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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - November 12, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Power Plant to Dominate Lansing Economy Washington's Blair House Fate of Washington Building Pends By Permelia Robinson Lay WASHINGTON Americans tear down their historic structures with architectural significance and then go to Europe to admire its old buildings. Such a fate may await one of Washington's oldest structures. Blair House is one of these lovely old buildings which has served as the city hall since 1925. It has also been the fire station, police station, and served for American Le- gion meeting rooms. Recently a new city hall was built next to the old building. The fire station and the pol- ice station with the American Legion rooms were then torn down to leave the original structure which was built in 1880 as a resid- It is one of the few architectural buildings of that period left in Washington. Some of the citizens want it torn down while others want to keep it. The decision is pending. Original Purchase The county commissioners secured the ground from the U. S. government in 1839. It changed hands a number of times until 1864 when a large brown house was erected on the property. In 1869 the owner sold the house and lots for and it was sold (wo more times. In 1879 Winfield Smouse, a fiancier and real estate man who was instrumental in develop- ing Washington, had the house torn down. In the next two years he built the original Blair House and moved his family into it. He lived there only a short lime before selling it to Edwin Blair in October, 1882. Blair owned and operated a grain elevator. After Blair's death in 1898, the place was sold again. Then, in 1903, the Washington Commercial club purchased it for and built an addition to the south side of the house adding club rooms and gym which was used for banquets, dances, and the high school basketball team until the YMCA was built. The dedication of the building for the Commercial dub was described in I he Dec. 23, 1903, issue of the Washington Democrat, the newspaper of the day. The description of the event was written by the editor, a man who went into detail using the best journal- ism of the era and spared no space. The headline read "Mighty and continued: "All the elite of the city and a good many outsiders were present. We do not know who the elite are, and we do not even know for certain what the word means; but it must be good since it's the proper thing at Bird Center, 111. You have seen McCutcheon's cartoons of Bird Center? If you have, you will know who the elite are. It was really a beautiful affair and this is not jolly. "The writer, unfortunately, is not u member of the club, so he will not be ac- cused of tooting his own horn, if he says it was fine. The Democrat's reputation for truth and veracity would not be sacrificed for the sake of using some high-sounding phrases and of filling up a few friends to the neck on taffy and things" The Speakers He described the speakers and what they said. The included Frank Wilson, Sen. John Alexander Young, Dr. George McLean of the university, -Sen. Harper of Ottumwa, J.S. McKcnn of Fairfield who look the place of Calvin Manning of Ottumwa, and Colonel Palmer. After the YMCA was built, there was so little entertaining inn Ihe Blair House thai il was sold to the city for Immediately, the city built a new fire station on the east of the house and took the bell form the old fire house to hang in the tower. In the later years the upstairs was used by the Camp Fire girls and the first floor was used until the new city hall was completed this fall. The future will soon tell the outcome of the old building which has served the city of Washington so well and stands on highway 92 where it can be viewed by those who pass through (he town. By ICInora Kobey LANSING Interstate Power Co.'s new million plant two miles south of here will dominate the area's construction picture until It is finished in 1977. It Is also likely to have a permanent impact on the economy of the community and of the county, since, ac- cording to figures quoted by district manager, Fred Lyman, the company's total evaluation will be about 40 percent of the taxable eval- uation in the county. This year, with about 10 percent of the county's total taxable property, the company paid a third of a million dol- lars in persona! and real prop- erty taxes in Allamakee county. At present the general contractor, Fcgles Power Service of Minneapolis, has about 75 men working. The work force will increase to an expected total of 300. In all, the project will put a total of about million of wages into the pockets of area workers. Building Land In its second month of around-the-clock work, the Rober dredging company of LaCrosse, Wis., is building up the land upriver from the present plant to make a huge coal dock that will be above flood stage. Fishermen who haven't been at their favorite fishing hole lately will find it Isn't there any longer. The little "lake" where they fished for pan fish, walleyes, northerns, perch, and other Mississippi fish was formed by the dredging that preceded construction of the present plant in 1947. Several years ago, the gov- ernment dredge deposited a sandbar "right where we according to Jerry Schroedel of Waukon, who lias been spending much of his free time on the river here the last ten years. Better "When ail the new work is finished, 1 expect even better he said. "In fact, I think it'll be 100 percent better because there'll be a deep hole and Ihe fish will move in." The coal dock will have to be big enough to accommo- date three great piles of coal from Illinois, Wyoming and Montana. The plant will use a million tons a year, and in the late fall a six-month supply is brought in before barge traffic ends. The coal will come by rail to the Twin Cities, the rest of the way by barge, with Ions in one barge. Plant Supt. Earl Benson said the new dock facilities will enable them to unload a barge in one-and-a-half to onc- and-three-quarters hours, compared with the present 12 hours. Sinee the new plant will be on the river side of the pre- sent installation, which is where Ihe coal conveyor now is, moving this to a northerly location will be one of the first jobs. The new conveyor will be enclosed. Precipltators Among the more expensive pollution control measures are the four giant electrostatic precipitators, the first of which is being installed. The four will cost million. They are designed to re- move more than 99 percent of the fly ash from the smoke, depositing it as electrically charged particles on metal plates. Periodically, the ash will be removed and conveyed lo a 30- foot deep pit being construct- ed in a 30-acre area of low- lying land nearby. It is es- timated the pit will handle the ash for ten years. The company had to get more than 55 permits from various governmental agen- cies. The process of planning and building an organic fuel power plant takes about seven years. According to Lyman, the new plant will have a capacity of 260 megawatts. This com- pares with the present plant's fill. A megawatt is kilo watts, and the peak load for Waukon, a city of about population, is 5.8 megawatts or kilowatts. The Lansing plant now has 22 employes and an annual payroll of It Is es- timated the number of per- manent employes at the sta- tion will double after the new plant begins operation. Diet Shift May Ease World Food Shortages AMES world "may have seen the peak in the consumption or red Dr. Louis Thompson, asso- ciate dean of the Iowa State university agriculture school said. Thompson told the 225 members of the Board for World Ministries of the United Church of Christ Monday that a shift in diet may offer hope to a world threatened by food shortages. That shift would be from high meat to high grain con- sumption, Thompson said. Speaking to the board membes at a special panel presentaton on food produc- tion at Iowa State university, Thompson said that five times the amount of grain needed to adequately feed human beings is necessary to produce live- stock for meat. He said economic trends that make meat increasingly expensive to produce eventual- ly will cause gradual elimina- tion of meal animals and free grain products for human consumption. Damage Suit WEST UNION Damages of are asked in a suit filed in Fayette county district court by Helen Cotman of Oelwein. Defendants are Robert and Zella Miller, op- erators of Miller's Beauty shop. The suit alleges that the Millers failed to remove snow and ice at the shop, causing Mrs. Cotman to fall and break a hip. SAVE NOW ON QUALITY MAJOR APPLIANCES! Dishwashers Washers and Dryers Color Television trailimff nln'atl far Thiinlittainina ami t'hriNtinait Shop Monday ana Thursday nights 'til 9 and all day Saturday 106 Second Ave, SW dr i Phone 363-0283 West End of the Second Avenue Bridqe It s easy with Bohemian Savings Christmas Simply complete (his coupon and return it today. I lore is my jpplic.ition ami with mw first payment in rl.iss rlu'ckwl Mow x-'ou Why? Because Christmas Club savings let you shop the way you want, without charging or paying high interest. With Bohemian Savings Christmas Club you select the plan that suits you best, sign up, and make 50 easy coupon deposits. For example, if you save five dollars a week you'll have next Christmas plus interest on your savings. 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