First of all, the Design Center is out of Davenport Architecture book, but still may have a few copies of "Davenport: where the Mississippi runs west" left. I'm glad to see the interest that people had for these books. It makes me think there are more than a few of us out there who are interested in that kind of thing.
Don't forget: Tomorrow morning is March's Winter Farmer's Market at the Freight House. It starts at 10am and lasts until 3pm, and is located at the west end of the building, near the new playground.
Here's a somewhat long article from The Atlantic called The Next Slum? about the potential for the fall of suburbs. It covers a wide variety of subjects, from increasing gas prices to the fact that when people think of "hip" or "trendy" places nobody thinks of the suburbs. Ask someone my age whether a downtown loft condo or a house in "Eastern Avenue Farms" is the cooler place to live. The name "Eastern Avenue Farms" reminds me of the saying that most suburbs are named after the geographic landmark they destroy.
A preservation-minded reader sent me a link to this page
about the renovation of 822 Gaines by the Gateway Redevelopment Group. If Reverend Marty thinks 2101 Main is bad, his head would explode if had walked through this home before the GRG got ahold of it. Oh yeah... with volunteer labor (not that a church would have access to something like that) it cost less than $100k to renovate.
Over on Cruiser's blog, former-Alderman Nikolas commented his feelings in defense of Fejervary Zoo. I don't always agree with Mr. Nikolas, and I possibly don't on this topic either, but I do think people are rushing into closing the zoo a little excessively. They already got rid of the truly exotic animals like snakes and monkeys, which was supposed to solve some of the problems. Apparently now they have to ditch "exotic" stuff like wolves. Growing up I always heard stories of my parents panning for gold, riding the donkeys, and other fun stuff at Mother Goose Land, and I think a lot of people would love to see those days return. It will never be Niabi, and I don't think it has ever tried to be. Maybe kids these days wouldn't be into that stuff anymore, but I know that 15 years ago or so I sure would have been. I'd at least like to see some future plans for that park before the city permanently closes it.
Finally, D1 has a list of construction projects going on downtown right now. It can be found at this link. To their list I'd also like to add the continuing work on the Freight House complex, the slow destruction of the cement plant at 4th and Iowa, and the fact that construction is starting on the former Salvation Army building's conversion into loft apartments. Edit: It turns out an even better D1 link, with some of the projects I mentioned, can be found here.