In a move that’s sure to shock and frighten the city’s Orange Julius lovers, General Growth Properties – the Chicago-based outfit that owns and runs our beloved Oakwood Mall – filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy today. It’s a complicated issue, but let’s try and soldier through the murky details:
They got lots of debt and they cannot pay it.
Whew. WQOW.com says, “The company says the decision came after extensive efforts to refinance or extend maturing debt outside of Chapter 11. Under the filing, GGP can reduce and restructure its debt. Business at Oakwood Mall is expected to continue as usual.”
So, all them savory soft pretzels and that gorgeous makeup counter at Younkers aren’t going anywhere. As for General Growth, they maintain the second largest shopping mall empire in the country, with 158 retail centers. Interestingly, banks across the country have foreclosed upon and seized a handful of those malls just this year – such as this one outside of New Orleans, cleverly named Oakwood Shopping Center.
Bungalow Is Damaged
Property destroyed in Putnam causes radical action by its owner.
Mr. Putnam notifies police that place is closed.
– Eau Claire leader | April, 17 1910
To the Leader:- I wish to give notice through your paper that all trespassing or fishing upon or in any part or portion of the so-called H.C. Putnam park in this city from this date is forbidden until permission is given by myself. I want everybody to keep off my premises. I shall permit no driving or walking through said park or of any kind of trespassing until I shall give notice in person. I shall permit no driving or walking through said grounds located on sections 21,27,28,29, town 27, range 9 in city of Eau Claire. Because the city has blocked up the road at State street tunnel and for several rods on both side of same. So it is dangerous both to teams, cars and individuals until the said city restores said drive to its first condition when I left it and permitted its use, over 25 years since. We were in hopes that after using said drive 27 years, all under our individual cares and expense, that city would help care for and protect it. Now we find the new bungalow on it expansion roof partly destroyed this past week, I put in a bored well and force pump last fall, in the solid rock at a cost of $85, and had abundance of pure water for public use, and the good pump is broken off and ruined. I put up and kept six months a United States flag on the bungalow which was torn down and trampled in the clay.
I therefore withdraw all permits for use, and all ideas of giving same city or until everything is restored and I furthermore ask for bids to cut into cordwood 1,000 cords to be piled upon the said land so same can be hauled away and sold next winter. For over a year past I as you all know have been too ill and feeble to care of the said H.C.P. Putnam park. This is the only way I can see out. If I were a young man I might fight my way. I am also strongly tempted to withdraw my offer on the drive and the Y.M.C.A building as I find the principal trespassers who have been engaged in this breaking off and stealing force pumps are the very boys whom with their families we were planning their benefit. I have notified the chief of police of this and called for help from city.
Chad’s Take: A good Earth Day lesson
With Earth Day fast approaching next week I though it would be fitting to include an interesting article about the beginning----or almost end of Putnam Park. Putnam Park is a beautiful 280-acre tract of land running behind, and along, the back of UWEC, but as you just read, its beginnings were not so smooth.
Let me first say that Mr. Putnam seemed like a very interesting character, as evidenced by this article. First he stated that since the people of Eau Claire did not appreciate or maintain the park, he would simply stop letting them use it. Imagine the outcry if today the city of Eau Claire said that because there was too much trash in Carson Park, that they were simply closing it down and not allowing anyone to enter it. How quick do you think it would get cleaned up? His plan must have worked as eventually Mr. Putnam did grant access and ownership of the park to the city, and he did go through with his large donation for the Y.M.C.A. building. Although he was considered one of city’s finest citizens, I do appreciate him playing a little hardball with Eau Claire. I can’t help but wonder what Mr. Putnam would think of today’s college kids who use the seclusion of his park for their “extracurricular” activities. However, if anyone is searching for an Earth Day activity you could pay your respect to Mr. Putnam by simply doing your part to keep his park clean.