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  What a Week for Preservation!
November 14, 2005

I should leave town more often. A lot more seems to get done in my absence.

Two projects to preserve Richmond’s rich history moved (literally) forward last week. Despite last minute attempts to derail (no pun intended) it by a handful of Point Richmond malcontents, the historic Santa Fe Reading Room that history buffs have been trying to save for over a decade was safely placed in its permanent home across the street from the Plunge on Friday.  

Only a week earlier, the historic Whirley crane joined the Red Oak Victory at Richmond’s historic Shipyard 3 where a nucleus of exhibits forms a part of Rosie the Riveter World War II Home Front National Historical Park.

Thanks to everyone who participated in these moving endeavors for their successful completion.

For more information, see: Big Week Coming Up for Historic Preservation in Richmond, November 3, 2005; Be a Part of History; Contribute to the Big Move! June 11, 2005, Whirley Crane Relocation on Track, July 27, 2005; http://www.pointrichmond.com/gateway/index.htm; April 25, 2005 Project Data and Site Plan - April 25, 2005 Design Review Board Phase One Conditional Approval Documents; October 7, 2005 Gateway Project Summary from Tom Butt; Whirley_Crane_release 2_5_.pdf and Background_material_for_whirley_crane_press_release_3_.pdf.


Above: Trainmaster Building/Santa Fe Reading Room passes under I-580 with inches to spare.

Below: Whirley crane on the way to Shipyard 3 


Other press coverage of activities during the week follow:

Posted on Mon, Nov. 14, 2005


Council member helps in Big Easy

By John Geluardi

Richmond Councilman Tom Butt has just returned from a six-day trip to New Orleans where he contributed his skills as an architect to help preserve one of the city's most valuable resources, its historic neighborhoods.

Butt was part of a volunteer team of architects and historic preservation experts who toured New Orleans' neighborhoods that were devastated by flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The city's oldest neighborhoods, which were built around the time of the city's founding in 1817, avoided damage because they were built on high ground along the river, Butt said. However, in the lowlands between the Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain, many homes, some more than 100 years old suffered moderate water damage.

"These are historic districts with collections of predominately modest, but exquisitely detailed, historic homes that most cities would kill for," Butt said.

Butt was asked to join the team because of his distinguished resume as an architect. He is an inducted fellow in the prestigious American Institute of Architects and has won numerous awards including the Coast Guard Meritorious Public Service Award for his work in restoring the East Brother Lighthouse.

The six-member team worked in coordination with the National Trust for Historic Preservation and the New Orleans-based Preservation Resource Center.

There is concern among New Orleans officials that people who own homes in historic neighborhoods will tear down their vintage buildings and replace them with modern structures that compromise the neighborhood's continuity, Butt said. He and the other preservation volunteers assisted homeowners by giving them restoration information.

"Architecture is a big part of the economy. People come down here because they like the history, the ambiance," Butt said. "If you take that away, you take away a big part of the economy."

Butt said that the majority of damage to homes was on the first floor and that many of them were in pretty good shape. He said the first floors of many of the homes needed to be gutted, treated for mold and then walled with new sheet rock.

"I talked to one guy who had just come back and he hadn't taken anything out of his home yet," Butt said. "He was wondering what to do and we put him in touch with free resources, people who have the expertise to give him realistic estimates of costs."

There is also a concern that many New Orleans residents will not return to the city, the councilman said. Prior to the hurricane, the city's population was about 500,000. Some officials are estimating the population will be reduced by half.

"Some people are going to want to tear their homes down, collect the insurance money and leave," Butt said. "We're trying to encourage them to restore their homes and come live in them again."

Contact John Geluardi at 510-262-2787 or at jgeluardi@cctimes.com.





 Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Successful UA alumni applauded at banquet


FAYETTEVILLE — The young, the community-minded, the distinguished and the well-dressed were lauded the night of Nov. 4 during the 61 st annual Arkansas Alumni Association Awards Program. The event at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House recognizes the University of Arkansas’ most successful grads and gives them a chance to tell others how the university had an impact on their careers.

“It’s kind of a ‘wow’ factor for us — their accomplishments and the things they’ve been involved in,” said the alumni association’s Debbie Blume. She helps organize the banquet every year and is among the first to know who the honorees will be.

This year’s picks were Thomas Butt of Point Richmond, Calif., with the Community Service Award ; former Walton College dean Doyle Williams with the Honorary Alumni Award ; and Warwick Sabin of Little Rock, associate editor of the Arkansas Times, with the Young Alumni Award.

Those receiving a Citation of Distinguished Alumni were Sunthorn Arunanondchai of Bangkok, Thailand ; Robert Mitchell of Northridge, Calif. ; and UA Chancellor John A. White. Clothier John Cole, Janine Parry, associate professor of political science, and research scientist Xiaogang Peng received Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards.

“It’s all in the clothes,” quipped Cole at a pre-party reception. He was accompanied by his wife, Karen, and sons Thomas, Richard and Alan.

Perhaps the most accomplished of the group were White and Williams. Under Williams’ administration, the Walton College became one of the most improved business schools — private or public — in the country.

White has achieved so much in his career at the UA that the alumni association rescinded its rule against considering a current university employee for a Distinguished Alumni Award.

The awards dinner, prepared by Chartwells, included field greens with cranberries, sugared walnuts and shallot vinaigrette ; artichoke and prosciutto-stuffed chicken breast with gorgonzola cream ; fresh asparagus ; parsley new potatoes ; and dessert of chocolate tulip cups with chocolate mousse. AWE-INSPIRING ALUM Nov. 4 WHAT : The 61 st annual Arkansas Alumni Association Awards Program WHERE : The Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House, Fayetteville FYI : The association bent its rules to give UA Chancellor John A. White, a current university employee, a Distinguished Alumni Award.

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Arkansas Alumni Association Honors Nine
By The Morning News





FAYETTEVILLE -- The Arkansas Alumni Association honored six University of Arkansas graduates and three professors Friday night as part of Homecoming activities.

The association's board of directors changed policy to award its Citation of Distinguished Alumni Award to a current employee of the university -- Chancellor John White.

White, a 1962 graduate in industrial engineering, received the award for his nine years as chancellor, during which he helped increase the university's size and stature and helped raise $1.046 billion in the Campaign for the Twenty-First Century.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented annually to a alumnus or alumna who has achieved exceptional professional and personal distinction in a chosen field.


The Arkansas Alumni Association also honored:

• Thomas K. Butt, who received degrees in 1968 and 1969, of Point Richmond, Calif., founder and president of Architect Interactive Resources, who received the Community Service Award

.• Doyle Z. Williams of Fayetteville, former dean of the Sam M. Walton College of Business, who received the Honorary Alumni Award for his exemplary leadership, service and devotion to the university during his 12 years as dean.

• Warwick Sabin, a 1998 alumnus, of Little Rock, associate editor of the Arkansas Times, who received the Young Alumni Award.

• Sunthorn Arunanondchai, who received a master's degree in 1969, of Bangkok, Thailand, president and chief executive officer of C.P. Land Co. and C.P. Plaza Co., who received a Citation of Distinguished Alumni Award for his accomplishments in international business.

• Robert T. Mitchell, who received master's degrees in 1964 and 1965, of Northridge, Calif., program manager for the Cassini-Huygens mission to Saturn, who received a Citation of Distinguished Alumni Award for his professional distinction and contributions to space exploration.

The Arkansas Alumni Association annually recognizes three faculty members for outstanding achievement.

The Distinguished Faculty Achievement Awards were presented to:

• John W. Cole, who has two degrees from the university, an instructor in the marketing and logistics department, for teaching and enriching the lives of students.

• Janine Parry, associate professor of political science and director of the Arkansas Poll, for exemplary service to students and teaching.

• Xiaogang Peng, Scharlau Professor of Chemistry, for internationally acclaimed research in nano-chemistry and nano-technology.