Starts & Fits took a day trip upstate over the weekend, visiting Cooperstown and Roxbury to gather data for the Henry J. Hardenbergh Architectural Database. In Roxbury, my girlfriend and I took photographs of the Jay Gould Memorial Reformed Church (middle photo, at right), a civic work that was financed by the 19th century robber baron Jay Gould. In Cooperstown, we photographed the Inn at Cooperstown (bottom) and Kingfisher Tower (top), a castle-like stone tower in Otsego Lake. It was erected by a 19th century millionaire simply as something to be looked at and enjoyed. What fun!
Back in the city this morning, sobering news. The Times published a story entitled “Middle Class Gets in Line for Help With Rising Heating Bills.” The story is about how all kinds of folks who are too wealthy to qualify for Federal assistance with heating bills are applying for them anyway, and being turned down. A quote from the article: “They are retirees, young couples, the temporarily unemployed, the two-icome families stretched to the limit of second mortgages and credit cards, a slice of the suburban demographic that social workers call ‘mortgage rich and pocket poor.'” The are stories of people partioning off parts of their houses to leave cold, and even going without meals. It’s sad that that is happening. If heating oil prices continue to rise in the coming years, there will be more pressure for housing in cities. Apartments, with far fewer square feet, are less costly to heat than single family detached homes. Also, being part of attached rowhouses or apartment buildings, they have fewer exposures to the outside, and thus, are more efficient than single family houses.