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Sunday, August 31, 2008

Illinois Closes Cahokia Courthouse, Fort de Chartres and Other Sites

Unbelievable -- according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is forced to close five hiostoric sites due to budget cuts by Democratic Governor Rod Blagojevich. Five are near St. Louis, and are popular destinations for families and student groups from the St. Louis area:

  • Fort de Chartres
  • Pierre Menard Home
  • Cahokia Courthouse
  • Fort Kaskaskia
  • Vandalia Statehouse

    What becomes of these highly significant places? Stay tuned.
  • 12 comments:

    Chris said...

    I think I have a new list of places I need to get my butt to in the next month.

    Anonymous said...

    Pierre Menard would make a nice private estate. Maybe Rod will put it up for sale?

    Athene said...

    I think a group of the SCA or one of those reenactment societies, getting in on that one and while preserving possible working to have it open more often with reenactors (kinda period).

    Anonymous said...

    That is a great idea to help southern illinois. Lets close down the tourist destinations which help bring money in down here. I guess the people of southern illinois don't matter to him. It won't hurt him he has a guranteed job. Stupid Stupid Stupid move cut the funding somewhere else, don't close down state parks. Fort De Chartres is where the redezvous is every year and that brings in people from all over, I've met people from out of the country.

    GMichaud said...

    An examination of the whole tax system is in order. I suspect, just as with health care, Americans are paying more and getting less when compared to other industrialized countries.
    Maybe they will privatize them next, such fun.
    If Paul McKee and the multi million tax credit is an example, far too much tax money is going to support the already wealthy insiders.
    But hey, the citizens don't need parks or historic sites anyway.

    One last comment: in the Federalist Papers, I believe it was Hamilton, talked about how wrong it would be if more than one level of government collected the same tax, resulting in the inefficiency of a "double set of officers". (He called it "obnoxious")
    Of course today we have federal, state and St. Louis income tax, or triple sets of officers. (Along with numerous other duplicate tax examples)

    Thus if you look for the source of the problem, it is not that there is a shortage of money. It is how the money is handled.

    samizdat said...

    No, I would say that the problem is shortage of money. Continuing depletion of industrial manufacturing sector leads to fewer tax collections and thus to less money to spend on these resources. I fear this is not the first time we will hear of a local or state gov't shutting down parks, etc., due to lack of funds. In addition to direct losses from manufacturing, their will inevitably be losses in the industries which supply manufacturing, and losses from those which support THAT group of industries, and so on. 3 million jobs lost in manufacturing in the last 7 years. Spread that around to the various and sundry--large and small, and everything in between--and you begin to see the picture. The biggest growth in jobs--as projected by our own federal gov't--will be in the so-called service industries. Those jobs can't even begin to approach the higher avg. wages once associated with industrial manufacturing. Lower wages+fewer manufacturing jobs/companies=lower tax receipts. With fewer high-paying jobs, whither the middle class? Without the middle class, how does a democratic republic survive? More important questions here than just the closing of valued and important historic and cultural sites.

    Chris said...

    The real problem is that the Chicago political machine treats Illinois like its own private fief to be robbed and plundered at its will. It's even worse right now with Blagojevich, who has essentially moved the capital of Illinois from Springfield to Chicago, figuratively, and in some cases literally for some states agencies.

    If they would cut down on corruption in Chicago, the state of Illinois would have so much money they wouldn't know what to do with it.

    Anonymous said...

    Chris is correct. Just Google "Blagojevic" and you'll find more than enough evidence to support that point of view. I'll take one Fort de Chartres over ten thousand overpriced Chicago yuppie restaurants any day. Though I'll say this is a larger cultural phenomenon - if St. Louis hadn't fallen so hard in the mid-20th century, and if we didn't have K.C. balancing us out on the other side of the state, Missouri would probably be doing exactly the same thing.

    Confluence City said...

    This might help the next program or site?

    Tax Credit Workshop

    The City of University City is sponsoring a workshop about the Missouri Neighborhood Preservation Act tax credit and the Historic Tax credit programs. The workshop will be held on Tuesday, September 16 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. in the Heman Park Community Center, 975 Pennsylvania Avenue. Featured speakers are Kris Zapalac, Missouri State Historic Preservation Office, and Landon Garber, Missouri Department of Economic Development. For more information or reservations contact Andrea Riganti, Manager of Long Range Planning at (314) 505-8516.

    Anonymous said...

    If Illinois would drop out of the useless bridge project, it might have some extra dough.

    Lynn said...

    For Athene and all-
    Fort de Chartres will be open the first weekend in October and the first weekend in November for previously scheduled "reenactor" type events. October 4-5 is a French and Indian War reenactment; November 1-2 is Winter Rendezvous. Although these events draw thousands of people, there might be a problem with the economic argument (they're not buying coke, they're drinking sarsparilla; they're not staying in motels, they're camping on the grounds, etc....)

    Doug Duckworth said...

    Would St. Louisans be upset if St. Louis commanded as much political power in Missouri as Chicago does in Illinois? I think not!