A Brick Wall

Building restoration is a hot topic in my circles, and these are starting to expand. More people are becoming knowledgeable about the destructive nature of urban decay and the importance of renovation and restoration. They care about their environment, but haven’t had the opportunity to express it. They don’t know how to help. If we close our eyes to the problem, however, it will not go away. It is one of those insidious conditions that can only get worse and start to effect the quality of life. So, I have devoted my time and energy to keeping up appearances in a sense, and helping foster my town’s preservation.

We can all do our part as small gestures can certainly add up. Any effort on the part of residents and landlords to improve conditions is more than welcome. It takes a group to make a difference, otherwise it becomes an overwhelming enterprise–way too large for one man. Let me give you an example. Many buildings have dirty exteriors, even when the inside is more than acceptable. It gives a neighborhood a dog-eared quality and affects property values. It brings down an entire community.

It is sometimes rather quick and easy to remedy the unsightly problem. If each building owner elects to use a pressure washer to clean the exterior, the job would be done in no time at all. A simple solution! Appearances would improve and certainly impact local lagging spirits. They would be newly proud of their refurbished areas. A good hose on a brick wall is a ready symbol for restoration success. We should all literally take up the project. Let’s put it on a poster!

Power washers are easy to find. You can buy or rent them and they are super effective. In capable hands, they will rid surfaces of years of build-on grime and decay. They will give luster and shine to even the oldest façade. I propose a day when the city will become alert to the cleansing activity and participate in one way or another. People can sign up for a particular building or area and those behind the scenes can promote the efforts. Onlookers are fine as they will spread the word.

This kind of organized approach can be done several times during a season until the cumulative effects are reached and the desired results apparent. I love group projects as they help to gain new adherents to the matter at hand. Regional restoration is no small goal, but it can happen if the right people get involved, particularly local politicians and business leaders.

Fundraising is also a way to get the community to kick in to the value of restoration. It can provide the power washers, for example, and even construction tools and supplies, which as you know are vast. It can build over time from modest beginnings and have a real impact long term. It is all about public participation and acknowledgement of the value of tackling a seemingly large task—one that is close to my heart.