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Phil Lewis was at heart of Schenectady revival

first_imgLewis, a Wisconsin visionary, died in August.Importantly, Phil was the architect of Schenectady’s downtown revival.I first met Phil when I was president of Beloit College. A group of us had decided to revive Beloit, a Rustbelt city almost exactly one-half Schenectady’s size. We turned to Phil, a University of Wisconsin urban planning professor, to develop a blueprint for us.Now, 30 years later, Beloit is thriving. It owes its revival to Phil’s ideas. So does Schenectady.Following the creation of Schenectady 2000, an organization formed by a group of business, civic, and political leaders who were interested in the early 1990s in reviving a city that had clearly seen better times, I asked Phil to come to Schenectady to give us his insights. He did.After studying our situation, Phil presented his findings in 1993 to a packed auditorium at Schenectady County Community College.Those findings centered on improving access points, providing anchor buildings, and developing corridors to connect community assets. Before focusing on bringing businesses into downtown or enticing people to live in the center of the city, we needed to address these issues. So, we did. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIf one were to ask anyone in Schenectady who Phil Lewis was, no one would know.All should. Each of those mayors would welcome it; none could replicate it.It mattered little to those of us involved in the process who got credit for the rebirth of our city. What did matter to us was Schenectady, at least its downtown, was being revitalized.For that, we were grateful.Of course, if one wants to give credit for what has taken place, one need look no further than to Phil Lewis.Without his original vision, we would not be where we are today.Dr. Roger H. Hull is president emeritus of Union College and the founder of Help Yourself and Schenectady-WIN.More from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashAnderson starts, but Dodgers finish off NLCS winSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Lewis convinced those of us involved in Schenectady 2000, as in he did in Beloit, to direct our efforts to the points he suggested.We did, and those points became the blueprint for what was to take place downtown.The blueprint Phil Lewis provided lacked one thing — funding.Bill Golub had brought Neil and me together, and, importantly, “Mr. Bill” provided $1 million in seed money to jump-start the process. With that money, we were able to undertake projects that helped people in the city soon see that brighter days were ahead of us.A major funding source beyond the initial $1 million was needed, though. We soon settled on one — Metroplex.Thanks to the efforts of many from both sides of the political aisle, we were able to get legislation through the New York Legislature that authorized the creation of Metroplex. The rebirth of downtown owes its success to Metroplex. Without it, the funds for the projects that have taken place would never have materialized.Whenever I run into the mayors of other cities, I am asked how we were able to bring about this funding resource. Thanks to the thousands of volunteers who helped make Schenectady 2000 a success, we implemented each of Phil’s suggestions.In the process, we turned pessimism to optimism among many in Schenectady.When I came to Schenectady in 1990, I marveled at the city’s attributes. Yes, a number of negative things had occurred in the preceding decades.But the city had amazing physical assets — among them, the Mohawk River, Central Park, City Hall, Proctors, the GE Plot and Stockade, and two colleges.Schenectady also had tremendous diversity among its people, an arts scene, and proximity to what I labeled the “ABCs” (Adirondacks, Berkshires, and Catskills).A few years later, Richard Florida, in The Rise of the Creative Class, concluded those three elements were essential to attracting what he called the “creative class”— engineers and scientists, arts and media personnel, education professionals and researchers—to post-industrial cities like Schenectady.But Phil Lewis saw all that well before Florida gave the concept a name.last_img read more

The city views from this renovated home are sure to impress buyers

first_img9 Trafalgar Street, Morningside. Picture: realestate.com.auHe said the downstairs pergola was a handy place to hang out on a hot day.“That area leads to the bar room and we often watch the footy there,” he said. “There’s a barbecue area downstairs too – it’s a great entertaining hub.”He said there was a home office which had a private entrance and an additional study or sixth bedroom if required. 9 Trafalgar Street, Morningside. Picture: realestate.com.auFraser Leishman is making the move south to Sydney for work and is ready to sell his Morningside home.Mr Leishman and his family have lived at 9 Trafalgar St for the past 12 months and have loved every moment. 9 Trafalgar Street, Morningside. Picture: realestate.com.auMr Leishman said he would love to see another family move into the home.“Young children would really love the big backyard,” Mr Leishman said.“There’s room downstairs, which can be used for play areas.” The view from 9 Trafalgar Street, Morningside. Picture: realestate.com.auWith city views and an 814sq m block, Mr Leishman said it was hard not to fall in love with the Morningside home.The renovated Queenslander has five bedrooms and three bathrooms. 9 Trafalgar Street, Morningside. Picture: realestate.com.auMore from newsCrowd expected as mega estate goes under the hammer7 Aug 2020Hard work, resourcefulness and $17k bring old Ipswich home back to life20 Apr 2020Mr Leishman said he had done some renovations to the house, including renovating the laundry.“We restumped the front of the house and enclosed it too,” he said.“We can now park three cars there.“There’s a workshop which is quite wide and it has electric remote doors.”With plenty of room to spread out throughout the home, Mr Leishman said his favourite spot to wind down was the deck which overlooked the front yard and had city views.“The side deck is nice and, in the morning, it’s not too warm,” he said.“You can get some really nice breezes here to.”last_img read more

FIFA rule Bojan ineligible for Serbia

first_imgFIFA has denied a request from the Serbian FA to allow Stoke forward Bojan to play for their national team.He’s ineligible to feature for them, having already represented Spain in a World Cup qualifier in 2008.Bojan was born in Spain, though his father is from Serbia.last_img