater space:Read more
"The greenest building is the one that's already built" is not just a new catchphrase . It is a proven concept that is being applied to historic and non historic buildings all across the country . Take the Portland Armory as an example . In the Jan '07 issue of www.Metropolis Mag.com , Brian Libby writes "In October it became the first historic-building renovation to earn a LEED Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council—a transformation that illuminates just how tricky (yet ultimately feasible) it can be to strike a balance between the principles of sustainability and preservation." . Numerous other projects are realizing how clear the choice is when trying to save a significant piece of a cultures history and move forward with development .From Bizjournals.com we hear “We wanted to preserve it, the historical significance of it,” said Seth Patton, vice president for finance and management at Denison University, referring to Cleveland Hall. “It’s an attractive old building. It also fits into current thinking on environmental sustainability – to reuse what you can rather than tearing down and starting over.” “Everyone likes to throw the ‘green’ word around, especially with new construction,” Jenkins said. “Actually, one of the greenest ways to act in the construction industry is to reuse existing structures.Read more
In a desperate attempt to circumvent the binding deed and covenant compelling New Rochelle to maintain and use the Armory for the good of the public, it is reported that Mayor Bramson will be bringing a Home Rule Request up for a vote at an upcoming council meeting. This would pave the way for council running amuk with no accounting to the public (tax payer). There has been no real discussion about a readaptive use for the Armory, although elsewhere, throughout this country, people have chosen to make a success of the jewel in their possession.
The city council chose to turn their back on the Armory on the advice of their developer. Mr Kruse from Forest City said ...our retail guys have looked at it and considered it a "missing tooth". What if the city said "we want to readapt the Armory" ? Well, the developer would have included it in their plans. Abe Naperstek, also from Forest City, said they would have included the Armory if the council told them to. Realizing the importance of the structure, one of the other developers applying for the project, Twinings Development, actually did include it in their plans . So. you see, it CAN be done, it just takes the commitment to turn an historical icon into something we can all be proud of.Read more
The Westchester Veterans Adaptive Center
The New Rochelle Center for the Performing Arts
The New Rochelle Youth Sports Olympic Games
The New Rochelle Regional Songwriters Symposium
The New Rochelle War Veterans Interpretive Center
The New Rochelle "Go Green" Building and Technology Trade Show
The New Rochelle Center for Opera
The New Rochelle Business and Trade Exposition
The Norman Rockwell "Hometown History" Exhibit
The "New Rochelle - Rich in History" Our Place in History and Culture Through the Years Exhibit
The New Rochelle Children's Outreach Weekend
The New Rochelle Regional Gymnastics Invitational
The New Rochelle Center for Sustainable Design
Each and every one of these venues would end with the same three words - At The Armory - if only there was the commitment to do so. That is ALL that is needed to start, everything else can be worked out. That is how a vision is transformed into reality. That is how all great projects become a success. It is the clarity of that vision that will provide the path to solving the issuesRead more