Posts Tagged ‘development’

PA Landmark Mountain View Inn demolished

November 17, 2009

The Mountain View Inn east of Greensburg, Pa., a long-time landmark along the Lincoln Highway, was sold earlier this year. Reports were that the new owners wanted to build a shopping plaza, and indeed, people have been writing about the inn’s destruction. Here’s a note from blog reader John: “the original section of the hotel has been razed. The only sections saved from destruction are those built this decade.”

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review reported last month that asbestos concerns had halted the dismantling following an auction of its all its contents. A state Department of Environmental Protection inspector “ordered the building secured until it could be examined to determine if asbestos is present. As a result, Altman dozens of successful bidders had to wait to collect their purchases.

Brothers James and Daniel Snyder …

purchased the property for more than $2.5 million after the inn, restaurant and bar closed in January. The real estate developers plan to raze part of the structure to make way for commercial development. The sale included the inn, 14 acres and a house on the property…. The hotel’s Mountain Laurel wing overlooking Route 30 will be retained as a 53-room lodge run by about 10 employees, according to plans presented this week to township officials.

A poem lamenting change along the road, in life

February 21, 2008

On, an entry by Vi Ransel will sound familiar themes to many Lincoln Highway News readers.

Above: Another farm sprouts housing along the Lincoln Highway, west of Chicago, June 2005.

In Memoriam

The place I grew up in the 50s is gone now.
Oh, the land is still there,
but the quilt-like farm fields blanketing the rolling hills,
the deciduous forests and the meandering streams
have been overtaken and replaced by an invidious, invasive species
of four-lane byways with a broad, medial stalk of conquering concrete
sprouting small, almost identical malls like profligate weeds dispersing seeds
every mile or so along the length of the Lincoln Highway.

One last dairy farm remains, attached to the Route 30 vine.
Contained by concrete, cows graze in green pastures
as fossil fuel-burners blindly whiz by emitting a life-exhausting fog.
The farm, a delicate anachronism, is out of place in its own place,
a symbol of a sustainable way of life set like a jewel
on the artificial energy-sustained existence
clinging tenuously to the grid by an electrical thread
generated by the last drops of once living,
long dead bodies of the plant and animal ancestors
of those same dairy cows.

Vi’s works appear widely both in print and online. She conducts Poetry Workshops and gives readings in Central New York. Her latest chapbook is “Sine Qua Non Antiques (an Arcanum of History, Geography and Treachery).

Update on New Lenox shopping development

February 1, 2008

A January 22 article in has an update of McVickers Development‘s plans for a shopping center in New Lenox, Illinois. The 71-acre parcel along the Lincoln Highway was reportedly acquired for $18.9 million from a private individual; it had been on the market for 5 years. McVickers will oversee development of 450,000 sq ft of retail anchored by a Menards and Wal-Mart Supercenter, who will purchase their land. GlobeSt points readers to a map on McVickers site, seen below on a screen shot, for other tenants, which include PetCo, Staples, Aldi, Starbucks, Verizon, Fifth/Third Bank, Arby’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Auto Zone.

IL_New Lenox stores

A McVickers spokesman said that being at the end of the new extension of I-355 makes it “prime real estate on the main drag running through New Lenox,” with 20,000 cars daily on this part of the Lincoln Highway. As for why it was on the market so long, he said there are “some low-grade wetlands on the property that are going to be mitigated.”

A 2006 release on a similar project said McVickers Development is developing “over two million square feet of retail shopping center space throughout the Chicago Metropolitan area.” The same release said that Wal-Mart had “45,308 associates living and working in Illinois at its 77 Discount Stores, 57 Supercenters, 28 SAM’S Clubs, and four distribution centers.”

PA's Westmoreland County plots future of US 30

November 21, 2007

The two developments mentioned yesterday are just a small part of Route 30’s spiraling growth east of Pittsburgh. Concern for the corridor led the Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County to host a 5-day design charrette atPA Growth logo the University of Pittsburgh’s Greensburg campus (its home base). The focus was the future of U.S. 30/the Lincoln Highway—how to specifically preserve the rural landscape, revitalize towns, and enjoy the benefits of growth while avoiding clogged roadways, vanishing open spaces, and soaring home prices.

A 4-year study started in 2005 covers 40 miles and 12 municipalities from Pittsburgh’s eastern suburbs to the Laurel Highlands, known to Lincoln Highway travelers for the steep winding road on the west side of Laurel Mountain. A master plan being developed will present a prototype for safe, efficient, attractive, and connecting land use. The finished plan is expected in April 2008, followed by a year of implementation. According to Smart Growth, the project is unique in that a non-profit entity is taking a proactive, collaborative approach to help shape communities.

PA_Greensburg rural

Above: The Lincoln Highway east of Greensburg, Pennsylvania. With 4-lane US 30 to the right, and houses rising on farmland to the left, how long can this rural roadscape survive?

An article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette summarized the concepts developed by the group with help from a team of design professionals, engineers, architects, urban planners and landscape architects:

• Mixed use development with the highest density centered on Route 30.

• Public open spaces providing gathering places throughout the site.

• A gateway at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 981 serving as an “arrival point” to Latrobe and the Laurel Highlands.

• Retaining the Route 30 corridor as a regional connection with parallel roads providing local “circulation.”

• Greenways defining the development areas as well as connecting the rural context of the development.

Visit to see the plan, photos, and more information.

Also from that stretch of US 30/Lincoln Highway, here’s a view of the nice-looking building mentioned in yesterday’s post – the headquarters of the Municipal Authority of Westmoreland County, courtesy of that group via Susan Schmucker, whose brother’s construction company (Dill Construction) built it in 1964. It’s faced in Delaware River sandstone and topped by a metal cupola that conceals the chimney. Cost, including fountain and parking lot, was $312,500 back then. The authority moved out the end of October and it’s set to be demolished. Susan says they outgrew the facility, and traffic had increased dramatically due to retail development, but they will miss it.


Western Wyoming LH Corridor Threatened

November 18, 2007

Our friend RoadDog alerts us to a possible threat to the Lincoln Highway in western Wyoming. An article in the Casper Star-Tribune says there’s a good chance the undrivable Lincoln Highway remnant from Green River east to Rock Springs could be revamped into a connector road. Though the two cities are just 12 miles apart, I-80 is the only paved road connecting them, forcing commuters and other locals to compete with a rising tide of trucks brought on by the region’s oil and gas boom.

WY_Green River I-80

According to the article, “Two of the three proposed routes would begin at Green River’s east I-80 interchange and then follow the remnants of the old Lincoln Highway—which used to run between the two cities—north of I-80. A third route would start on the city’s south side and run south of the interstate, hooking up with U.S. Highway 191…. [U]nofficial cost projections to build an approximately 12-mile-long road have been estimated at about $2 million per mile, or around $24 million total. Officials expect the project to take a decade or longer to complete.”

Most dismaying for those concerned about preserving the LH’s roadscape, local leaders hope the new road will bring housing, business, and industry. Green River officials especially say the city has been hemmed in by Castle Rock and I-80 to the north, and steep undevelopable land to the south.

UPDATE 12/31/07: “Locals will help choose route” in the Caspar Star-Tribune.