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I heard some great news today, though this is pretty much strictly of Kansas City-area local interest. Finally and conclusively, the Hotel President renovation is getting underway. The project manager from J. E. Dunn called in for information regarding the installation of an exterior hoist for transporting construction materials up and down the outside of the building. If J. E. Dunn has taken on this project, that means it is definitely getting done. Those guys don’t piddle around.

Due to a lack of public support and a lot of journalistic badmouthing this historic, and frankly damn cool building was slated to be demolished via implosion. Thank you, O Ever Bitchy Pitch-Weekly, though to be fair, the mainstream Star hasn’t been any better, but I won’t link to them because they require registrations. But now, huzzah, the renovation progresses. I talked to the cleanup guys last year, who had to put on full biohazard suits with contained ventilator tanks to go in there and excavate a quarter-century’s worth of pigeon shit. Now I have talked to the construction manager, who is, if this is possible, even more stoked about the restoration of this landmark property than I am!

One night they were testing the lighted sign on the roof–Huge, 2-storey purple letters reading “President.” This will make a fine addition to our nighttime city skyline. That will make a great companion to the Abdiana building, Western Auto Lofts, and the giddily Art Deco Kansas City Power & Light building…I love humungous, rooftop-mounted identifying signs. They need to light up the one on the old Stuart Hall building, too. Hell, I think more buildings should invest in rooftop ornamentation. City Hall needs one of our trademark fountain emblem.. Crown Center needs one of those ginormous Hallmark crown logoes. Gates Plaza needs an enormous neon image of their trademark tap-dancing guy in the tux.

This weekend, I am definitely going out with my digital camera and taking a zillion pictures around town. I have been meaning to forever, and some of my favorite desolate sites are now under reconstruction, and while it makes me ecstatically happy that these worthy edifices are being restored, there was a picturesque melancholy to them in their previous, decadent state. Of course, there are some other cool sights that have nothing whatsoever to do with dilapidation. Then again some that are all about ramshackle vistas. I can’t take too much perfection and cleanliness and gentility.

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