Saturday, May 17, 2008

How Mary Poser Saved Columbus

In this edition
Who's That Actor
Chicago's Union Station
Mary Poser
A photo at Julie's Java House
Tanya from Connecticut

It's another addition of


We all know the infamous actor on the left is the human that calls himself John Michael Bolger. It has been rumored that Nancy Osterhaus, the esteemed Mayor of Columbus (insert echo effect) wants to give JMB the key to Jenny's House. (It is also rumored that Mr. Bolger is not allowed to have any keys, and most electronic devices, as he is a danger to himself and others).


Who is this actor next to him. He is a Polish actor name Andrew. Anyone Anyone???

I don't know the answer - thus the question

Universal is setting up at Union Station, Chicago's only intercity rail terminal. Including approach and storage tracks it is about nine and a half city blocks in size and almost entirely beneath streets and skyscrapers.

Since the station is underground, exhaust from the trains is a problem which is demonstrated by its dark ceilings.

I am thinking they are going to use The Great Hall for some scenes but I can not be sure.

Any of you Chicagoans are free to keep us informed on what is happening down there.
Mary Poser

A lot of people have been hearing the word Poser on this blog a lot lately. The Poser House, a Craftsman-era mansion on Charles Street.

The Poser House has been owned by Mary Poser since 1952 where she raised 6 children and it is she who is the driving force in preserving Columbus’s historic buildings which paved the way for Columbus becoming a Main Street Community which in turn paved the way for Universal coming to Columbus which in turn started this blog.

So in effect - Mary Poser started this blog. Thanks Mary.

In an article by Mike Ivey in the Cap Times

After World War II, growth in the suburbs and bigger cities began drawing people away from Wisconsin's smaller communities. By the 1960s, shopping centers dominated retail trade and downtowns floundered. Wal-Marts and Kmarts put a new kind of pressure on local business.

Many communities tried to respond by launching programs to revive their lagging downtowns. These plans, unfortunately, tended to ignore the historic aspects of the downtown areas.

Instead, they focused on dressing up the Main Street to make it look more "modern." Fake fronts were added to some older buildings. Other buildings were simply demolished.

Columbus has a 140-year-old hotel, a bank designed by Louis Sullivan and an 1892 City Hall have forms the centerpiece of a downtown. In fact Columbus has over 200 buildings over 100 years old.

An effort to save the Whitney Hotel spurred Columbus into joining the Main Street program in 1992.

The original hotel was built in 1847, destroyed by fire in 1857 and then replaced by a cream city brick building. Though it is rather plain looking, it has a long history as the most prominent hotel and social center in Columbus.

But over time the building had fallen into despair. Nobody wanted it, they were going to tear it down to make room for six more parking spaces.

Mary Poser started a fund-raiser to save the hotel. She enlisted business and civic leaders, who formed the Columbus Downtown Development Commission.

By 1992, the upper floors of the Whitney were converted into apartments. The lower floors were renovated into offices for the Columbus Journal and a coffee shop. Total cost: $700,000.

The Whitney project has sparked a renewed interest in historic Columbus.
Like domino's I feel if the building had been converted into six parking spaces this would have lead the way for more historical destruction killing the downtown area.

But with this building saved it paved the way for the Farmers & Merchants Union Bank, a 1919 Prairie School-style bank to be renovated. It's elaborately decorated terra cotta ornamentation was renovated in 1997. But since then it seems getting some things done has been a little harder to achieve. Please correct me if I am wrong.

This is why I was surprised that there was not a more urgent plea to get things fixed up. A downtown is the heart of any town and Columbus is a diamond just waiting to be polished off.

Hopefully the movie has had an eye opening effect on the citizens of Columbus at just what a wonderful town this can be.

There is a Question and Answer blog about Columbus Wisconsin which states "Universal was generous with their spending and in addition made a contribution to our Auditorium restoration project".

I wonder how much that was and I'm surprised this is the first I have heard about it - perhaps I just missed it.
ANYWAY - changing subjects in a smooth manner - I donated a 20x30 framed poster of the below photo to Julie's Java House. Feel free to go in, buy a latte' and gaze at it. My intention was NOT to sell it a I'm not "into" that whole salesmen thing but she has said there is interest. I resisted for weeks but . . . . here I go sheepishly . . . . .

20% of all process for the 8x12 ($10) and 20x30s ($50) are going towards the Auditorium.

Don't go running down for a few more hours.

AND one last thing - another blog has turned up - Michelle Martin Photography

AND 2nd last thing - Tanya from Connecticut has a full 1/2 page article about her in the Columbus Journal.

click to enlarge

WAY TO GO Tanya!!

NOW I'm done.