Wrought Iron Gates
Lazy days coming here
Point Mallard set to embark on its most extensive upgrade ever: Lazy River
By Tiffeny Owens
The wrought iron gates at Point Mallard water park closed Monday, but when they swing open next Memorial Day weekend, swimmers will be greeted by a 1,000-foot Lazy River — complete with geysers, waterfall mountain and splash pad, new water slides, concessions and parking.
The 42-year-old park is set to nearly double in size, expanding on the west side where a new archery area opened this summer. Parking will be updated, and restrooms and lockers added.
The Olympic pool will be redone and a new entrance constructed.
Contractors with Burleson pools of Hampton Cove and Extreme Waterslides of Crump, Tenn., will converge on the site to construct the $3.8 million project that’s broken into separate work phases: Lazy River, Olympic pool renovation, water slides, concessions/restrooms/entrance, and the parking lot, said Wally Terry, Decatur’s community and economic development director.
“We wanted to move quickly on getting everything in place so work could begin right after the water park closes,” Council President Gary Hammon said.
The project is being financed with the combination of money generated by a bond refinancing and a tax-exempt bank loan. Last month, the city refinanced a 30-year, $19.9 million bond taken out in 2003, of which $15 million is outstanding, for a lower interest rate. The refinancing will save the city $2.3 million in debt-service payments.
Parks and Recreation Director Jeff Dunlap expects the increased revenue from the new water rides to pay for the renovation in 10 years or sooner. Each time Point Mallard has added an attraction, its revenue has surged by double-digits, he said.
The water park, named after J. Gilmer Blackburn, who conceived it, is among the most affordable in the state.
While District 1 Councilman Billy Jackson agreed with other councilmen on the bond refinance, he broke with them on using the money on Point Mallard. He opposed the project back in 2008 as council president.
“The project is a good one, but I think we have other priorities we need to address first for residents,” Jackson. “We haven’t been cleaning out alleys. Our streets are terrible and need repaving. We have drainage problems we need to fix.”
Officials supporting the overhaul contend it will generate more money for the city aside from increased admissions with more visitors spending money in town for food, gas, shopping and lodging.
Main entrance of Jeypore king’s palace collapses
The brick and mortar structure supporting the main wrought iron gate of the century-old Jeypore King’s palace in Orissa collapsed on Sunday after being in a dilapidated state for several years, the police said.
The Koraput district administration had recently declared the main entrance as “unsafe” and advised the people against passing through it, sub-divisional police officer (SDPO), Jeypore, Utkal Das said. However, no one was injured in the incident and steps were being taken to clear the debris, he said.
The palace, built by King Rama Krushna Deb, is the pride of the town and its main gate, a centre of attraction. After abolition of the princely states by the government, the royal family was unable to maintain the structure properly. The only occupant in the sprawling palace is Rani Rama Devi. The octogenarian queen’s other surviving relations, including grand children, stay at Visakhapatnam.
In 2011, after noticing that the condition of the main entrance was in a bad shape, the Koraput district administration had issued notice to demolish it, while the remaining portions of the palace were said to be safe, official sources said.
However, the Queen had assured that the entrance portion would be repaired but the statusquo continued.
After the main entrance caved in on Sunday, sub-collector Birendra Kerkera met the Queen and her advocate and discussed as to what steps the royal family was taking now.
Seeking intervention of the district administration in the matter, the Queen gave it a free hand to take necessary steps for restoring the entrance, Mr Kerkera said. Mr Kerkera said personnel from Orissa Disaster Rapid Action Force and the fire brigade were being engaged to clear the remains of the structure.
Vallejo steps rise with home values
At the bottom is a plaster apartment building with round bay windows that look like Farley’s perch in the old cartoon. Halfway up is a shingled manse with a wrought-iron gate and a yellow sign announcing that a film crew will be shooting here. At the top you can see what Charlotte Shultz sees from her penthouse deck.
You can be upwardly or downwardly mobile on this staircase, but it’s best to start at the bottom, because if you come down first you won’t want to climb back up. To reach the start from Columbus Avenue means walking three uphill blocks of Vallejo Street. One alternative is to step off the Powell & Hyde cable car and step onto the stairs.
They are concrete and run up both sides of a median of live oaks and shrubs tough enough to get purchase on a steep grade. Counting landings, it is 150 steps to the first terrace of benches. Of course you don’t need the rest, but the view back across North Beach to the Transamerica Pyramid is worth stopping for momentarily.
An additional 56 steps brings you to Taylor Street, where a cheater can start or stop. The view drops directly off to Alcatraz.
Across Taylor, the staircase is marked by stone balusters that look like pepper grinders to indicate that you are reaching the heights, 118 more steps up. You’ll know you are at the hilltop when you can look west across Cow Hollow to the Presidio.
Welsh Homes – Lan Sôr
Each week we will be looking at the most gorgeous homes for sale in Wales. This week, Kirstie McCrum profiles Lan Sôr, an Elizabethan manor with grace and style in Monmouthshire.
Stepping into the impressive hall of Lan Sôr, it’s easy to feel like history is all around. From the solid stone floor, up through the ornate oak panelling and across the original stone fire place with a cast iron grate, the Elizabethan manor house is one which matches its vintage with its breathtaking style.
Situated in a Special Landscape Area, Grade II-listed Lan Sôr overlooks the Sôr Brook in the rural parish of Llandegveth. Noted for its early medieval church dedicated to St Tegfedd, the parish is four miles north of the historic town of Caerleon, the site of one of Britain’s most famous Roman towns.
Noted for its historical and architectural interest with features from different periods, Lan Sôr reputedly dates back to the 15th century, with a ninegabled, south-facing elevation comprising two wings at right angles to each other. The property has stone mullioned windows with diamond leaded lights, tall chimneys, two turrets and a dove cot to the gabled west end. The interior has some fine features including open fireplaces, carved oak panelling and several built-in matching coffers.
The property is approached from a quiet country road through electric, wrought iron, double entrance gates that lead into a private drive. This sweeps around to the principal south east elevation and also up a gentle incline to the stables, garaging and outbuildings.
Above the entrance is a chevron carved in stone between three wolves’ heads, the arms of the Meyrick and James families, who were owners from the 17th century. A priest’s hole is reputed to have existed there in the days of the Catholic persecution.
From the entrance hall, doors lead to the smoking room, with mullioned picture windows and leaded lights, and the drawing room, with a triple aspect overlooking formal gardens, and an Adam-style fireplace.
Alongside, the dining room features a stunning stone fireplace with carved oak surround of Flemish origin, with dates inscribed in the iron work of 1744 and 1780, and an ornate carved over mantle depicting profile heads and a Pelican feeding young in its nest. The over mantle is inscribed with a Welsh motto which reads ‘Gwell yw pryd o ddail lle byddo cariad, nag ych pasgedig a chas gydaf ef’ – a quote from the Book of Proverbs which translated means ‘Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith’.
to be continued
Infusing the new with the old
An active couple’s dream property in the Eastern Townships is modern but with classic touches
BY JOHN GRIFFIN
Building lots near the hopping marina in the Eastern Township’s town of Knowlton are rare as hen’s teeth. One-plus-acre packages within shouting distance of the boat launch, Tiki bar, funky terrace and Key West-on-Brome Lake vibe make hen’s teeth look common. So when Sylvie Turcotte and Alain Villemure heard about one such opportunity in 2005, they jumped on it.
“It had everything we wanted,” said the effervescent Turcotte during a recent visit. “It’s close to the water, close to schools, the boat club and public beach for the kids and walking distance to shopping and the centre of town. It’s also one of the most beautiful neighbourhoods in a beautiful village.” The only thing missing from the property was a house her family of five could call home. Quick, call the architect.
Turcotte and Villemure did just that. A year later, they put a key in the front door of a brand new, five-bedroom cottage, custom designed and built for the needs of an active couple and their three kids. That the mellow yellow clapboard residence with its wrap-around porch looks like it’s been there for decades is the icing on this confection, and a relief to those neighbours who actually have been there for decades.
One step through the entrance confirms that this place is for people who love the outdoors and are bound to bring some of it inside.
Say hello to the mudroom. Note the low-maintenance ceramic floor, the three-tier, deep-dish built-in drawers for sneakers, caps and winter accessories. There’s a walk-in cupboard with hooks for clothes, and a bathroom handy to the swimming pool out back. No padding through the house with dripping bathing suits to use the facilities. There’s even a urinal for the boys, an inexpensive, incredibly practical touch that should be mandatory for any family with a male component.
“We knew what we wanted,” said Turcotte, “and our architect listened. One of the things we wanted was a hard-working mudroom.” Check that off the list.
Turn left, and up a few stairs to the heart of this relaxed, light-filled abode. Front-and-centre is the open kitchen, anchored by a two-sided stone fireplace, and given oodles of air from a vaulted ceiling high enough for an echo effect and lined at the top with double-hung windows only a giant with a serious ladder could open.
They’re there, Turcotte explained, because one of the inherent problems with wrap-around porches is light. Or, rather, the lack of light that gets into a house when it’s attached to an outdoor space with a roof on it. No problem here. There’s even a window where the stove exhaust vent should be. Cunningly, the design wonks at Jenn-Air built the exhaust into the stovetop. Ceramic counters, custom sideboard by the master cabinetmakers at Knowlton’s Camlen Furniture and a well-used wooden dining table complete the comfortable space.
The living room is casual, too, with oiled maple floor, the other half of the fireplace and a piano. It doesn’t get much use in the summer, though, because the family lives on the porch. There’s a wrought-iron table and seating for eight, right off the kitchen, with views of the in-ground pool, expansive lawn with soccer net and plentiful trees that give the property the privacy of the country in the heart of a busy village.
“That was also important to us,” said Turcote, of a decision to build up a winding gravel lane and to cut down as few trees as possible while constructing a two-storey, three-garage, 2,300 sq. feet home. The judicious planting of new trees and shrubs has all but eliminated the need for curtains.
The second floor is about sleeping. One wing belongs to the kids, with three good-sized bedrooms, a bathroom and a laundry room with its own toilet, so the call of nature can be answered without barging in on someone in the tub. The other wing belongs to the adults, with pocket doors for privacy, its own little balcony, and ensuite with bidet.
There’s more action in the basement. So this is where the TV is, inquiring minds are relieved to learn. Yes, there’s a cinema room, a thousand-bottle wine cellar, family room, guest bedroom and a space for the mechanicals, the better to monitor an energy system that deploys forced air, electric and an under-floor radiant system for those areas with ceramic tile. Oh, and central air conditioning.