New bench and kiosk

In the last post, you saw the new benches that will surround the perimeter of the park. There will also be 4 round benches that will border the 4 corners of the park, and the first bench has begun to be constructed, with the wood that will serve as the seat and back rest.  In addition, just outside the park, at the corner of Alexandrine and Second, is our new kiosk. Feel free to put your notice there (by next week we'll have a stapler inside for you to use). … [Read more...]

Benches arrive at the park

Benches have arrived at the park! The bases came from the old Dalgleish Cadillac water tower's legs, and were built by Disenos (a Detroit metalworking company).  The wooden slats came from white oak sustainably harvested by Pollum's Natural Resources in Lapeer, Mi. Below are two views of the benches in the park.   You'll also find a couple of the benches inside the entrance tank. We also have the beginnings of the new kiosk, located just outside the entrance tank. Once again, materials from the Dalgleish water tower were used in its construction. Finally, an early user of the benches sits munching on a seed pod from one of our bottlebrush buckeye bushes. Now that the garden is in, the wildlife have found us! … [Read more...]

Photo update of the park

The El Moore's adjacent park, named El Moore Greens, is under construction, and we thought this would be a good time to give you a photo update. Let's start with the view from above. Here's a view of the park as it is framed out. The center will be grass, bordered by a gravel pathway. The 4 corners of the grass area currently have foundations for what will be circular stone benches and planters. While we're viewing things from above, here's a photo of the retail building, with the solar panels on the roof and pergolas extending from all sides. Back down on the ground, here's a shot of the park as seen from one of the corners. The bricked-in planter will contain flowers. The round concrete object will hold another planter, around which will be a concrete bench. Bench … [Read more...]

Open windows on our world

The Greenhouse at the El Moore is a nascent, wondrous, window-filled place. Its windows, in fact, are what make it such a grand place for growing. They are what make the greenhouse so porous, so special and so intriguing. They allow so much light in--the first rays of daybreak grace its repurposed wooden (even more porousness!) interior. Most importantly though, it lets you and me in. Where most greenhouses are for growing and maintaining plant life, our Greenhouse exists here to help grow and sustain our community. There, every day, our neighbors, as well as the sounds, smells and sights of our street and our neighborhood, pour in.  It is in this "allowing in" and in "sharing" that the Greenhouse will find and establish its identity.   With the El Moore Lodge entering its … [Read more...]

The story behind the baked goods at the El Moore

Hi everyone! My name is Peggy Brennan, and along with my husband, Tom, I am one of the owners of the El Moore. I am also the baker of the coffeecakes that you find at your weekend breakfasts. How did I find myself in this role? Baking has always been something that I enjoyed. I took cake decorating classes when my daughter, Molly, now 36, was 1. Unfortunately for me, my husband is not a big sweets eater, and many of the cakes I brought home ended up in the garbage. As our 3 children grew, it became obvious that they took after their father -- none were big into sweets. Sometimes I would bring cakes or cookies to friends and extended family members, and they loved my offerings, so I knew it wasn't the quality of what I was making that my family was rejecting. I just had a family who … [Read more...]

Park Update

The park adjacent to the El Moore is coming along nicely. Garden beds have received their initial plantings. The building onsite is near to completion. Right now pavers are going in around the water tank (that will serve as the entrance), and stone pathways are being laid for each entryway to the park. Here are some pictures from today.   … [Read more...]

A farewell to Dan Commer, El Moore resident

Dan Commer, one of the original residents of the El Moore, will be moving soon, and we will miss him. He has an opportunity to pursue a Master's degree in Urban Planning at U of M, and will be moving to Ann Arbor this summer. Last week I had a chance to sit down with Dan to talk over his experience living at the El Moore. A few years ago, Dan had been living quite contentedly in Lafayette Park, working on his undergraduate degree in Urban Planning at Wayne State. Most of the time he was commuting to his classes by bike. Dan volunteered on Saturdays with Earthworks, and one day another volunteer mentioned that Dan might be interested in the work at the Green Garage. He stopped by for one of our Friday lunches, and attended a few more before hearing from Jason Peet about an apartment … [Read more...]

Blooming landscape

Spring has finally sprung, and the young landscape at the El Moore has started blooming. At the front of the building, we have 2 dogwoods in full bloom and an adjacent garden with rose and peony bushes. Here is a close-up of the dogwoods in front. Below you'll see a shot of one of two buckeyes on the property. They may be small now, but when fully grown, they should get to about 60 ft. Here's another dogwood by the greenhouse. Finally, here's another sure sign of spring.... … [Read more...]

El Moore Gardens Update

As you can see, we're making progress on the El Moore gardens area. Raised garden beds, made from reclaimed curb material from upstate New York, are now home to trees (maple and honey locust) and shrubs (like the bottlebrush buckeye and the Carolina allspice). Juan Angeles and his team made this beautiful stage of brick with a flagstone base. On either side of the stage, pergolas have been built, which will cover seating areas. The old Dalgleish Cadillac water tank is in place and will serve as an entranceway to the park. Final work is being done on the gates that will be placed in the entryways to the tank. More detail on these gates and our new entrance gates will be in the next post.   … [Read more...]

Video Oral Histories of the Green Garage

Last month, Liz Riedman, and Anthropology Masters student at Wayne State University, interviewed 3 of the original founders of the Green Garage, Helen Bradley and Don and Mitzi Carter. The interviews were recorded and are below for you to listen to. They are brief, each not more than 5 minutes, but they do give a sense of the original thought behind the Green Garage project. Hope you enjoy them! And thanks, Liz, for helping us embark on our oral history journey.   … [Read more...]

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