What do you think of when you contemplate the word merge?
Yesterday I spent the morning with my photographer friend Valerie. We walked along the riverfront of downtown Minneapolis and across the Stone Arch Bridge. It was an overcast morning–not the best for taking photographs. But that’s what nature dished up for us. Here then, some of the photos from the morning walk.
This is a wonderful part of the city to explore. There’s plenty to see and do. Take a Segway tour. Visit the Mill City Museum and the Guthrie Theater. See St. Anthony Falls from the Water Power Park on the other side of the river. Explore Father Hennepin Park and Island. Stroll along Main Street. Have fun!
The Civic Center Park is located north of Minnetonka’s City Hall. This park has 147 acres of land and features a soccer field, play equipment, trails, an outdoor amphitheater, and a canoe launch.
Bridge Photo for October 13, 2010
This channel lies between Lake of the Isles and Lake Calhoun. Bikers, walkers, runners, and others make use of the trails and paths that surround the lakes. People travel this waterway by canoe, paddle boats, and kayaks during warm weather months. In winter months, people take advantage of these frozen, open spaces for walking, ice skating, cross-country skiing, and other activities.
This bridge is located at 54th and Upton Avenue South in Minneapolis, MN.
Minnehaha Creek flows below the bridge.
Bridge Photo for September 15, 2010
Built in 1931.
Listed on the National Register of Historical Places in 1989.
The Stillwater Bridge is a rare surviving example of vertical-lift highway bridge construction of the Waddell and Harrington type. It spans about 1050 feet. Six vertical-lift bridges were built in Minnesota and Wisconsin prior to World War II; The Stillwater Bridge is one of three remaining in existence today. The vertical-lift span operates during the May to October navigation season.
Click on any photo below to see it larger.
Learn more about the historic Stillwater Bridge at the Minnesota Historical Society website: Minnesota Historical Society
More articles on the bridge and Stillwater:
What’s ahead for the St. Croix River and the Stillwater Bridge:
St. Croix River Crossing Project
The bridge may one day get new life as a pedestrian and bicycle bridge, along with a return to its original colors of deep green and silver.
If you plan to visit Stillwater, check here to learn more:
Greater Stillwater Chamber of Commerce
Should This Bridge be Saved? — The St. Anthony Parkway Bridge in NE Mpls
“Hump Day” Now Seen in a Whole New Way — Let’s Declare Wednesday “Bridge Day”
Home owners are becoming more realistic about the current marketplace.
So where does this lead us?
August 18, 2010 – Zillow.com reports that home owner confidence about the value of their home has declined in the second quarter.
“Home owners have become much more responsive to current market conditions than they were just two years ago, when a more typical reaction was denial.” ..—Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com
Even with this new realism, over 72% of adult Americans still see owning a home as part of their future and their personal American dream according to a survey for Trulia.com.
Currently, 68% of renters who plan to purchase a home said it would be more than two years before they do. What would encourage them to buy now? These six factors were cited:
One might have thought that market stabilization was more of an issue given all the foreclosures, short sales and declining values and yet it shows up at the bottom of this list of factors. A full 47% surveyed need to save for the down payment. Think about this—almost half of those surveyed.
If you’re a first-time buyer looking at a $200,000 home and you want or need to put 20% down, this amounts to $40,000. A buyer will also need funds for closing costs unless the seller is willing to pay these. The good news is that there is down payment and closing cost assistance for buyers.
Also on the good news front is that interest rates are at a forty-year low. Here is a sample of rates for today according to one site I’m checking:
30-year fixed conforming: 4.25%
15-year fixed conforming: 3.75%
30-year fixed FHA: 4.25%
30-year fixed VA: 4.25%
30-year fixed Jumbo: 5.25%
7-year Jumbo ARM: 3.75%
People who are currently in their seventies and older bought their homes, first and foremost, as a place to live and raise their families.
Appreciation was not the principal reason for buying. It’s very likely that home values will not rise significantly in the short term.
“Our forecast remains largely unchanged: We’re in for an L-shaped recovery that will likely keep annualized home value appreciation very low for the next three to five years.” —Stan Humphries, chief economist at Zillow.com
There are certainly situations where money can be made in real estate. If you have patience and TEAM (my term for Time, Energy And Money, as well as a good team of people: Realtor, lender, closer, etc.), foreclosures and short sales represent a potential opportunity to make money. Easy money? It all depends on your definition of easy.
Back to the average homeowner, the one who is primarily looking for a place to live. What else does a homeowner get when they buy a home besides a place to live? They get greater freedom. They can make changes when and how they like. Paint the walls any color. Update the kitchen and baths to your taste. Plant a garden in the yard. Add a porch or deck. Change the carpeting. Add wood floors.
Maybe, just maybe, the idea of home ownership as the American dream is really about a larger dream: The dream of freedom and independence. We all appreciate freedom and independence. Maybe would-be and future home owners are seeking this type of appreciation. Who can put a price tag on that?
Home, the spot of earth supremely blest, A dearer, sweeter spot than all the rest. —Robert Montgomery
Need help with your American dream of home and freedom?
Call or write me.
Kate Walsh, Realtor
Lakes Area Realty
I imagine that plenty of people would look at this bridge and see nothing very attractive. I invite you to drive, walk or bike over it and see if your perception of it changes. I crossed over it earlier this evening and was immediately struck by its design and its rustic, artistic beauty. I admit that the visually historic aspect also brought me delight. Yes, I can be a sucker for old stuff. And for preserving parts of our architectural heritage.
This bridge is a five-span, Warren through truss bridge measuring 533.6 feet in length. It was built in 1925 and passes over 24 tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) Rail yard. The bridge currently provides one lane of traffic in each direction and a sidewalk on the south side.
While I was photographing the bridge, I saw a gentleman standing on the sidewalk admiring the view of the trains, the tracks and the downtown skyline in the distance. I wonder if he is aware of the future of this bridge. Is he enjoying it while he can?
At this time, it appears to be nearly the end of the road for this bridge. A new bridge, known as the North Town Bridge, is slated to be built in its place during 2011-2012. The construction project for the new bridge will also include approach roadways (St. Anthony Parkway, California St NE and possibly Main St NE) and separate bike lanes.
The current bridge has been determined eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. It’s also part of the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board “Grand Rounds—National Scenic Byway”. Should this bridge be placed on the National Register of Historic Places so that it can become a permanent part of the National Scenic Byway? Is this a bridge you’d enjoy biking and walking over as part of your trip around the cities?
I’d love to know your thoughts.
Feel free to share them by clicking on Leave a Comment below.
Or take the poll:
More on biking, the scenic Grand Rounds, and things to do and see in the Twin Cities:
A bridge that leads to an island in a park in Hopkins, Minnesota.
A beautifully detailed bridge at Lake of the Isles by Dean Parkway.
This classically inspired concrete-arch bridge was the result of a design competition held by the Park Board. The winning designers were William Cowles and Cecil B. Chapman. Completed in 1911. Still beautiful and functional today.
A picture perfect day at Centennial Lakes Park in Edina, Minnesota.
Wednesday. This is the day people refer to as “hump day”. It’s the middle of the work week. Two days already behind and two days to go before another weekend. We in real estate don’t think of our week this way since we often work on weekends as well as during the week.
I recently viewed a photo of a bridge that took me to another place, mentally if not physically. As I looked at other photos of bridges, I found myself having a different reaction and experience to each one.
I’m posting some of them here for your pleasure. For all of you working today, Wednesday, and thinking about your upcoming weekend, I say enjoy this virtual trip around the world. Use the comment section below to let others know what reaction and/or experience you have from seeing these images.
Hump day is thought about as something to get over or beyond, a challenge, and another day of struggle before the slide into the weekend and its freedom from work and fun. I now like to think of Wednesday as “Bridge Day”. No challenge, no struggle–simply a picturesque means of getting from one place to another with infinite ways of enjoying the journey.
I’d love to be riding a bike along this trail. How about you? Would you also be riding a bike? Maybe a horse. Walking or running perhaps? You decide.
Photos courtesy of http://www.morguefile.com