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    Category: Home Restoration

    Inside the Restoration of a Midcentury House With the Most Insane Roof – Architectural Digest - February 15, 2020 by admin

    A view of the wave roof from the backyard shows it's dramatic effect at all angles.

    Some things did need replacing, and Christian, who meticulously studied Whites archive at the University of California Santa Barbara, made efforts to use materials which he thought White would approve of. Steel door frames (most of the originals had rusted out) and windows were custom fabricated to replicate the originals. Terrazzo floors were patched with aggregate from the same quarry White used. And in the kitchen and bathrooms, where new fixtures were installed, Stayner Architects drew a distinction with materiality: All the new fixtures are in stainless steel, while all the fixtures White used were in brass.

    Creating a 21st century kitchen in a 1954-designed home was tricky. They opted to replicate the original kitchen, hiding modern conveniences out of sight: a refrigerator is nestled behind a wall panel, and two drawers pull out to reveal a freezer and ice maker; theres also an oven and induction cooktop cleverly tucked out of view. What remains visible, such as several Arne Jacobsen fixtures, still in production, are in line with the aesthetics of the time.

    Every corner of the home is filled with natural light thanks to the raised wave roof.

    That same logic was applied to the furnishings, many of which were extracted from Christians personal collection of vintage Scandinavian design from the 30s, 40s, and 50s. We didnt want to freeze time. We just tried to choose items that had a sympathetic quality to the house and its construction. Contemporaneous textiles were sourced from Tibor LTD, the estate of a post-war British designer and a smattering of vintage kitchenwares (including vintage Russell Wright tableware) add to the retro-chic vibe.

    With updated insulation and modern steel door frames and windows, the retro home hits 21st-century efficiency standards.

    According to Gil, the response from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. A happy vote of approval, considering the Stayners plans to add two new structures (1400-square-feet in total) to what theyre calling Desert Wave, a hotel compound that will include shared pool and courtyard areas. I have yet to find anyone who wasnt pleased this house was saved and really excited when they see it, he explains. Thats an architects dream. Our role was simply to bring it back. And I think we got just about as close as we could to when Miles Bates walked up in 1955.

    The Wave House will be on tour during Modernism Week and host artist residencies, cultural events, and be available for rental after February 2020.

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    Inside the Restoration of a Midcentury House With the Most Insane Roof - Architectural Digest

    Burn recovery: Once a Nevada wildfire gets extinguished, land restoration begins – Las Vegas Sun - February 15, 2020 by admin

    Bureau of Land Management / Courtesy

    Land is left charred by the Goshute CaveFire.

    By Kelcie Grega (contact)

    Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 | 2 a.m.

    The Nevada Division of Forestry has reported a wildfire in Nevada at least once a month for the past five years. After the fire is extinguished, the work to rehabilitate public land to support natural plant and wildlife can take years, if not decades.

    Bureau of Land Management / Courtesy

    A helicopter is used in the reseeding process in the wake of the Goshute Cave Fire.

    Take the 30,000 acres of land surrounding Goshute Creek, which was ravaged by the lighting-ignited Goshute Cave Fire in 2018. The creek, some 55 miles north of Ely, is home to the Bonneville cutthroat trout, a state protected game fish. The area is also a habitat for big-game species like mule deer and elk.

    The Bureau of Land Management partnered with the Nevada Department of Wildlife to rehabilitate the fish and wildlife habitat, and to restore watershed health to the damaged lands.

    It isnt just wildland firefighters on the ground after a fire; we have a group specially assigned for rehabilitation, says Chris McVicars, a natural resource specialist and fire rehab program manager for the Bureau of Land Managements Ely District. We have these guys hit the ground running pretty quick.

    McVicars begins formulating a rehabilitation plan before a fire is contained, assessing the damage and coordinating with specialists to be as proactive as possible. If I know, for example, that a fire burned a winter habitat, I will need a wildlife biologist, he says. If I think soil loss or erosion is a problem, Ill need to involve a hydrologist. If I need a permit, Ill need a rangeland management specialist.

    The BLM uses three-stage Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation protocols to restore lands to a pre-fire state, and to reduce erosion and fuels to prevent future fires. The first stage, Emergency Stabilization, occurs within the first year a fire occurs and is meant to stabilize and prevent further land degradation or threats to surrounding human life.

    We are a rural district, so threats to surrounding neighborhoods dont occur as often here, McVicars says. But lets say a fire burns a large basin on a steep hill site, and theres a housing development. Once the fire burns and all the topsoil and vegetation has been removed, as soon as theres rain and snow melt, the area is susceptible to erosion and debris flows, and that can affect human life.

    One significant danger following the Goshute fire: the many thick fir trees that had burned and had a high probability of falling on the roadway. They had to be removed.

    After that, agencies began the process of reseeding areas most damaged by the fire. In the case of Goshute, McVicars says, BLM and the wildlife department partnered to aerially seed more than 15,300 acres of BLM-administered land blackened by the fire. Aerial seeding is a restoration technique that involves sowing seeds from a drone, plane or helicopter.

    After these fires, the big push for the BLM and Department of Wildlife is to re-establish the vegetation, says Moira Kolada, a staff biologist with the Nevada Department of Wildlife. Thats what provides the wildlife their habitat. Based on the area, we typically work with the BLM on various seed mixes to provide the vegetation we want to see back there.

    For Goshute, agencies aerially administered more than 138,000 pounds of grass, forb and brush seeds. Multiple factorsincluding soil type, elevation, slope, annual precipitation and existing vegetationdetermine what is contained in the seed mixes, McVicars says. Agencies also cleared dead trees and installed straw wattle on hills and mountain sides to catch soils and reduce erosion.

    Last spring, BLM staffalongside with Sierra Club volunteersbegan the process of restoring the Goshute Creek Campground. Together, they constructed 250 feet of fencing between the campground and creek. They also installed three new picnic tables and fire rings and planted bitterbrush seed along the creek. The Sierra Club has been working with the BLM Ely District on similar projects over the past 15 years.

    Late last year, BLM and NDOW agencies transplanted willow cuttings from a nearby state park along the creek. The willows will help stabilize the stream bank and improve water quality, according to Kolada. Willows are a relatively fast-growing species in Nevada, unlike sage brush, she says. They establish themselves quickly and speed up root stabilization.

    Initial monitoring of the lands indicates the burn area has recovered well so far, McVicars says. Still, it has a long way to go before it will return to pre-fire conditions. Full recovery of the land typically takes 15-20 years.

    The long-term goal is for that burned area to be a productive healthy site, McVicars says. I want it to be a functioning ecosystem.

    This story appeared in Las VegasWeekly.

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    Burn recovery: Once a Nevada wildfire gets extinguished, land restoration begins - Las Vegas Sun

    Recovery, restoration & reinvention a conversation with three Arkansas executives – - February 15, 2020 by admin

    The decade of the 2010s started off with the recovery from the Great Recession as Arkansas economy was stung by banking, manufacturing, and housing turmoil. Halfway through the decade, economic fortunes had changed as did the political landscape of the state.

    Talk Business & Politics sat down with three business executives who had a front row seat to the business and policy changes that shaped the decade. This years State of the State executive roundtable includes Darrin Williams, CEO of Southern Bancorp; Elizabeth Bowles, CEO of Aristotle Inc.; and Davy Carter, regional president for Centennial Bank in Jonesboro.

    Carter and Williams served in the legislature in the first half of the 2010s, while Bowles served as a member of the states regulatory bank board during the recovery years. Carter was recently appointed to serve on the board of directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis Memphis branch.

    TB&P Editor-in-Chief Roby Brock quizzed the panel on what weve just been through and their hopes for Arkansas future.

    Roby Brock: Im going to throw some statistics out to ponder. In January 2010, we had a jobless rate of 8.2%. Were at 3.5% today. We had 110,000 people unemployed. There are less than 48,000 unemployed today. Two big topics of conversation were TARP the Troubled Asset Relief Program and the Fayetteville Shale Play, both of which may be obsolete from our vocabularies. The housing market was still flat. You guys were first term legislators, and Joyce Elliott was running for Congress in 2010 just like she is in 2020.

    What a difference a decade makes. What were you doing 10 years ago in your professional lives?

    Davy Carter: You said TARP and those unemployment numbers and throwing those stats out, you have these flashbacks. Obviously, we were coming out of the Great Recession. And here we are today, 10 years later, somewhat at the end, maybe the eighth, ninth inning of a great economic cycle Wow, 10 years goes by fast.

    Elizabeth Bowles: Ten years ago is when we formed our broadband internet division and started deploying fixed wireless broadband in central Arkansas to reach unserved people with broadband. I was also appointed to the State Bank Board that year.

    Darrin Williams: I wasnt at Southern Bancorp then. I was at Carney Williams Bates & Pulliam law firm and specializing in suing banks and publicly traded companies and securities in class action lawsuits and corporate governance grievances. So a little different than what Im doing now.

    Brock: I mentioned the Fayetteville Shale Play. It was really one of the things that kept the Arkansas economy from really going off the deep edge of the cliff. We had some tough economic times, but it really did provide a little bit of buoyancy there. Does it surprise any of you that it is really not part of our conversation of the economy today?

    Williams: Im not sure that it surprises me. I think what you see happening now with so much emphasis on sustainability and environmental consciousness, there a lot of questions about fracking. Theres been really a revolution in the energy space. It was an economic boom. And some people, some landowners kind of hit almost like a lottery for awhile there. It went well, but I think were heading in a different direction. Renewables, alternative energy is really taking shape, and I think thats very positive for this country.

    Bowles: Its interesting because I remember that we had a Fixed Wireless Association meeting in Little Rock, and the whole trade association held their national conference in Little Rock that year. A friend of mine called me when he landed in Virginia and he said, You need to do something. Theyre fracking you guys all over the place. It hit me there, so he was very concerned about the environment. And I think Darrins right the environment was a piece of it. But I also think it still has a future; its just we have to come at it in a more environmentally sustainable, cost-effective way than we approached it before. It was sort of this exciting gold rush type mentality.

    Brock: Davy, youre in the great state of Northeast Arkansas, which has been slow and steady, even in the recession years. It didnt fall off the cliff as much as some of the other parts of the state did. There was really stabilization in that market and we still see that today. Agricultures a big component of that. Do you still see that stability in Northeast Arkansas?

    Carter: I do, and youre right, Ag is a big part of that. Arkansas State University is a huge economic driver for the area and a lot of medical services, a lot of doctors, a lot of ancillary things that pop up from that. It is very steady progress in Northeast Arkansas. Its changed a lot in 10 years doing the contrast back like 08, 09.

    Brock: Tell me where you all see potential progress for Arkansas economy as we head into a new decade. What do you see as a couple of key areas to keep an eye on?If we could have gone back 10 years ago, we wouldve said, Watch what happens in the banking sector, watch what happens in technology, watch what happens in energy. And we would have talked about some of these things that weve seen. What do we see as we move into the next phase?

    Williams: I dont think I would focus so much on a sector. I want to focus a little more broadly. One thing that concerns me and concerns us at Southern Bancorp is the growing income and wealth and inequality in America. But particularly in the state of Arkansas. If you look at just the median income growth and just divided by Congressional districts, in the 2nd and the 3rd, you see growth. In fact, the 3rd probably outpaces the 1st by almost double.

    Arkansas will not succeed if we dont succeed together. While we are broken down regionally, weve got to be concerned and intentional about those who need a hand up, who need help. And its just proven that if we can have broad-based prosperity, the entire economy works better. This divide between the wealth, between black and white or people of color and white, or even gender diversity, the lack of income and wealth and equality among people of color and among women. Its just not sustainable for our country, not for the state of Arkansas. Weve got to make sure that everyone succeeds as we grow.

    Bowles: I think that over the last 10 years, the state was focused in directions that were really good for the state. In particular, when you look at that income and inequality and broadband, which is obviously what we do, but broadband and the lack thereof, is really where its telling the story of the shrinking of the rural areas of Arkansas. Arkansas went from 47th to 50th in broadband over the last four years since they started keeping those statistics, and its because of these rural, economically challenged, sparsely populated areas that are really the breadbasket of Arkansas.

    This is farm country, and you see a concentration of the technology and the concentration of the availability of access to services elsewhere. So my daughter goes to a school where she has everything online, and she goes home at night, and she studies her homework, and its all online. She has access to educational opportunities that do not exist for some of the children in this state.

    Until you levelize that, until you levelize the ability of a business to locate in Blytheville or Osceola or Dumas or wherever they want to locate, youre not going to see economic growth. Youre going to continue to see the shrinking of these regions.

    Ill say one more thing about that. We tried to start addressing the issue of broadband and the Delta back in 2010. We identified the Delta as a place in Arkansas that absolutely needed better broadband and needed that for economic development. Purdue University did a study that every dollar you invest in broadband returns $4 into the economy. So by that math, Arkansas shouldve been focusing on this problem a long time ago. Very pleased to say that were focusing on it now, not just [at] my company, but as a state.

    Brock: Let me throw some statistics here, Davy, that will fold into this conversation. I know weve looked at the projections for the Census data for 2020. The 1st Congressional District which is a big chunk of East Arkansas lost about 60,000 in population. 40,000 [residents were lost] in the 4th Congressional District, which is South Arkansas. Thats 100,000 people who have exited the 1st and the 4th districts. I think theres about a 15,000 population gain in the 2nd District of Central Arkansas, and its about 85,000 in Northwest Arkansas. Can you reverse those numbers? What level of investment could you even do to turn those numbers around, if you can?

    Carter: Its really hard. A lot of people have tried. People are still trying. The Delta is near and dear to my heart. My family is still in Marianna. I went down there last week and went to visit them, and every time I go I just get heartbroken to see how things have declined. Even in the short 20 years since Ive been gone.

    So can it change? Yes, I think its a long ball play. It wont happen overnight. At some point, it just becomes an attractive place to be because of the economics of the cost of living and the natural resources that we have. And I want to say this, that I do have some confidence in some of the younger people that are engaged now in the agriculture business. Theyre thinking about things differently: What to grow? How to deliver their crops? And we have the largest retailer in the world on the other side of the state. There are some other ways to do things, but its going to take a long time. We cant quit. We cant just let it go.

    With this population shift, theyre are going to be less represented in Little Rock. I dont know how the Congressional maps will ultimately be drawn, but its certainly snowballing the wrong way, and I hope the state can continue to pull together and try to resolve the issue. I hope it happens within my lifetime.

    Brock: Let me ask a question about agriculture in that respect. Tell me some things that are going to change from what you see now in terms of big farm operations, whether its big family farm operations or conglomerates. Whats going to be different about agriculture over the next decade? What are we going to see investments in? Whats going to be different from the current model?

    Carter: The consumers drive that, right? I mean, it takes time for that to filter down through the production, but any consumer habits are shifting. I mean, there is more demand for organic goods and farm-to-table and what do they call it? grain-to-glass. Making whiskey and beer and all these things. Again, we have the largest retailer in the world in another part of the state. Theres got to be a way to parlay all of these things together. I think youre going to see a shift in that. It may take another generation cycle to go because its the younger people that are, no offense to the older people, I dont mean that way, but I think they do see those things that are different.

    Williams: This is something thats a significant part of our portfolio, which is Ag-based. What were seeing, its really tough for the family farmer to make it. Youre seeing much, much more large scale corporate farming, and so its tougher for smaller farms to make it. So I think youre going to continue to see that consolidation. Ive seen it in banking, and I think youre going to see it in the agriculture space as well.

    But I think we cant lose sight of the fact that the population of the world is growing, and youve got to feed the world. And in the heart of the Arkansas-Mississippi Delta where you have some of the most fertile land in the world, were still helping to feed the world. I mean, our second largest export in Arkansas is agricultural products. So youre going to see, I think, shifts in Ag-tech. Youre going to see a lot more innovation coming into the space because we still have to feed the world. I do believe in organic and farm-to-table. Its going to continue to grow.

    Bowles: To add to that, because in respect to feeding the world and to the family farms, I think that when you start looking at smart farming and what technology can bring to the farming enterprise, farming is going to become much more efficient over the next 10 years. And broadband is key.

    Brock: Its pretty damn efficient now.

    Bowles: Well, they have to be efficient. The economics dont work if theyre not efficient. But this gets down to a square inch of whether you need extra fertilizer on that square inch. It gets very, very granular, and it enables farmers to maximize their output and minimize their expense through high-tech farming. All of that high-tech farming is incumbent on infrastructure, not just broadband, though thats a piece of that, but also other infrastructure being made available. And then when you start seeing other parts of the country where you have the smart farms and you have the infrastructure coming into place, you see reverse urbanization. You see people coming home, you see people moving back into the communities. They bring their spouses back in and the spouse wants a coffeehouse, so they open a coffeehouse, and then the movie theater reopens. I think we can turn this tide, and I think it does hinge in a very real measure on empowering our farmers in the agriculture sector.

    Brock: Youre talking about community building which is going on in the urban and suburban areas as well.

    Bowles: 100%.

    Brock: All right. In your work areas this next year, the next five years, what are you going to be focused on mostly?

    Williams: Were going to really be focused, and our slogan is, Building communities, changing lives. So were really focused on providing access to capital in areas where capital just doesnt flow. Whats happening in the banking space is youre seeing mass consolidation in banks. Twenty years ago, there were over 15,000 banks in America. Today there are less than 6,000. That decline has been largely felt in rural and low-wealth communities.

    Weve just completed a capital campaign. Were growing. Weve been very profitable, its been a very good time for us, and were looking to acquire some of those small banks that are struggling. If you dont have scale, it is hard to make it in the banking space today. So were in a growth mode, and I hope to see us continue to grow throughout our region, both in Arkansas, Mississippi, and the states that surround us.

    Bowles: We are going to be deploying broadband in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta and in two counties in Oklahoma rural counties. We have about $12.2 million in federal money. The bulk of that is coming into Arkansas, and our mission is to connect the unconnected. Were going to do our best to solve at least one of the infrastructure problems that I perceive. When you start getting into South Arkansas in particular, theres just very, very little existing infrastructure, and were hoping to solve part of that problem.

    Carter: I think one of the most rewarding things about being a banker is being able to, at least indirectly, participate in our customers success. Its those men and women, these entrepreneurs on Main Street, Wall Street, whatever it is, to be able to help those people do what they do and create jobs and be successful is rewarding. So well continue that. Again, bringing that back into context about making Arkansas further prosper, its drawing those kind of people into our state. Those are the people that go out and get stuff done. To be able to help them and to continue to focus and support, I think thats our role in that process.

    Bowles: When I grew up in Arkansas, I actually grew up in the Land of Opportunity, well before it became the Natural State. It is the Natural State, I get it. But the truth of the matter is, Arkansas is a land of opportunity. It is low cost. If you can make something happen in this state, the world is your oyster. I think that Arkansas has to focus on its economic development and bringing in these people and creating the infrastructure so that those people want to come and live in this state. Because, as far as what Arkansas has to offer, it has a huge amount to offer, pretty much across the board.

    Brock: And were small enough too, that you can connect with people. I think thats one of the things that I have found year-over-year, decade-over-decade, and talking to people that have moved here from Arkansas: Its like, you can walk down the street and meet someone. I can know someone who knows the person I need to talk to. Youre literally one degree of separation removed from making something happen. That is an advantage for us.

    All right, I cannot have this panel without asking one final politics question here. Politics and policy. What do the 20s hold in store for politics in Arkansas?

    Williams: When Davy and I served in the Arkansas General Assembly, I think it was a different place. It was not quite as divided on a partisan basis. I mean the numbers were different, and of course, when I came in we had over 70 Democrats, and by the time I left we were the minority party. Youve seen that further decline of the Democratic party in the Arkansas House of Representatives. I dont think thats going to change very much over the next several years.

    What I hope I will see is the ability to work together and not so much D.C.-style partisanship, which when we were there, and maybe because I was in the majority party most of the time, but even when Davy was our speaker, I dont think that the state of Arkansas would have passed the Affordable Healthcare Act if Davy Carter were not speaker. He was able to bring people together, both the Republicans and Democrats, because it was not popular in his party. It was popular in my party, but he had to convince his people, and that has done more for the health of this state than anything thats happened in years. Not only just the health of the state, but its done more for the small rural hospitals that would not be here but for having passed that.

    I hope that you will see in the 20s the kind of working together that Davy and I tried to do. I served as his Speaker Pro Tem, a Democrat serving for a Republican. I hope youll see more of that in this upcoming 10 years of politics.

    Carter: Thank you for those words, Darrin. I mean, that was a team effort, and it did take a lot of people coming together in a difficult time, and it was a special period. I dont see it changing back to those days overnight. I think both parties have gotten off on some tangents, and people are divided, and theres a lot of stuff going on nationally. I dont think anybody should be spiking the ball because most people I talk to are pretty fed up with everybody. And its eight out of nine people, so its very concerning.

    I think theres economic risk. We hear it around our banking table. Its just, Get the politicians out of our way. People would feel more at ease. So, I think next year, I dont see it getting any better, but I hope that one day things will come back, and more reasonable people will prevail, and the truth will matter again. So, Im not optimistic in the short run, but I am in the long run.

    Bowles: I 100% agree. Ive always been involved in politics, though Ive never run for office. And one of the things that Ive always loved about this state was that we elected the person, and it wasnt so much the party. And that changed, honestly, with the national money coming in with Citizens United and with all of this national rhetoric, which sometimes doesnt really apply to the state. Its not a particular party. Either party pushing is not in the best interest of Arkansas. I really would like to get back to the place where were talking about whats in the best interest of Arkansas, regardless of whether it has a particular label on it. I dont think the labels have helped the state at all.

    I agree that its going to be a Republican-controlled state house, probably for the foreseeable future, but I dont think that should matter. It really shouldnt matter what partys in control. It should matter that we are all working together to do whats in the best interest of the state. It would be my hope that we can get there, and I think we can. Obviously not in 2020 because theres too much polarization on a national level.

    Brock: Weve got the whole decade, though, to work towards this.

    Bowles: Maybe in another four years, because I think were going to see a little more polarization before we come back together.

    Brock: I think thats an accurate observation. All right. Darrin, Elizabeth, Davy, thank you all very much. This has been enlightening. I appreciate you.

    Editors note: This article first appeared in Talk Business & Politics annual State of the State magazine.


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    Recovery, restoration & reinvention a conversation with three Arkansas executives -

    Why you should practice regenerative agriculture at home with Penny Bauder & Steve Rosenzweig – Thrive Global - February 15, 2020 by admin

    Practice regenerative agriculture at home.If you have a lawn or garden at home, consider going regenerative. Add as much diversity in plant life as you can and minimize tillage and use of synthetics inputs like herbicides or fertilizers. Add a little pollinator habitat and a birdfeeder and you will find your yard will start to boom with life. Not only will the diversity of insects, birds, and other animals thank you, but a yard full of life is a much more fun place for the kids to explore and develop an appreciation for Nature.

    I had the pleasure of interviewing Steve Rosenzweig, Ph.D.. Steve is a Soil Scientist at General Mills where he drives adoption of regenerative agriculture systems and measures the effects on greenhouse gases, soil health, biodiversity and farmer economic resilience.

    Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about how you grew up?

    I grew up in a quiet suburban town in upstate New York. My interests were all over the place I played trumpet in jazz band, wrote electronic music, played sports, did musical theater, and was big into video games. In junior high, I stumbled my way into a love of Nature. Every day I would come home from school and watch Big Cat Diary on Animal Planet. The show followed scientists as they studied big cats (cheetahs, leopards, lions, etc.) in Africa. They had names for all the animals, and their lives were as complex and full of emotion as any human I knew. What I liked most about the show was how involved the scientists were. They were so intelligent and passionate about their research, which made me feel like they had the coolest job on the planet. This show captivated me and cultivated my curiosity about Nature.

    When it came time to decide what to study in college, I narrowed my options down to either ecology or music production. I envisioned myself either hosting a nature documentary or writing the music for one. I went the ecology route, but I still write instrumental music as a hobby. During my Ph.D., I got a grant to make a short film, so I wrote the story as well as the soundtrack. Who says you cant have it all?

    Was there an aha moment or a specific trigger that made you decide you wanted to become a scientist or environmental leader? Can you share that story with us?

    In the summer of 2013, I made my first scientific discovery. It wasnt particularly groundbreaking to the scientific community, but to me, it was a revelation.

    I was studying soil in Kansas, happy to have landed an undergraduate research gig after being rejected from programs in more exotic places like China and Costa Rica. My experiment was to see what happens to the soil when a farm is abandoned and allowed to return to the native ecosystem, which in Kansas is the tallgrass prairie. I took soil samples from several fields that were side-by-side, each having been abandoned and allowed to recover for a different number of years. Just months earlier, I didnt even know that there were people who studied soil, but as someone who was concerned about humanitys impact on the environment, the research question interested me: If we leave nature alone for a few decades, what happens?

    The transformation was profound. The farm soil, a pale and inert mass of dirt, turned into a black, crumbly, cottage cheese-like substance in the restored prairie. I had numbers to explain the difference. The 35-year old prairie soil was 20% less dense, held over 50% more carbon, and had five times more living microbes than the farm soil, but the difference wasnt just quantitative. The prairie soil smelled better, and had things crawling around in it that werent there in the farm soil. After a hard rain, murky water ran from the farm field into a nearby stream, while the prairie soil absorbed every drop.

    What I discovered was a case of regeneration.

    Flying across the country at the end of the summer, back to my hometown in upstate New York, I looked out the window of the plane. For the first time, I realized how much of the land is dominated by agriculture. I imagined what it would look like if the entire landscape could undergo the restoration I just witnessed. What would happen to the soil? The water? The birds? The people?

    I needed to find out, and decided to pursue a Ph.D. in soil science.

    Is there a lesson you can take out of your own story that can exemplify what can inspire a young person to become an environmental leader?

    For me personally, Im driven by a sense of right and wrong. When I began to learn about climate change, deforestation, topsoil loss, ocean acidification, and all these major issues, I had a real sense that it was an injustice. I dont know where that came from but, for better or worse, frustration is a powerful source of motivation for me. Experiencing a thriving ecosystem is the antidote to that anger, and my mission to regenerate agricultural land, I think, reflects a journey to find some peace.

    Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?

    General Mills has committed to advancing regenerative agriculture on one million acres by 2030, an initiative that I am passionate about and helping lead. Regenerative agriculture is a set of five farming principles: Minimize soil disturbance, maximize crop diversity, keep the soil covered, keep a living root in the ground year-round, and integrate livestock. When practiced together, these five principles can restore the life in the soil, pull greenhouse gases out of the air and lock them away in the soil, making the farmer more profitable and resilient, and bringing back biodiversity like insects, birds and other wildlife.

    We often say that what we are trying to do is agricultures equivalent of putting a man on the moon. We arent just trying to change how people farm, we are trying to change how they think. We are trying to change thecultureof agriculture in a way that nobody has done before.

    Our goal is to help farmers we work with to implement the regenerative principles on their farms. One strategy we are piloting is to pair farmers with a regenerative ag coach from an organization called Understanding Ag, which was founded by legendary regenerative farmer and rancher, Gabe Brown. Transitioning to regenerative ag is a challenging process and is often a rollercoaster of failures and successes. One of the Understanding Ag coaches said, When transitioning to a regenerative system, farmers dont need an agronomist [agricultural consultant], they need a therapist. In this program, we are also fostering relationships between the farmers so they can learn from each other and have a network of support. This deep engagement with farmers is the level of appreciation and care that I think is required to make a meaningful change on the ground.

    Another initiative we are working on is collaborating with several food and agriculture companies to stand up a voluntary ecosystem services market. The basic idea is that if we can cost-effectively measure environmental services that farmers and ranchers provide, like greenhouse gas removal and water quality improvement, then we can begin to pay farmers for those services. We can harness the power of economic incentive to drive adoption of regenerative agricultural systems that address environmental issues. I am part of a team working to figure out how we measure those services efficiently enough to ensure that once the measurement is done, we can adequately pay the farmer.

    Can you share 3 lifestyle tweaks things that the general public can do to be more sustainable or help address the climate change challenge?

    1)Vote and get all your friends to vote.The scale and pace at which we need to act in order to address the climate crisis requires bold government action, and that doesnt happen without leaders who understand the urgency of the problem.

    2)Reduce food waste.A third of the food farmers grow ends up in the landfill. Not only is there a carbon footprint tied to producing that food, but if it ends up in the landfill it creates a powerful greenhouse gas called methane. In addition to making sure all the food in my fridge gets eaten, Ive started to compost all my fruit and veggie peels, coffee grounds, and other scraps that would otherwise go in the trash. I keep the compost in an old coffee container on my kitchen counter (with a small filter in the lid which eliminates any smell) and drop it off at the grocery store down the road which takes it and sells the finished compost.

    3)Support regenerative agriculture and practice it yourself at home.I got into regenerative ag because I believe it is one of our most promising solutions to climate change, and it will help ensure a stable food supply even in a more extreme climate. Now working at a food company, I realize consumer feedback is valued and important. Read up on the companies who make your favorite foods. And if you have access to a farmers market or CSA, ask your farmers if they use regenerative practices like cover crops or no-till. If you have a lawn at home, consider converting it to low-maintenance perennial pollinator habitat, and if you garden, plant some diverse cover crop mixes and eliminate or reduce tillage as much as you can.Kiss the Groundhas some good resources to start learning about regenerative gardening at home.

    Ok, thank you for all that. Here is the main question of our interview: The youth led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great, and there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.

    1)Vote, and take your kids with you.I remember going to the polls with my mom as a kid and getting to pull the lever to cast the vote. It was a fun introduction to the concept of living in a democratic society and raising a generation of politically engaged youth is so important for ensuring our future leaders take bold action on the environment.

    2)Talk about climate change, and be inclusive.I learned from climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe that talking about climate change is one of the most important things you can do. She says that issues you care enough to actually talk about end up being issues that you and others around you are more likely to act on. The taboo around climate change and our inability to talk about it as a society is holding us back from action. Raising kids who have the confidence to talk about climate will enable them to have a more productive dialogue than older generations have been capable of.

    3)Explore the natural world. Its hard to get fired up about sustainability unless you understand what is at stake. Hiking, fishing, and watching nature television series likePlanet Earthcaptured my imagination as a kid, and building an emotional connection to the natural world helped me understand why a thriving planet is so important.

    4)Practice regenerative ag at home.If you have a lawn or garden at home, consider going regenerative. Add as much diversity in plant life as you can and minimize tillage and use of synthetics inputs like herbicides or fertilizers. Add a little pollinator habitat and a birdfeeder and you will find your yard will start to boom with life. Not only will the diversity of insects, birds, and other animals thank you, but a yard full of life is a much more fun place for the kids to explore and develop an appreciation for Nature.

    5)Foster an appreciation for the services Nature provides.Clean water, breathable air, wildlife, food, clothes, and the list goes on. These are the things we depend on Nature to provide and understanding and appreciating these services is an essential first step towards caring about the environment. Extending that appreciation toward those people in our society who are stewards of the environment the farmers and ranchers is just as important. I have the great fortune of working closely with farmers, most of whom are extremely connected to Nature and appreciative of everything it provides. That feeling is contagious. Taking a field trip with the kids to a local farm is a great way to start learning all the ways we depend on Nature and those who work on the land.

    How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?

    This is the central idea behind regenerative agriculture that farmers can become more profitable by improving the land. Regenerative ag is a movement that was started by farmers who were struggling financially. A famous example is the farmer Gabe Brown from North Dakota, who was broke after four years of crop failure and decided that he needed to make some changes. He realized that when he started growing a greater diversity of plants, stopped tilling his soil, and put cattle out onto his cropland, not only did he start seeing earthworms, a sign that he was restoring soil health, but he also started to become more profitable. His crops required less fertilizer, which saved him money, and his cattle were healthier which reduced his veterinary bills. After a while, he was growing higher yielding crops than all his neighbors without any fertilizer or pesticides at all. His farm naturally provides the services like pest control and fertilization that he previously spent a fortune on every year. Not only is Gabe more profitable than ever, but his farm is bringing back more wildlife than hes ever seen, slowing climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil, and cleaning up the rivers and lakes by eliminating erosion. Gabe found that through regenerative agriculture, working with Nature instead of against it can be good for business and the planet.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    Ive been fortunate to learn from many great teachers in my life. I wouldnt be where I am today without the incredible mentorship I received from professors John Blair at Kansas State University and Meagan Schipanski at Colorado State University. But so much of what I know today is from the farmers I have met along the way. I didnt grow up on a farm, so I had a steep learning curve when I started studying agriculture. My Ph.D. research involved interviewing farmers throughout Colorado, Kansas, and Nebraska, and I would sit around their kitchen tables to pick their brains on everything from soil to philosophy to how to drive a tractor. I wouldnt be where I am today without their wisdom and experience.

    You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

    Without a doubt it would be regenerative agriculture. Restoring our ecosystems through the way we grow food, I believe, is the fastest way we can begin to heal the planet while also preparing for the tough times ahead. The climate is already changing and food production is one of the first ways we see its impacts on society. We need agricultural systems that are resilient to a changing climate in order to have a secure and stable food supply. Also, when practiced according to the five regenerative principles, agriculture actually slows the advance of climate change by pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and locking it away in the soil. The potential for regenerative ag to bring back biodiversity, provide clean water, and mitigate climate change all while ensuring a stable food supply for society makes it an essential movement to focus on.

    Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?

    Jacob Collier, who is a musician I really like, said, Id rather write words that invite people to understand, rather than projecting my understanding to other people. I take this to mean that if you really want people to think about things the way you do, you cant force it, you just have to be inviting. So much work in sustainability is focused on changing how people behave, whether its trying to change how people eat or recycle, or its what I do which is trying to change how farmers farm. No one ever changes their behavior because someone told them they should, and a lot of times, too strong of an approach can just make people more entrenched in their current behavior. A more effective approach is to make your camp so inviting that people cant help but to join. This idea has helped me focus my work on regenerative agriculture by trying to paint a vision of the future of agriculture that is inclusive; one that farmers can see themselves in.

    What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?

    @SteveRosenz on Twitter

    Thank you for all of these great insights!

    Excerpt from:
    Why you should practice regenerative agriculture at home with Penny Bauder & Steve Rosenzweig - Thrive Global

    Base 360’s projects ‘focus on the cool stuff’ – Upstate Business Journal - February 15, 2020 by admin

    Growing up in Charlotte, Nick Gilley spent hours playing in sawdust pits on his fathers construction sites, where the self-proclaimed king of Lincoln Logs assembled mansions. Today, Nicks found a niche for his fast-building construction company.

    We want to be known as the guys who are doing the unique, interesting projects, says Gilley, 39, president and founder of Base 360 General Contractors, reminiscing in his offices glass-walled conference room in a squat white building on Augusta Street.

    One particular stretch of the street, a half-mile that encompasses his headquarters and two current projects, offers an apt illustration of Gilleys passions: bringing old buildings back to life and creating something entirely new.

    Take Gilleys soon-to-be residence, for instance. Near Fluor Field, a building that was a barbershop and social club in the 1960s will soon be home to Gilley, his wife, Sarah, 39, and their two children. Yet another couple of blocks closer to Greenvilles West End, Base 360s latest and perhaps most daunting work, Gather GVL, opens soon.

    Its been an extremely challenging project, says Doug Cross, the older half of the father-son team behind the open-air food court at 126 Augusta St.

    Cross credits Carl Jones, Base 360s project manager and one of the finest human beings Ive ever known, for coming up with creative approaches to challenging issues and getting to the finish line. I dont know that, without Carl, this would have happened.

    With its steel shipping containers, a stage and picnic tables, the project pushes the envelope of what Gilley calls construction science.

    While the FR8Yard, which opened in Spartanburg in 2017, bills itself as South Carolinas first fully outdoor biergarten built entirely from repurposed shipping containers, Gilley says, We are now the company known in Greenville as the leaders in shipping-container construction.

    Gilleys heart, though, still beats in buildings of the past, with 75% of Base 360s portfolio involving historic properties, including:

    We cant recreate what we cannot build the way they used to, he says. These buildings had a moment in time, in history, that needs to be promoted. We have an obligation as a society to restore these structures.

    Base 360 didnt start that way.

    I just moved here with next to nothing, Gilley recalls of his arrival to Greenville in 2004, a year after he graduated with a finance degree from the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. I knew I had skills, and I was able to pick up more renovation jobs pretty quickly.

    Early on, his living came primarily from renovating kitchens and bathrooms. At the same time, he joined an Atlanta development firm specializing in public-private partnerships.

    Among other projects, that company restored Mitchell House, built as a luxury hotel in 1875 in Thomasville, Georgia. Gilley served as general contractor for that $12 million condominium project.

    While also continuing work in Greenville, he got his first major solo gig: The Elements, a collection of green-construction condos on Mohawk Drive. In 2010, he started building in Acadia, a subdivision of high-end homes in Piedmont; that work lasted eight years.

    Now, with 2019 revenues totaling some $7 million up 240% from the year before Base 360 has a dozen projects ongoing, with more on the way. The company, employing 17 people, just completed a five-year plan that also includes affordable housing: using Greenvilles topography to build homes into hillsides.

    Beyond construction, he and Sarah opened MADabolic, a fitness franchise, at McBee Station in 2016 after Base 360 completed upfit work there.

    Lets focus on the cool stuff, he says. Yes, historic restoration has a lot to do with that, but were looking out years ahead.


    Elements West

    E.W. Montgomery Cotton Warehouse is now Elements West, 806 Green Ave. Added to the National Register of Historic Buildings in 2012, the site most recently served as Section 8 housing and will soon feature a pool and club room, which will offer free Wi-Fi, a bar area and attached theater.

    Gilley Residence

    On the edge of Greenvilles Central Business District, the four-story, two-unit condo building features rooftop living that overlooks Flour Field and boasts 360-degree views of Greenvilles downtown.

    Dobr Tea Co.

    A renovation and upfit in the heart of the Village of West Greenville.

    Edgefield Hotel

    Restoration of the 1919 hotel at 118 Courthouse Square, Edgefield, South Carolina. The 28,167-square-foot renovation will include the 30-plus room hotel, restaurant, bar and spa, as well as two retail bays.

    Acadia Meeting House

    The centerpiece of the Acadia community showcases high ceilings, exposed timbers and natural light.

    The Elements of Greenville

    The 19-unit Energy Star-certified townhome and condominium community was one of Base 360s earliest projects in Greenville, situated just 1.4 miles from Greenvilles city center.

    Greenville Grocery, Asheville

    Base 360 was the project manager for the historic restoration and conversion of a former A&P grocery store into a high-end organic store in Asheville

    Continued here:
    Base 360's projects 'focus on the cool stuff' - Upstate Business Journal

    Chatsworth to spend 50 million on restoration, build 1,000 homes and create 1,000 jobs – Derbyshire Times - February 15, 2020 by admin

    It's a small job compared to the 32 million restoration - famously involving 1,500 sheets of fine gold leaf to embellish the window frames - that concluded in 2018 at the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire's stately home in the Peak District.

    But carefully maintaining this little cluster of properties in the village of Edensor is part of a much bigger plan to protect Chatsworth's future and ensure it thrives over the next decade.

    "We've been here for centuries and we're going to be here for centuries," says Stephen Vickers, chief executive of the Devonshire Group which also encompasses Bolton Abbey in North Yorkshire, the Compton Estate in Eastbourne and Lismore Castle in Ireland.

    "This is about custodianship and stewardship in the long term. Our role is to help the family hand it on from generation to generation in a way they can be proud of."

    Stephen previously looked after the business interests of another aristocratic family, the Bucchleuchs, and since 2019 has steered the Duke of Devonshire's ventures alongside Andrew Lavery, CEO of the Chatsworth House Trust, who arrived four years ago after jobs in finance and aviation.

    Together they have worked on a document called 'Our Commitment to Our Shared Future: 10 Goals for 10 Years'. This sets out Chatsworth's priorities for the 2020s, from spending a further 50 million on restoring properties and grounds to building 1,000 homes on family-owned land, creating 1,000 jobs and improving transport links to reduce visitors' reliance on their cars. The wide-ranging plan includes goals around apprenticeships, using local suppliers, partnering with schools and cutting waste and emissions - targets with a social impact, extending far beyond the generation of cash.

    "Needless to say, there was lots of debate getting 50 goals down to 10," says Andrew.

    "When people think of Chatsworth they probably think of Chatsworth House, 100 acres of garden and 1,000 acres of park, and that's it. But actually the core estate just around Chatsworth is about 12,000 acres, and then elsewhere in Derbyshire we've got other blocks of land. And then there's Bolton Abbey as well. We always try to think about both key estates and the whole group. Many people don't realise how big and diverse it is."

    Stephen and Andrew talk of the all-important 'Chatsworth experience', which they describe as 'like being welcomed into the family'.

    "That comes right down from the Duke and Duchess," says Andrew. "They are actually delighted that 250,000 people wander round their house every year - it's probably a million when you count events and people walking into the park. The whole estate can be shared."

    Whether they are staying in a Devonshire Group hotel, seeing an exhibition, taking their children to the Chatsworth farmyard or simply buying jam from one of the gift shops, visitors' expectations are extremely high.

    "We wouldn't want it any other way," Stephen says. "The challenge for us is to live up to it. But it's not a bad challenge to have."

    The 50 million investment will be spread over the 10 years, Andrew emphasises, while admitting the sum is a 'huge number'.

    "People won't realise how much it costs to keep these buildings from falling down," he says. "At some point we'll tackle the stables at Chatsworth, and the cascade in the garden. It needs a severe restoration. The water runs straight through it rather than over it because all the pointing has been washed away. We probably do a kilometre of drystone walling every year."

    Meanwhile, parking is a 'hot topic', Andrew says. The popular Christmas Markets one of Chatsworths prime annual events along with the RHS flower show and the Country Fair were affected by last years floods, meaning cars could not be parked on the grass as usual. Large aluminium pads were brought in to prevent the lawns from being churned up by tyres, but numbers still had to be limited.

    "We'll never get away from the geographical challenge," says Stephen. "We are in a rural area, and a national park as well. We can't just create car parks wherever we want."

    However, year-on-year, car numbers have fallen while visitor numbers have held up, suggesting measures to encourage public transport use - like offering a discount on admission to bus passengers - are working.

    Elsewhere, the group's housing developments are coming to fruition. The Chatsworth estate has owned the site of the old Staveley Works iron and steel factory in Chesterfield since the 17th century - 700 homes are going to be created there, plus a marina and shops.

    "The reality is that the UK has a demand for housing," says Stephen. "We have land to deliver against the Government's ambition. But centuries ago we were the builders of communities. Around here you've got all the villages that were built as part of the estate. It's continuing that legacy. We do know what a good place to live looks like."

    Such schemes do generate a return for Chatsworth, he says. "But it's a very long and expensive process to go through. It starts several decades ahead. And also, in somewhere like Staveley, the house prices are not that large. I don't want to paint a picture that this is rivers of gold heading towards Chatsworth. It's hard work to deliver these houses."

    The wider group's annual turnover is around 70 million, led by the visitor and hotel business.

    "We don't generally do anything where you throw a penny in at one end and 100 comes out at the other," says Stephen. "We generally do a lot of things with relatively small margins."

    Another 10-year goal is to enable every child in local schools to experience the estate as part of their primary education, either through coach trips or a 'virtual presence' in classrooms.

    "Someone from a more deprived background might think 'What's Chatsworth got for me? It's just fine art and cream teas'. But it's not. It's the outdoors - Chatsworth on prescription, the idea that your mental health and wellbeing can be improved by an enriched experience in a countryside setting," Stephen says.

    The joy of being a boss at Chatsworth is that 'no two days are the same', Andrew reflects. "The Duke and Duchess are wonderful and they're lovely people to work for."

    Stephen believes the stresses of life as a chief executive must be offset with enjoyment. "You're spinning too many plates, and there's too many things that could potentially go wrong if you mess it up, to do it for any other reason than it being what you love to do."

    And the path to making sure Chatsworth loses none of its specialness by 2030 can easily be found, Stephen thinks.

    "Its charm and integrity comes from the fact we don't mess around with it too much. We want people to go away from Chatsworth having felt they've got more than just a day's entertainment. It sounds a little bit highfalutin but that's not the intention - Chatsworth has always been that place that people come to learn, to engage and to inspire. We've got to make sure we continue that."

    Read the original:
    Chatsworth to spend 50 million on restoration, build 1,000 homes and create 1,000 jobs - Derbyshire Times

    Arlene Foster: We must create a Northern Ireland where everyone is at home – Belfast Newsletter - February 15, 2020 by admin

    Although the New Decade New Approach deal is not perfect it was fair and balanced. We should take the elements about respecting each others identity and use it as the vehicle for promoting a vibrant and prosperous Northern Ireland, as an active and integral and part of the UK, as we approach the centenary of the place we are proud to call home.

    Those pretending that the political vacuum of the last three years was in Unionisms best interests offer only a short-sighted strategy. That is not the position of the DUP. The reality is that people living in every part of Northern Ireland whatever their political outlook, want delivery of effective frontline services, not the division of a border poll or distraction of recycling the Brexit debate. Despite some of the spin, the Irish Times/RTE exit poll showed almost one in five of SF voters didnt even support a border poll. Instead 32% prioritised healthcare.

    We should not be complacent in defending and promoting the overwhelming benefits of being part of the UK. However we should not lose sight of the fact that the best defence against those who wish to take us out of the UK is to create a socially thriving and economically prosperous Northern Ireland. A Northern Ireland where everyone feels at home and where everywhere has a genuine and active stake in determining their future. Despite its accepted weaknesses and frustrations, devolution is still the key to this.

    Yesterday I attended a business breakfast in the Castlereagh Hills. There I presented my vision of making our Province a better place to live, work, grow up, raise a family and do business. That means building a dynamic and successful regional economy. Protecting first and foremost unfettered access for trade with Great Britain, in both directions, and ensuring local interests are met in the implementation of Brexit. It means pursuing better infrastructure connections both with Great Britain and between different hubs of jobs and growth within Northern Ireland. This will increase the number of households seeing practical benefits of living their lives within the fifth largest global economy.

    It is also our job to incentivise young people to stay in Northern Ireland as part of a skilled and future-proof workforce. It is not in the wider interests of unionism to allow the brain drain to continue. We are committed to working with domestic and international businesses to identify skills gaps and create better links between education routes at all levels and the needs of employers not just tomorrow but in five or ten years time. All the while ensuring affected sectors like agri-food and hospitality have access to the outside labour they need in the short-term.

    At the same time we have to showcase Northern Ireland, building on the strong tourism brand already established. Earlier this week the Tourism NIs Visitor Attitude Survey reported that 96% of visitors to Causeway Coast and Glens thought it met or exceeded expectations. The future for Northern Ireland as a positive brand is bright. The possibilities are limitless and we will work proactively with the newly appointed Cabinet Minister for the Constitution and Devolution to make even further strides.

    Last year the DUP began work on developing a Next Generation Unionism approach. This work continues and we must seek to be pro-active in developing our case rather and building the broadest possible support.

    I am clear that restoring Stormont isnt a barrier to a vibrant and forward-looking brand of Unionism. It presents a fresh impetus that we must be ambitious to exploit. The road will not always be easy. There will be challenges. However this is how we will protect the interests of unionism and secure Northern Irelands place for the next 100 years. We all have a role to play in this process and I look forward to getting started.

    View post:
    Arlene Foster: We must create a Northern Ireland where everyone is at home - Belfast Newsletter

    Longford house to appear on RT show this March – Longford Leader - February 15, 2020 by admin

    Synchronised Swimmer, Ronan Daly and his partner Charles Lambert will appear on RTEs new show, The Great House Revival, this March, showcasing a lovingly restored house that they bought in County Longford.

    Kilgass was built as a gentlemens residence for Sir Henry Bate Dudley, Baronet. He was the first rector of Kilglass Church.A major part of the house was built in 1804 for Sir Henry. Earlier parts of the house are thought to date from 16th/17th century as part of an old tower house.

    As the name suggests, Kilglass, meaning church with a grass/turf roof, was built on the site of a medieval monastery. The owners have a list of all the rectors of the parish of Kilglass who have lived in the house over the last 200 years.

    The house and gardens are undergoing a major restoration and are 80% finished. The owners of the house are encouraging people to come to stay and experience the country house lifestyle and to see for themselves the restoration of a historic house.Kilglass is on the National Inventory of Architectural Heritage (No.13401921). The front has now been faithfully restored back to its 1804 original.

    The beautiful home will be featured in episode three of The Great House Revival in early March.

    Also read: Quad lambs born on Lanesboro farm

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    Longford house to appear on RT show this March - Longford Leader

    From the Blue Toon to the Big Apple as north-east granite used in restoration of historic New York building – Grampian Online - February 15, 2020 by admin

    Three ornamental pillars crafted from Peterhead granite are making their way across the Atlantic for use in the restoration of a historic New York building after some detective work by Scottish stonemasons.

    Natural stone specialists Fyfe Glenrock were able to identify the type of granite required for the multi-million-dollar restoration of the Big Apples oldest apartment block from a photograph of the existing columns.

    The Oldmeldrum-based firm was contacted by counterparts in the States seeking a perfect match for three polished granite pillars at The Windermere, on the citys upmarket Upper West Side.

    Original shipping and building records suggested that the stone for the pillars had been imported from Scotland, prompting Swenson Stone Consultants in New Hampshire to contact a firm with a worldwide reputation for granite quarrying and craftsmanship.

    Fyfe Glenrock commercial manager Richard Collinson said: We have worked with this firm in the past so they were aware of our knowledge of Scottish granites and they emailed asking for confirmation of the identity of the granite used on the building which they believed to be from Aberdeenshire.

    The photo they sent had sufficient detail for us to know that the pillars had been created from Peterhead granite.

    "Its always very interesting when we get an unusual request like this, and were delighted to be able to help restore a building of such significant historical interest.

    The Windermere was originally completed in around 1881 as a complex of three seven-storey red brick buildings. With his own daughters in mind, Superintendent Henry Sterling Goodale marketed the apartments as homes for the new woman a growing class of single and financially independent ladies and were among the first in the city to offer amenities such as hydraulic elevators and telephones.

    Many decades later they were converted into single-occupancy residences and were marketed to New Yorkers struggling with sky-high rents, particularly the citys growing creative community.

    One of The Windermeres most famous past residents is actor Steve McQueen.

    The building slowly fell into a state of decline and in 2007 was declared unsafe by the fire department.

    Two years later it was bought by a developer and the major refurbishment will see the building reopen its doors as a plush hotel, with retail space and a number of private apartments.

    Peterhead granite was used extensively throughout the UK and abroad during the 19th century and comes in red and blue varieties.

    The red variety is often used for ornamental construction its found in many buildings in London, Liverpool and Cambridge while the blue variety is used for decorative proposes, including the fountains in Trafalgar Square in London.

    It is still quarried at Stirlinghill and Longhaven quarries, but these days it is mostly crushed for aggregate.

    The pillars have been produced, polished and finished at Fyfe Glenrocks base and are now being shipped to the USA where, said Mr Collinson, they will not look out of place.

    He visited New York three years ago and was struck by the amount of Peterhead granite used in building and memorial bases.

    If you look at the history books, a lot of masons from the north east of Scotland migrated to and from America in the late 1800s, he said.

    Due to the fact that they had a knowledge of indigenous Scottish granite and its properties, it is understandable that they would seek out Scottish materials to use there.

    "So, it wasnt only the men, but the materials, that made the transatlantic journey.

    Were talking about 120 years ago when stonemasonry would still have been a relatively young industry in the new world, and there would have been plenty of work opportunities.

    There is some evidence to suggest that the parapet bases of the Brooklyn Bridge were made by Aberdeen masons so, given the fact that Peterhead granite was used at The Windermere, its likely that Scottish masons were involved in construction.

    Fyfe Glenrock has more than 160 years experience in granite quarrying and craftmanship, and has supplied materials for many high-profile works, both at home and overseas.

    It has provided indigenous Scottish granite for projects including The Scottish Parliament, the Millicent Fawcett Suffragist Memorial in Parliament Square, London and more recently The Silver Fin Building, Union Street, Aberdeen.

    Go here to see the original:
    From the Blue Toon to the Big Apple as north-east granite used in restoration of historic New York building - Grampian Online

    East Windsor bids for shot on HGTV restoration show – Journal Inquirer - February 13, 2020 by admin

    EAST WINDSOR The Beautification Committee and town officials have collaborated on a video that was submitted to the HGTV television network in a bid to be part of a series that renovates entire towns.

    The show, Home Town Takeover, is a spin off of the original series Home Town, which first aired in January 2016. The series is a home restoration program hosted by Ben and Erin Napier of Laurel, Mississippi.

    After 34 episodes of the original series, HGTV green-lighted the spin-off series in which the couple travel around the country and renovate entire towns in need of a fix up, according to HGTV.

    Jillian Hubbard, who heads the Beautification Committee, says she found out about opportunity through fellow committee member Fawn Bowidas and resident Beth King.

    Applicants had to submit a series of photographs or a video depicting areas of town that needs attention, according to HGTV. Qualifications for a town to be considered for the show include a population of less than 40,000 people, homes with great architecture longing to be revealed, and a main street that needs a facelift.

    Residents of the selected town can expect to witness the rehab of multiple individual family homes as well as the revitalization of public spaces parks, local diners or restaurants, and outdoor recreation areas, HGTV says.

    With the help of First Selectman Jason E. Bowsza; selectmen Sarah Muska, Charlie Nordell and his wife, Kristina; Nancy Masters; and Warehouse Point Fire Department Chief James P. Barton, the Beautification Committee successfully submitted its video application on the deadline of Feb. 7.

    The video is just under a minute and a half long and features an array of photographs in an attempt to display the towns small town charm, historic value, and unique location.

    Hubbard said the group managed to finish the project in just three days.

    We all contributed something, Hubbard said. Me and the other Beautification members went out and took pictures, Chief Barton helped us by using a fire truck to get aerial shots, Selectman Bowsza gave us an on-camera statement, and Kristina Nordell edited the video and made the final product.

    Bowidas says the video took teamwork.

    The video came out great and it was a community effort from a lot of different people. There is nothing better than when community members come together for something positive. Good things come when people work together, Bowidas said.

    If chosen by the network, the town will be part of a six-episode special event slated to air in 2021.

    Go here to read the rest:
    East Windsor bids for shot on HGTV restoration show - Journal Inquirer

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