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

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Changes

The Jasper County Historical Society posts a weekly picture that viewers are asked to identify. If I did that, the picture below would be my picture for this week. Where is it? (The answer will be given later in this post.)
Rexall was not a chain in the way that CVS and Walgreens are chains. Rather independent stores used the name and sold products produced by Rexall. I believe my father had a Rexall Drug store in the 1950s.

 There are a lot of changes downtown. A sign in the window of the Pub reads, "Opening Soon." I do not know who is planning to open it. Across the alley, a new business is planning to open before the Little Cousin Jasper Festival. The Facebook page is Reflections Gifts, Fine Arts & Workshops.

The business that was previously in that location, Healthy Glow Spray Tanning, is now on the second floor above Unique Finds with a window overlooking Washington Street. The former business in that space was Très Belle Boudoir, a photography studio. It has moved across the hall to a larger space. New upstairs over Unique Finds is Strictly Prickly, which specializes in body piercings and henna tattoos. She is in a back office, one that used to be the office of a lady who did painting classes. (The third floor is again vacant--the dance studio seems to be gone.)

The owners of the building that was home to Stunt Dawg Studio were cleaning it out on Tuesday and had a pile of stuff in front of the store that was free for the taking. No one has yet rented the space.

At the Commissioners meeting on Tuesday a spokesman for Ellas Construction, which has the contract to rebuild the Washington Street Bridge, requested permission to use the County property between the Post Office and the Court House as a staging area. The attraction of the lot, which was once covered by the Johnny Rusk Building, is that it has a concrete pad. The Commissioners granted permission with the provision that when they are finished with the bridge, they remove the concrete pad of the staging lot.

Construction may begin on or shortly after September 12 or it may not. The timeline for construction is only 60 days if there are no problems. However, as the picture below indicates, the bridge is currently on a detour route. If INDOT cannot find an alternative detour for SR 16, construction may be delayed until the spring. We will have to wait until next week to see if the bridge is closed or not.
 I spent some of last weekend in Bloomington, IL and visited a JC Penney's store that was going out of business. I noticed the Hilco name on some of the price tags and asked about it. It is the same company that is selling things at SJC.
 The Journal and Courier had an article last week looking at how people have adjusted to the closing of SJC. Included in the people profiled was a Hilco employee. He noted that the SJC sale was the first one that the company had done for a college. “What we’re finding, as we get into this project, is there are a fair number of colleges in similar situations,” Schaye said. “I had no idea. But we’re hearing about it now that we’re into it at St. Joseph’s. … We might have stumbled onto a new piece of our business.”

The picture at start of the post is from the remodeling done to the two buildings that are next to Lafayette Bank and Trust. The south building will be occupied by  Northwest Indiana Community Action Corporation, which manages WIC. The WIC offices will be in the front and the other offices of Northwest Indiana Community Action Corporation will be in the rear. WIC is presently in the Town Mall and the other part of Northwest Indiana Community Action Corporation is in the building next to the bowstring arch bridge, that is, in the building that until July was home to the Birthright offices.

The northern building is not leased as the sign in front makes clear. There is also an apartment over the south building that is being remodeled. At one time there was a dentist and a photo developing business there.
 One other change that may be coming soon is a new business is the little space between Gutwein Seeds and CI insurance.

Franciscan Health Rensselaer is sponsoring a wellness event called Walk with a Doc. It meets on Thursdays at noon in Brookside Park. The first walk was on September 1 and they will continue until October 5. You can register on-line or at the event. Be prepared to answer the question of what your goal is. (I could not think of a good answer.)
White County may finally have found a business for their building on US 24 just east of the Jasper County line.

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