|Based on nearly 7 years of the Carbondaley Dispatch
blog about Carbondale, Illinois, Karmadale
After Blog is about how blogging improved the author's personal
life -- and that of his community.
With 64 paper pages of text and photos, this blook will include a DVD disc containing THE COMPLETE TEXT, as well as hundreds of additional IMAGES of places, events and people of Southern Illinois -- as well as VIDEOS and MUSIC from Between the Rivers.
What is a BLOOK?
15 - Sample Chapter in Progress
On and Off the Square
Table of Contents
|The Bricks of
In the beginning there was Gail White, who purchased and restored the property on the corners of Jackson and Washington, followed by Tom Egert, who started the Longbranch Vintage Clothing store in 1982 (or so), and then converted it into the Longbranch Coffee House, which quickly became the first “hangout” downtown, since Southern Barbecue made way for Civic Center. About this same time, Burt and Gary (formerly of "Burt's Sandwich Shop" now Harbaugh's Cafe) opened Tres Hombres (with a guy named Stuart -- Three Men, get it?) and things were hummin on Jackson and Washington.
In the early 90’s Egert started WDBX and opened the Community Thrift Store down the street on Jackson and Marion. By the late 90’s Din Dayemi and the Dayemi Tariqat purchased “The Branch” from Egert and eventually bought the Community Thrift Store building, to house activities for children and community.
Around the corner, on Washington St. Charley Greer ran the Cadillac Lounge, now home to Urban2 clothing and promotions, and the local Greyhound bus office.
And across the street, WDBX, Auntie's Wings Truley's Restaurant, Big Muddy Independent Media Center.
Which brings us back to the corner of Jackson St. and Washington, where the Tuscan Lodge languishes from lack of concern.
From the standpoint of building restoration the Tuscan Lodge is undoubtely the biggest challenge faced by City government and private citizens of Carbondale. Although it recently was recognized as an historical building, gaining benefits, such as eligibility for grant money, the owners don't appear to be doing much to save or preserve it.
But its Historical designation spares the building from a "repair or demolish" order like the one the City issued to the Bank of Carbondale, when it was forced to demolish its original bank building, home to The Stage Company for 27 years.
Although the Stage Company building is history, the final chapter of the venerable structure one block away has yet to be written.
The Tuscan Lodge building had a good run in the 90s when two restaurants leased the space: First it was "Cousins", then it was "Jeremiahs."
A shooting (killing) occurred in the late 90s which effectively put Jeremiahs out of business in Carbondale, although the owners still have a thriving establishment in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
One of the reasons why another restaurant cannot simply move in and do business is the building has fallen into disrepair to the point where it is dangerous.
In addition, a load-bearing wall was removed by one of the previous tenants, rendering it structurally unsound.
Supposedly, in the Pre-WWII days, the building was host to famous musical acts that stopped en route on the Chicago - New Orleans run.
Duke Ellington? Cab Calloway? Some local jazz musician?
Currently, efforts are underway to look for money from the global hip-hop and entertainment industry.... a chance for them to "give something back" to a small community that has big aspirations.
Will citizens care about that building as much as The Varsity Theater? Will Mayor Cole? Carbondale Main Street?
to be developed and continued....
author has taught journalism, advertising and public relations writing
at several universities.
He started the blog "the carbondaley dispatch" in 2002 to focus on local people and events.
He currently teaches electronic publishing at "Books & Bytes" in Carbondale.
He enjoys music, art and entrepreneurship more than politics.