This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Miscellany 04-23-2013

I am not aware of any big things happening in Rensselaer, but lots of little things are going on. Saint Joe's is getting ready for the Little 500 weekend, with fences being installed along the racetrack. It will be a big weekend there, and several interesting things will be happening in Rensselaer as well.

 Digging has not started on the Farm Credit building yet, though surveyors have marked out the site. Anyone driving through town has seen the garage being added to the Oren Parker House on Park Ave. The Jasper County Interim Report: Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory says this about the house:
The Oren Parker House is an outstanding example of early 20th century residential architecture. Exhibiting elements of both the Craftsman and Tudor Revival styles, it was built around 1917 and survives largely unaltered today.
As technology and living styles have changed, the layouts of old buildings sometimes need to be altered to make them more usable. Hopefully when this project is finished, the garage will look like it was always there.

In the downtown, Unique Threads is gone. I had stopped in to talk to the lady running the place a few weeks ago and did not have the courage or heart to tell her that she did not have a viable business. Some things have to be experienced to be learned--our society overvalues school learning compared to learning through experience.

There is still a bit of work going on at the old Monnett School. The fence around the little playground has been removed and there is landscaping being done. I could not tell if the old fuel tank had been removed or not--the hole was smaller, but there was water in it.

Work continues on the substations. In the one next to the power plant, deep circular holes are being dug and filled with concrete. The one on Melville seems to be at an earlier stage of construction. Trucks are still delivering crushed stone there.
The foundation seems to be completed on the Amtrak depot. The picture below was taken April 3 after the last concrete pour.
For a couple days workers filled the foundation with sand. The picture below shows what they had accomplished by April 5.
Then until this week I did not see further change. On Monday they completed filling the foundation, so now maybe they are ready to start the above-ground construction.

I noticed that there was wood rot around one of the windows in the existing station. Maybe they should have used treated lumber inside as well.
In contrast to the slow progress on the depot, the scene at Steinke's is always changing. You can see that the old siding has been torn off part of the building and the building has been wrapped. The foundations for an addition to the back of the building are being prepared.
Steinke's have an incentive to get it done quickly--on-going construction interferes with normal operation.

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