Tuesday, March 26, 2013


     I am always amazed at the people who I always consider thrifty and enterprising and how they can totally let something useful rot away to nothing.  When I was in the Real Estate office I wished I could manufacture old farm houses on 5 acres with a barn.  I would have been the busiest in the office if I could.
     People love old houses and properties.  There are even whole towns that would rather let the houses and buildings fall down and the town die than let anyone have use of them.  It makes no sense.  Taxes are paid on the buildings whether they are used or not.  They become fire hazards and home for varmints.  It is also an eye sore for those in the community.
     People lament the kids moving to the city yet there is no starter housing that is affordable for young couples who would stay.  I know people that shake their heads when we drive by an abandoned place and they say "what a shame."  Yet they are letting their own places fall apart also.
     There are many ways to utilize old buildings for new uses it takes imagination and the will.  It still has been proven more economical to re purpose an existing structure than building a new one.
     What also drive me nuts is the "collective wisdom" of boards and commissions to take something historical and knock it down to put up an eyesore.  There still is a bit of the urban renewal virus in towns and cities.  Community character is an important part of the mind set of our small and independent communities.  A local town is in the process of knocking down a big building on main street and a metal monstrosity will more than likely go up ruining the downtown character.  If as much effort was spent trying to revitalise the structure rather than condemning it it would become a useful part of the town again.
     There is nothing like being around the energy and vitality of the younger people who care about their communities and are not bound by the mentality of 'it's old knock it down'.  This is why I come back from the WE KAN conference so full of good feelings.
     If we are going to win this country back it has got to be started on the local level.  If we allow the nay sayers to influence everything there won't be much left to stop the Buffalo Corridor when the bozo's back east decide there is no useful places left in our communities anymore.


  1. The problem is safety codes and government bureaucracy. It is cost prohibitive to bring a building in disrepair up to code than to bull doze it and start over with new materials.

    Everybody wants to run to the lawyer and sue if something just isn’t quite right. The bathroom doors are too narrow, the light receptacle doesn’t have the GFCI plug, this and that.

    My father worked on the Kansas highway department a number of years ago. He said the state was required to bring the rest stops up to code for the handicapped. The state said it was too expensive to do, so they bulldozed them all over and installed picnic tables. Now everybody has to suffer.

    I agree, I would love the old structures to stay, but they do not meet code.

  2. The obvious answer of course, is to bulldoze the politicians and lawyers. They serve no useful function, and are bigger eyesores than any old building or area!