Welcome to 2013! Do you have any idea what was the big happening in this community a hundred years ago? One of the things being celebrated in this community in 1913 was the completion of the brick portion of Main Street. Several years ago I worked with a group whose task was to research the history of what is one of the most unique main streets in Iowa. I learned a lot. Do you have a clue what it would cost to brick a street today? The fact that only a handful of towns have such a thing is the enormous cost. That street is not just brick. There are several layers under the brick which in their day would have been sufficient in themselves. If we ever have to get to the infra-structure under those layers we are going to face big decisions.
This year part of the emphasis at the FFA-LPC Museum will be local history and architecture. This town has a very rich history and I’m afraid it is slipping into obscurity. One of the key issues for the brick street group as they met in 2007 was the sidewalks and curb bordering the street. The issue still exists and probably won’t be resolved in my lifetime, but a new generation needs to be developing a vision for the future. There was life after the old iron Main Street Bridge was replaced. There IS life after the restorations on Commercial last year. It took a lot of undoing and a lot of patience, but progress is seldom a bargain-price commodity.
Another sleeping dog that needs consideration is an ever-growing need for some type of senior housing, possibly combined with assisted living in this community. My generation wasn’t able to generate enough interest to pursue that goal, but I now hear a younger generation saying, “It’s too bad we didn’t get that senior housing project when you guys were pushing it.” We tried to tell you, age is sneaky. More than that it is DEMANDING; housing accommodations for those capable of living alone but who need to downsize is not just part of my future. Eventually it will be part of yours.
It’s time to plan for the future of La Porte City.