The Phoenix Park Neighborhood project is 1.9 buildings into its development and things are changing up a bit. The developers are seeking a one-year extension on the deadline for the project’s first phase, and Michael Lander of the Lander Group – somewhat of a Jesus figure our downtown development, check out the beard – wants to play a smaller role. From the L-T ...
- Developers Geoff Moeding and Michael Lander want to delay the city-imposed deadlines for completing buildings in phase 1 of the project as part of a proposal under which Moeding and developers Wisconsin Street Associates would buy yet-to-be-developed building sites from Lander and presumably build the remainder of the project.
- Lander would not be directly involved with future North Barstow development but would retain ownership with Moeding of the Midelfort Pharmacy and Home Medical building and the nearly completed apartment and retail building just east of Phoenix Park, Moeding said.
- As part of the agreement, Lander also would retain architectural oversight of the entire project, scheduled to be built in two phases over a number of years. Lander also would oversee the development agreement, Moeding said.
According to the article, Moeding cites the bad economy for the construction delay. No surprise there. I can’t imagine this is the opportune time to be throwing up innovative new business and living space. (Please note, I am not an experienced urban developer.) That said, Moeding is still planning on constructing a third building this year. And Lander stepping back a little from the project probably has everything to do with ALL of his projects in the current economic climate, and not the vitality of the Phoenix Park project specifically. (Please note, I am not an experienced urban economist.)
The City Council will probably review the extension request in May.
Spiritualists Hold Meeting
Will R. Erwood Discusses Subject Last Night
Eau Claire Leader | April 11, 1906
Last evening about fifty-persons gathered at Chappell Hall to listen to Will R. Erwood lecture upon Spiritualism. He chose as his subject, “Spiritualism, God and the Bible.” In opening the meeting Mr. Erwood stated that in place of the customary invocation he would read a poem by Ella Wheller Wilcox, “God and Me,” which he read in a masterful manner. He then started in upon his subject, which dealt altogether with life after death, and in which he told of numerous instances where the spirits of those departed had returned and made themselves manifest in different ways- by rappings, writing upon slates, etc., and stated it as his belief that the transition of the body known to most of us as death was merely a change from the material to the spiritual life. Mr. Erwood said that, while a great many persons were under the impression that only persons of inferior intellect or weak minds were believers in spiritualism- on the contrary, the sect numbered among its believers some of the greatest thinkers of the present day, and named many of them. Following his lecture, Mrs. Amanda Coffman, the noted test medium, gave an illustration of communication with the departed. It was certainly very interesting and while undoubtedly many differ as to beliefs, there should have been a larger attendance.
Chad’s Take: Where the hell is Chappell Hall?
I will start with the weird part of this article and then move on to the more tedious detective work. “Spiritualism, God and the Bible,” I really wish I could have attended this presentation, as a lecture that focused on ghosts, spirits, and the afterlife certainly would have been extremely cutting edge for the time, even though the Spiritualist Movement was still pretty popular during the early 1900s. Even the newspaper noted that more people should have shown up to listen to Mr. Erwood and to witness the work of medium Amanda Coffman. It is a shame that more of the presentation was not preserved in the newspaper. However, I do have to give Mr. Erwood credit for his bravery, as only a fool would try to hold a presentation on ghosts and spirits in Eau Claire today.
Ok, now on to the mystery part of the article. When I first read this article I had no idea where Chappell Hall is/was. Hopefully someone out there with more knowledge of the Chippewa Valley than me will enlighten me with its location. I did however find several references to the “Chappell Block” that listed in on Grand Ave. I also located an old Eau Claire Daily Leader article from 1910 which stated that a Grand Initial Ball was being held by the Walla Walla Club at Chappell Hall, but it did not list an address. Finally I came across Addison D. Chappell, who was a prominent farmer and real estate mogul of Eau Claire in the 1800s. Together he and Mr. Van Hovenberg constructed the Chappell Block, which served as one of the main business blocks in the city. But even after all my research I still don’t know exactly where Chappell Hall is, so if you see someone aimlessly wandering around downtown Eau Claire looking up at all the buildings, it is probably me, or perhaps some drunk college kid.
Keep an eye out!