Friday, September 25, 2009

Munichburg Part 2

(Continuing from yesterday.)

So thank goodness a neighborhood association formed, just about the time we moved here, composed of business owners, residents, and others who care about the district. (Notably absent from membership are renters and their non-resident landlords, but no surprise there.)

The Old Munichburg Association’s been busy these last nine years attacking the problems on numerous fronts.

--Lobbying the City Council to pay more attention to our neighborhood and all the other historic/endangered neighborhoods in town.

--“Branding” the neighborhood with “Historic Old Munichburg” banners, flower plantings, decorative street sign posts, and (soon) a small park and landscaped welcome sign on Jefferson and Dunklin.

--Getting a Neighborhood Watch program started.

--An ongoing oral and pictorial history archives project.

--Getting a CID (Community Improvement District) program started, wherein landowners agree to be taxed slightly more for a number of years in order to get the city to put our sidewalks and gutters higher on its list of priorities. (It really makes sense for the city to hire a single, good contractor to replace all the sidewalks on a block, instead of each property owner doing it for himself, which would lead to a patchwork of more-or-less poorly done concrete work.)

--Getting approximately twenty buildings in the neighborhood placed on the National Register of Historic Places; this was done in one big application, and many of the properties are contiguous, thus in a “district.” This of course decreases the possibility of having the charming brick homes in our neighborhood mowed down to make, oh, a convention center, or yet another parking lot for state-government workers.

--Initiating and participating in an annual Kristkindelfest celebration in early December, which has been a fruitful partnership between the neighborhood’s most prominent, historic, ethnic German church, and the local retail and gift shops.

And last, but certainly not least in terms of energy and planning:

--Hosting an annual Oktoberfest fund-raiser, which takes place in the Dunklin/Broadway/Jefferson area on the last Saturday in September. Live music, German dinners, craft and vendor booths, dachshund derby, kids’ area, beer garden, and so forth.

And this festival is tomorrow! If you’re nearby, I hope to see you there.

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