Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Small town living: Reverse Urbanism "The Leap to Logan"

As someone who has lived in large metropolitan areas most of my adult life and as a Historic Preservation Consultant working mostly in large cities, I am routinely asked "why Logansport"?

My response is why not?

I have learned of late that I am not the only one making this "urban exodus", we have people coming into the shop and I make of point of asking where they are coming to us from. Increasingly more and more people say Logansport but they are recent transplants from Chicago or Indianapolis. It's not hard to figure out why, just this last week, 6 Dead, 63 Wounded In Memorial Day Weekend Shootings in Chicago.  In Indianapolis Three men were arrested in connection with a shooting early Sunday at a Downtown parking garage that hospitalized four people, another four people shot on memorial day as well in other instances.

For all the "allure and hype" of Urban living in major cities ,the facts are major violent crime is on the rise in big cities and now commonplace and many are looking to get out before they become a statistic.

As someone who grew up in the 1960's we rode our bikes anywhere we wanted, we might go to the store by our self, we didn't see crime on our streets and we knew people were keeping an eye out for us. If you are kid riding your bike or taking a walk in a major city today you are likely to be pulled over by the  police concerned for your well being. CPS will be called and your parents will be investigated for "negligence" letting you be on your own.

Why Logansport? Kids can still ride their bikes or walk down the street...they can be kids. Now some negative locals will talk about crime, but if you press them they have never lived anywhere else. I can mow my lawn without the need to carry a sidearm as I did in Cincinnati, I can walk down the street without worrying about fighting off a thief as I did one morning walking to work in Louisville and I'm not worried about someone unloading a gun clip in the side of my house as they once did in Indianapolis because I reported their drug dealing

Urban pioneering had risk and rewards years ago. You would buy a historic home fix it up, organize your neighbors and have progressive dinner parties and before long the neighborhood was reborn. Urban pioneering in some cities today means putting you life at risk and at some point even the most dedicated preservationist finds one self asking the question "Is it worth it"? We  now have a great historic building, in a great neighborhood, surrounded by sane, normal people here in Logansport and I wake up every day with an optimism that has replaced the stress I felt before.

Yet you get the inevitable comment...must be boring. Well hardly, for a city its size Logansport has many of the amenities of big cities. Excellent parks, walking trails, farmers market, weekend concerts in the park.  The restaurants are good, the waits are short and you have cool things like the State Theatre, arts events, classic car shows, theatre productions, the list goes on and on and frankly you couldn't get to every event out there if you tried because there is that much to do.

Throw in antique shops (like ours), places like The People's Winery, The Record Farm and all sorts of small craft and gift type shops.. if you can't find something to do you are not really looking, or trying.

I've met people who moved here from Chicago, Indianapolis,  Dallas, Grand Rapids, Toledo, Washington DC, Santa Fe and other places attracted to the incredible historic architecture and small town living. Small towns are making a comeback. I've met people who have left Logansport and moved back because they realized, when they went out in the world, it wasn't as great as they thought it would be and small towns really have a lot to offer.

I can buy Thai food in Logansport (who would have thought)  and the steak at Amelios on the River is just as good as any eatery in a major city.

Small towns are making a comeback, Logansport is making a comeback...its just that some of the locals haven't figured that out yet. As more and more people are attracted to Logansport for its great architecture and small town life they will figure it out. Reverse Urbanism is real, I see it every day now... we made the "Leap to Logan".....and I'm glad we did

1 comment:

Maria Updegraph said...

I settled on a small town rather than a city a few years back and understand exactly what you mean. I have been following your blog for a few years now and am happy to see your progress. You have been somewhat of an inspiration for my ongoing restoration. Logansport looks great and reminds me of where I live in Lockoort NY. Funny, loganberry is a favorite local beverage here(Buffalo NY area). I would love to share pics of my restoration with you. Please keep up the great work.