Sustainability Safari

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On July 8 at 6:45pm, this 1.5 mile walking tour of sustainable techniques in Ann Arbor, led by the Ann Arbor Chapter of Wild Ones will include a look at the sustainable elements of Malletts Creek Branch, The Buhr Park Children’s Wet Meadow, and Mary Beth Doyle Park, among others. This event is held in conjunction with the Library’s summer reading program, Local Motion - which encourages the use of local neighborhoods, organizations gyms, recreational facilities and outdoor areas to move and get fit.

How High, How Many ~ Revising the City Code Public Meeting

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The City of Ann Arbor will hold a Area, Height and Placement Public Meeting on Wednesday, May 27th, 6:30 ~ 8:00 p.m. at CTN Studios to discuss proposed amendments to the City Code. Five ward public meeting will following this community-wide disucssion of building heights, setbacks, street width, parking lots, parking meters, mass transit and sidewalks. Bring your ideas, your questions and get involved in planning your city's future. For more information contact Jeff Kahan, City Planner at jkahan@a2gov.org or 734.794.6265 ext 42614.

The first piano in Ann Arbor

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(Submitted by Wystan Stevens)

This is the house where little Lucy Ann Clark (later Mrs. Judge James Kingsley) played the piano that made the Potawatomi Indians dance. (Her instrument was the first piano in Ann Arbor, and the first west of Detroit in Michigan Territory.) The site of this house is now the outdoor area of the Downtown Home and Garden store, on Ashley at Liberty. In the left background of the photo is a building on First Street with a lot of lettering on its walls. Can anyone make out what the lettering says. (Click on the photo for a larger view.)

"Sometimes when Miss Clark played, the Indians would lurk around the door and windows and some would dance on the strip of bare floor at the edge of the room that the carpet was not wide enough to cover." (From the Cornelia Corselius papers).

What's next for the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit Project?

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Listen in as local historians Ray Detter, Louisa Pieper and Grace Shackman talk about the origins, challenges and rewards of putting together the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibits Program. You'll hear about what's coming up (hint: books and corsets) and how our schools are planning to work the exhibit into the AAPS curriculum.

Lookback Time: The Detroit Observatory

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In Seeing In The Dark, author Timothy Ferris writes, "Peering far into space means looking deep into time gone by. This phenomenon, known as 'lookback time,' makes historians of stargazers." Historians and stargazers alike can enjoy a look back in time to 1854 by visiting the Detroit Observatory at 1398 E. Ann St. In its day, the Observatory housed the first large telescope constructed in the United States, for years the third largest refractor in the world. It was the training ground for many 19th century astronomers, saw the discovery of 21 asteroids and 2 comets, and remains the most important physical legacy of the University's early scientific preeminence. "I cannot speak of the Observatory without emotion," said former UM president Henry Tappan. "No one will deny that it was a creation of my own." (Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, MI)

Although the dome is currently not operational, rendering the telescope unusable, the Observatory was fully restored in 1998 and the astronomical instruments remain intact and operational. Read more about the Observatory's legacy and watch for upcoming open houses in conjunction with UM's winter theme semester.

It's Almost Here - The "NEW" University of Michigan Museum of Art

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On Friday, November 14 and Saturday, November 15, 9 am–12 pm, UMMA staff and volunteers will host an information open house outside the Museum's historic home, Alumni Memorial Hall (525 South State Street) to share refreshments and excitement about UMMA's reopening in spring 2009.

For a sneak preview of the new and renovated museum - check out the Michigan Daily article and the many stunning photos.

The history of South University

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This week the Downtown Ann Arbor Historical Street Exhibit will dedicate four new wall displays that tell the story of South University from the late 19th century through today. The displays cover area businesses and images include a wonderful 1898 panorama of the area, Miller's Ice Cream, C-Ted's Standard gas station, Tice's Men's Shop and a glimpse of the home where philosopher and educator John Dewey lived. The dedication will take place Thursday, November 6, at 5:00 p.m. on the corner of South and East University.

Ann Arbor YMCA celebrates 150 years

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This Sunday, September 28, from 2-5 p.m. the Ann Arbor YMCA will celebrate its 150th anniversary with a parade, music and other special events. The above image, from the Making of Ann Arbor postcard collection, is of an earlier Ann Arbor YMCA building. More photographs and documents relating to the history of the Ann Arbor Y are on display at the Museum on Main Street until November 22.

Back to the New High School

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As Ann Arbor marks the opening of its newest high school, take a look at this 101-year-old photograph of the then-new Ann Arbor High School in 1907. It was the pride of Ann Arbor, with its attached Carnegie library, but as fate would have it everything but the library facade was torn down last year to make room for the soon-to-be North Quad dormitory. An earlier image of an Ann Arbor high school is this 1859 engraving from the Making of Ann Arbor collection.

Local Frank Lloyd Wright House for sale

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Click image for larger view and the text from Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor.

The William and Mary Palmer House, Ann Arbor's only Frank Lloyd Wright house, is on the market for the first time and the asking price is 1.5 million. The house, at 227 Orchard Hills Drive near the Arboretum, comes with original furniture and a collection of Wright's papers, but there's a catch--the house must remain as-is. Find out more about the Palmer House through AADL's Ann Arbor Architecture Archive, which includes the entry on the Palmer House taken from Historic Buildings, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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