wrought iron fence
St James’ Park historic gates return to the ground
Historic entrance gates which once greeted Toon fans to St James’ Park have been erected outside the ground. They had pride of place at the Gallowgate End of the stadium for decades, but the gates were removed in the 1990s and have been in storage at Sir John Hall’s Woolsington Hall in Northumberland ever since.
But now, after the collective efforts of club officials, members of the NUFC Fans United group, club sponsors Wonga and Sir John’s Magpie Group, the wrought iron gates have returned to the ground.
Sir John Hall said: “It’s excellent news that they have now been put up. I’m just pleased all the hard work has paid off for everyone involved, including the fans, the Magpie Group and the club. ` “It now means that the ground will be St James’ Park forever.”
The gates, outside the entrance to the main Milburn Stand reception on Barrick Road, will be officially unveiled to the public next Saturday.
Yesterday, the Chronicle snapped the gates being put before a sheet was put over them.
Malcolm Dix, of the Magpie Group, said: “The gates are going to be covered up ready for the unveiling on Saturday.
“The new sponsor decided to name the ground St James’ Park which made life so much easier to put them up. “The good thing is that everyone has come together – the fans and the club. “It’s nice that the Magpie Group and St James’ Park were able to organise it.”
The gates were removed from their original home outside the stadium during its redevelopment. They were lifted from their rural home using a custom-built frame and were then transferred to a workshop to be restored, using money donated from new club sponsors Wonga. The gates have been painted black with St James’ Park in gold lettering and the club crest in the centre of each one.
Fanzine editor Steve Wraith said: “It’s great to see the supporters and the club working together. “The gates gave us a unique opportunity to work together to put something back at the ground which could be looked on as symbolic.
“My hope is that the gates will be a focal point for supporters. Sometimes in football we are hit with tragedy, like the death of Gary Speed. “I imagine the gates becoming somewhere we can pay tribute.”
Opulent Simi Valley resort-style home is a showplace throughout the year
by Wendy Dager
A bonus is when the residence is in the Wild Horse Canyon neighborhood of Simi Valley, which is one of the most geographically desirable locales in this safe and scenic city. Freeway close to Los Angeles and Ventura counties for commuters, it also is a convenient and lovely setting for those who enjoy biking and walking for exercise, with spectacular hillside views.
Listed for sale in Wild Horse Canyon in the portion of the development known as The Crest, there is a 3,460 square-foot home at 4417 Presidio Drive. Built in 2004, the original owners have added an abundance of upgrades in order to create a showplace, which includes a resplendent backyard that has an additional 650 square feet of living space in the backyard pool house.
Styled in a fashion reminiscent of a Tuscan villa, this five-bedroom, four-and-one-half bathroom, two-story residence on an enormous, 0.43-acre lot evokes the opulence of a five-star vacation resort.
The architecture is stunning, with stacked flagstone to complement the tile roof and arched doors and windows, along with wrought iron gates that enhance the RV access area and porte cochere with walkway above.
The front yard also has a specially widened driveway entrance for recreational vehicle, boat or automobiles, beautifully manicured lawn and decorative fountain.
The interior is breathtaking, with tumbled travertine tile flooring throughout, a bold mosaic floor medallion in the entryway and warm, inviting paint tones on the walls.
Downstairs is a cozy front bedroom with bathroom, suitable for nanny, in-laws or guests. There also is a powder room, formal living room with fireplace and plantation shutters, and a formal dining room that looks out onto the fabulous sideyard koi pond.
The kitchen is an entertainer’s dream, with gorgeous granite countertops and stainless-steel Kitchen Aid appliances including a Sub-Zero refrigerator, six-burner range, and double convection oven. Adding to the beauty and convenience of the kitchen are upgraded white-painted cabinets, island with sink and stone tile backsplash with painted fruit basket center motif.
Next to the kitchen is the carpeted family room, with French doors, surround sound and built-in media center with rear panel access.
The best way to complement a spectacular interior is with an equally incredible backyard. When one walks outside, the first thing experienced is the dramatic outdoor living area, which is like no other. Styled just like an indoor living room, but with a wide-open view of the expansive, resortlike backyard, it has a granite wet bar with wine cooler, fireplace with raised hearth and granite face, beamed ceiling, heaters, ceiling fan and nearby half-bathroom.
The yard’s centerpiece is the 11-foot-deep pool with a 28-foot slide built into the adjacent hillside. There are umbrella pool holders set into the pool, fiber-optic jets and a cascade waterfall. A separate, circular-shaped tiered spa also is a dramatic backyard feature, and there is a whimsical jumping water area that’s perfect for the kids to cool off on those hot summer days.
The backyard also has a putting green, rock waterfall, storage sheds and strategically hidden pool equipment. A thoughtfully crafted built-in barbecue has a sink, refrigerator, stove burner and granite countertop, and there is a beautiful outdoor gas fireplace.
The pool house is another brilliant feature, with a full bathroom, sauna, ceiling fans and play area that will hold a variety of gaming tables, arcade machines, or whatever the new homeowner desires.
The entire backyard and its surrounding hillside can be viewed from the 1,000-square foot veranda attached to the upstairs master bedroom, just above the downstairs outdoor living room. The veranda has a gas fireplace, spa and more than ample lounging area. The master bedroom itself is a retreat, with fireplace, sitting area, his-and-her walk-in closets and spa-sized master bathroom, which has a vanity, oval-jetted tub, dual sinks, separate shower, separate room for the commode, wiring for TV and heated floors.
The luxury continues with the other bedrooms and bathrooms upstairs, plus an area that can be used as an office, den or playroom. An added bonus is that it’s just a short walk across the balcony above the porte cochere to the residence’s home theatre, which has soundproof walls, theatre chairs, overhead projector and separate heating and air conditioning.
Other amenities include a water softener, recirculating heated water, central vacuum system, alarm system, motion sensors inside and outside, and upstairs laundry room.
Manville Landing, boat launch opens
Gordon Hankinson of Cumberland sets off on a Blackstone River kayak adventure from the new boat ramp at Manville Hill Park Monday.
By MARCIA GREEN
It was 20 years in the making, and topped $1.5 million before the final gravel pathways were laid this spring, but the town took ownership this week of the Manville Landing after officials checked off the last items on a construction punchlist that for a while seemed to have no end.
This new public park, about two acres, sits on what was the former mill pond that was part of the system powering the Manville Jenckes Mill across the street.
Along with some picnic tables and stone benches are a floating dock that fishermen are already using, and a sloped landing for launching canoes, kayaks and dinghies.
For boaters, it’s the town’s first and only access point to the Blackstone River and just the second one – with the Central Falls Landing – available in the entire Blackstone Valley.
Next spring, look for the Explorer riverboat to dock at the park and offer river excursions between Manville and Woonsocket by the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council.
For visitors to the area, wrought-iron fencing frames the river and dam and signs with historical information are coming soon from the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor Commission.
Few, if any, current town officials were around back in the early 1990s when the nearby quarry owners donated the park area and the first federal funds were made available for the preliminary design.
Bob Billington was a young president of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, a post he still holds.
The project began with plenty of optimism, he recalls.
He recalls that David Bouley was the town planner when state officials first inquired about creating a park there.
“Hell, yes, we said,” Billington recalls. “Let’s take it. It will be a great river access point.
“Little did we know it would take another 20 years.”
Billington recalls securing $50,000 to $60,000 in federal funds for this project, an enormous sum, it seemed at the time.
Two decades later, it’s a more savvy Billington who says now that every new park or piece of bikeway comes with unknown contaminants from the valley’s industrial era.
“Never in my wildest imagination did I think it would cost so much,” he told The Breeze this week. “We had $50,000. I thought we were dealing with really big money, way more than we would need. “But we would be so wrong.”
He says now, “You can’t touch land without dredging up an amazing amount of problems. Our money doesn’t go very far.
“It’s ridiculous what we have to spend to reclaim land and be able to gain access to the river. We spent a real lot of money to make it usable.”
For Manville Landing, the problem was the filled mill pond where contractors found charred pieces of the mill tossed there during the cleanup of the great fire of 1958 that destroyed the Manville Jenckes Mill.
State Department of Transportation figures requested by The Breeze show expenses total $1,541,375 beginning with the $222,017 design by Vanesse Hangen Brustlin Inc. and ending with the $8,780 porous pathways requested by the Rhode Island Historic and Heritage Preservation Commission.
Most of the funding came through the federal Transportation Enhancement Program.
A. Korey was the first contractor, awarded a $502,494 contract in 2007, but only collecting $82,857 before going bankrupt and giving up the project. Site Tech Corp. then won the contract initially for $203,823.
But in 2009, contaminants including lead, arsenic, and petroleum hydrocarbons were found in the soil.
Cleanup in 2010 brought work to a halt for two years and cost taxpayers $506,272.
The entire site is covered now with a webbed cap topped by 18 inches of loam.
Site Tech’s renewed contract added $515,495 to the project.
Billington concedes now, after all the work, “When you look at Manville Landing, there’s not much there. It’s pretty basic.”
Still, he compliments DOT. “I’m pleased the DOT didn’t weaken, and stayed with it.
Now when we talk about landings, we’re a lot wiser now, it’s let’s dip our toe in the water first and if it’s going to be difficult, let’s move on.”
While Cumberland invested no money in the $1.5 million park, it now will assume some expense.
Acting town engineer Eugene Jeffers said the park is currently open 24-7, but access may be limited to dawn to dusk requiring someone to lock and unlock the gate.
Jeffers expects to add a couple of trash barrels that will need emptying.
The floating dock, which is anchored to pilings that stand a few inches above the 100-year storm mark, will likely be removed by the town during winter months.
And Public Works superintendent Frank Stowik said his department will add this park to the 30 properties – cemeteries, ballfields and other parks – that a two-man crew currently keeps mown.
No toilet facilities are available, so town officials expect only short-term picnickers and sightseers.
Back in 2007, when Korey Construction started, 300 condominiums, with a restaurant and other commercial structures, were approved for the quarry that borders the park.
That project has never been pursued and quarry operations continue there.
Wrigley renovation deal nearly complete
by David Kaplan
Crains Chicago Business writer Danny Ecker updates Kap and Carm about the progress on the planned renovations for Wrigley Field, including the proposed bridge over Clark Street, the likelihood of an approval, and other issues associated with changing the stadium.
Much of the exterior surrounding Wrigley Field’s landmark marquee would be restored to how it appeared in the 1930s, including restoring windows, terra cotta and wrought-iron fencing to the stadium’s facade. There also would be an expanded terrace off the stadium’s upper deck above the marquee.
Entertainment district manager has security plan
by Nancy Hicks
There will be armbands, private security guards, roving ambassadors, off-duty police and drink prices no lower than $3, explained Stefanie Warner, hired by WRK Real Estate to oversee the district.
The area encompasses two courtyards on separate blocks between buildings across the street from the arena.
WRK’s plan seems to answer many security concerns raised by Lincoln City Council members as they created the entertainment district, similar to a large sidewalk café, where more than half a dozen restaurants will share a large courtyard area.
Council members repeatedly have said they do not want the entertainment district to become another O Street, where police are often needed to maintain control near bar closing time on weekends.
A large number of college-age people are expected to live in apartments that are part of the entertainment district area and to patronize the restaurants and bars in the district.
Customers from all the restaurants will be allowed to mingle, with drinks and food, in the district.
Two courtyard areas will be separated by Canopy Street. The most prominent and likely the most-used courtyard will be called the Railyard, which will include a giant screen — called the Cube — and will be connected with 13 different businesses that serve food and drinks.
The courtyard across the street, called the Hyatt courtyard, is adjacent to the Canopy Lofts apartments, the Hyatt Hotel and two restaurants.
“There has been some confusion in the community about how this is going to work,” Warner said.
A 3-foot wrought-iron fence will mark the edge of the Railyard courtyard, she said.
People will not be allowed to leave either courtyard with drinks, aside from going onto Canopy Street during special events, when the district has gotten specific permission from the City Council to close the street.
WRK likely will be seeking its first such permission, called a special designated license, for the Oct. 5 Husker homecoming game, Warner said.
The courtyards themselves will be open to the public for the first few home games, but only a few of the restaurants will be open for business.