Category Archives: Preservation

The Queen Mary

Spent the week in sunny California – Anaheim area. One highlight of the trip was getting to visit the Queen Mary.

Interestingly, the city of Long Beach owns the Queen Mary, and purchased it for $3.45 million – considerably more than it’s scrap value in 1967. It now leases it out to various entities, where it’s used for an amazingly diverse set of things – tours, a hotel, private banquets, shops, restaurants, night clubs, a multimedia “ghosts tour”, and even a spa. Needless to say, it was a very successful restoration project, even though much of the ship was reconfigured to accommodate it’s current day needs.

It’s Skyway reuse day!

Apparently, there is no shortage of Skyway reuse ideas out there today. BuffaloGeek sets us up for an interview on this next week:

Skyway to the future

While it’s a much better concept than Tielman Park, again, what problems does it solve? It’s an incredibly inefficient way to get to the outer harbor by foot, and it doesn’t solve the biggest problem caused by the removal of traffic from the Skyway – how do you get all the vehicular traffic to and from the 190 and downtown?

What each of these concepts are is nothing more than a solution to a totally different problem. We don’t have an abandoned Skyway that’s too expensive to tear down, we have a functional road that some people want to shut down without providing an alternative.

Are you ready for this? Hang on. Literally.

Kids, you can’t write comedy better than this. Tim Tielman has come up with a plan to turn the Skyway into a park. Here’s the image and story posted over on Buffalo Rising.

Skyway Park

Now, let’s think back to all the reasons that people bellow forth as to why the Skyway “needs” to come down:

  1. It’s ugly
  2. It’s expensive to maintain
  3. It’s taking up valuable land
  4. It’s blocking access to the outer harbor
  5. It’s dangerous with all those high winds and blizzards and stuff

Now go back and look at the rendering and ask yourself what does “Skyway Park” solve for each of the problems listed above?

  1. It has moss now. It’s green!
  2. Two sections of road deck have been removed!
  3. Look! Grass!
  4. You can walk under it!
  5. Ummm…

Surely the “community” will see through this farce and recognize that NONE of the issues have been solved, right? Let’s go to the comments and find out.

OMG this is amazing its too bad our politicians have no foresight.

this would be cool…..hopefully it will become a reality. anything is better than what we have now.

This is very clever. Probably not useful to keep as much of the Skyway structure as shown here in the rendering, but wouldn’t it be a neat 110-foot-high pedestrian bridge? What a wonderful place to bring an out of towner – there’d be no place like it in the world!

All of a sudden, keeping the Skyway is a brilliant idea… as long as it can’t be used to DRIVE on. Nevermind the fact that you still have to pay to maintain it, high winds won’t blow a car off but they might blow a person off, and it is still taking up just as much space as it was before.

I don’t blame Tim, though. He’s just a preservationist, and this is a way to preserve the Skyway. The real beauty of this proposal is that it opens the door to keeping the Skyway for both driving AND pedestrian uses. If adding some hanging plants to the Skyway beautifies it, fantastic. Go for it. If people are in love with the scenic vista (which really is nice) then let’s hang a pedestrian walkway off the lake side of the Skyway. Put up a barrier between the traffic and the pedestrians to cut down on the noise, and voila! Scenic pedestrian bridge to the outer harbor! I might suggest an escalator or something though to haul our chicken wing-laden asses up to the top of that thing. Or maybe if there was just a way to drive up there…

Pennsylvania Dutch Country

The second stop on our recent vacation was to Pennsylvania Dutch/Amish Country. We stayed at a wonderful Bed & Breakfast called the Silverstone Inn run by two outstanding hosts, Toni and Lorin Wortel. The Inn is a restored 1750s farmhouse, and features over 10 acres of farmland, an active fresh water spring, sheep, and some fantastic cooking. The best complement we can offer the Wortel’s is to say that the experience of staying there has piqued (or renewed, for Amanda) our interest in finding our own farmhouse with acreage, fixing it up, and turning it into our own homestead, because their work demonstrates the potential that these older buildings have. Incidentally, we did recently go and look at a property in Orchard Park, but the amount of rehab needed in that case was beyond our current capabilities. We need more of a 1900s era place in good structural shape. 🙂

Here are the photos.

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