This article by Paul Hayes was over a
year in the making. Printed this summer, it’s now available in .pdf at
http://www.portalwisconsin.org/SoldiersHome_feature.cfm

To: Small School [email protected] Renaissance.com
From: “[email protected]” <[email protected]>
Subject: Small School Movement & High Tech Urban Village at Soldiers

  Home

Cc: <[email protected]>

Dear All,

Might it not be an interesting “school assignment” to develop a project team of social enterprisers young and old to win a piece of the Soldiers Home for the Small School Movement, in collaboration with Growing Power and the embryonic “Milwaukee Restoration Guild…for starters?

Godsil

NAACP/NABVETS/Rebirth of Freedom/Save the Soldiers Home Movement

Milwaukee’s Soldiers Home…

where little black boys and black girls
will be able to join hands
with little white boys and white girls
and walk together
as sisters and brothers…

(from “I Have a Dream” by
Rev. Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr.,
more text below)

We Are a New Nation
with Unfinished Business
From the
First American Revolution

the nation-state became in some measure
a unit not just of political organization
but of moral organization…

featuring at times a certain diffuse good will.
Religion played a role..
but also important was the sheer sense
of common cultural belonging and
common destiny.

People thought of themselves
as being in the same boat.

(from Karl Deutsch, past President
American Political Science Assocation,
“Nationalism and Social Communication:
An Inquiry into the Foundations of Nationality”)

NABVETs/NAACP “Rebirth of Freedom at the Soldiers Home” and Save the Soldiers Home Movement

Dear All,

It is my deep intuition that the NAACP and NABVETS “Rebirth of Freedom Ceremony” at the Soldiers Home this summer was a key factor in the movement that inspired Mayor Barrett to work hard for Milwaukee City to purchase the Soldiers Home Buildings and Grounds and turn them into a site for high tech/big dollar medical research, but also a mixed used, small business and family/social enterprise village to be created by the citizens of Milwaukee and our partners from afar.

I have accepted an assignment from Cleo Pruitt to ask each of you for your impressions of the Rebirth of Freedom Ceremony and Memorial at the Soldiers Home Grounds, this past July, 2005, and the vision being pursued for the installation of the Monument to African American Veterans this coming July, during the NABVETS National Convention.

Your thoughts on the Rebirth of Freedom at the Soldiers Home would be used to advance the great cause. The people will be hearing any thoughts you would like to share, for now, and for the generations. Please send them to [email protected] If you would like to be part of an on-line gathering to develop these concepts, let us know. Here is a broadcast made to celebrate and commit to the vision Mayor Barrett and Commissioner Marcoux are carrying to the Verterans Administration in D.C.

Historic Preservation/Sustainable Development Victory at Soldiers Home

Dear All,

Mayor Barrett and Commissioner Rocky Marcoux, in partnership with the Soldiers Home Foundation, the American Freedom Center, and, I hope, the preservation/sustainable development communities of Milwaukee, have a great vision to aim for at the Soldiers Home.

The Soldiers Home is being saved!

When the partners to this vision incorporate Cleo Pruitt’s and NABVETs “Rebirth of Freedom Memorial” and Will Allen Growing Power Gardens, this complex will become a national destination for visitors to Milwaukee the Beautiful as well! Alderman Bauman’s call for a tram connecting this West End of the “Menomonee Valley in Renewal” all the way to the Lake will make it…well…perfect!

I think this is a great victory for the Milwaukee Preservation Alliance’s basic commitment to connect historic preservation with sustainable economic development. Sandy Foloran, Laura Rinaldi, Pat Lynch, and Kristin Gilpatrick have played enormous roles in inspiring Commissioner Marcoux and Mayor Barrett to trust that the preservation and sustainable development communities of Milwaukee will support this great concept.

I predict this will be the major accomplishment of the Barrett regime in City Hall and will go a long way toward overcoming disappointments regarding the yet to be re-crystallized Pabst City Village renewal.

What say?

Godsil

Journal Editorial on Soldiers Home Renewal

http://www.jsonline.com/news/editorials/oct05/362407.asp

Enter Mayor Tom Barrett, who, only days before he leaves for China to lead a trade mission there, was at the VA grounds Tuesday to announce plans by the city to seek a long-term lease for 37 acres of surplus federal property for a biomedical and technology business park the city hopes to develop. We’ve been critical in the past, asking the mayor to be more proactive in terms of economic development. With this project and in other endeavors, he is doing precisely that.

In June, Barrett and Rocky Marcoux, the city’s commissioner of development, traveled to meet with the secretary of veterans affairs, to discuss the city’s plans. VA officials have since asked the city to prepare a formal offer to lease and redevelop the property. Marcoux said Tuesday he is optimistic with the way the negotiations are going.

The site would be a natural for a technology-oriented park. It already houses the Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center, with its research capabilities and affiliation with the Medical College of Wisconsin. It also boasts a central location, just off I-94, a campus-like setting and a number of architecturally significant and historically important Civil War-era buildings. One of them, the National Soldiers Home, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In fact, the city’s plans call for housing on the grounds America’s Freedom Center, a national museum and education center presenting the history of military conflicts and diplomatic efforts preserving the nation’s freedoms. With the historic nature of the grounds, the center would be an ideal fit.

Marcoux said that if the deal goes through - and by all means it should - the city would act as the master developer for the site. The city would work with others in the community to develop a comprehensive plan for more than 100 acres of the property, including creation of a tax incremental financing district to pay for improvements to the grounds, including roads and a parking structure. The biomedical and technology park would provide roughly 1 million square feet of land to lease for research faculties, in part by building the garage next to the Veterans Affairs Center to open up land now devoted to surface parking.

In addition to providing space for larger firms, Marcoux said, the city hopes to provide start-up labs at the research park to help incubate small but promising young companies. A terrific idea.

The model would be the Milwaukee County Research Park in Wauwatosa, and city officials hope they could provide additional space at the VA grounds for technical firms that run out of space at the county research park only several miles west.

This has all the makings of a win-win, showcasing and honoring the past while building a better future. We urge the federal government to approve the lease.

Dear All,

I think this is a great victory for MPA’s basic commitment to connect historic preservation with economic development. Sandy Foloran, Laura Rinaldi, Pat Lynch, and Kristin Gilpatrick have played enormous roles in inspiring Commissioner Marcoux and Mayor Barrett to trust that the preservation and sustainable development communities of Milwaukee will support this great concept.

I predict this will be the major accomplishment of the Barrett regime in City Hall and will go a long way toward overcoming disappointments regarding the yet to be envisioned Pabst City Village renewal.

What say?

Godsil

Five score years ago
a great American
in whose symbolic shadow we stand signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of captivity. But one hundred years later
we must face the tragic fact that the Negro is still not free.
where little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls and walk together as sisters and brothers…
With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together
to pray together
to struggle together
to go to jail together
to stand up for freedom together
knowing that we will be free one day…
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning
“My country, ‘tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring… From every mountainside, let freedom ring…,we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty
we are free at last!”,

Last edited by Godsil. Based on work by g.  Page last modified on November 01, 2005

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