Wow. I can hardly believe that this blog has been going for three years now. Not bad for a Cornell/Ithaca history and construction blog. In keeping step with the previous two annual updates, here’s a brief rundown of the site statistics:
The total number of hits since this blog launched, and as of 3:45 PM today, is 163,019. Altogether, that’s roughly 149 visits/day. Since the first year averaged 82 visits/day, and the second year 166 visits/day, the third year breaks down to about 199 visits/day. Not too shabby. As or the monthly statistics:
The highest monthly total for the past year was March, with 8,001 visits. In all of the past three years, March has been the month with the highest total. Considering the aberration in site traffic in March 2010 due to the bridge tragedies, the relatively slower increase from 2010 to 2011 (versus 2009 to 2010) is actually more substantial than it seems, since no single event this year contributed to as large of a proportion of visitors to this blog.
Looking at the past year in review:
~In planning and development, Thom Mayne was selected to design Gates Hall, and when the initial design came out this past spring, I gave it a less-than-warm reception (and probably the only time I’ll ever refer to deer carcasses on this blog). THE CU ERL project (or as I like to think of it, Ezra’s giant tube) was approved, but won’t even start construction for two of three more years (I’ll be going back for my five-year reunion before the project is done). Milstein and the Johnson Museum addition made significant progress, as did the new food science building, and the Plantations welcome center, Physical Science Building and MVR’s north wing were completed. Bridge barrier designs from embattled architecture firm Office DA were proposed, but Cornell has opted to go with nets instead.
Looking towards the city and suburbs, the Collegetown Terrace went through a substantial redesign of its State Street buildings before finally getting phase I approval this past Spring. Since then, demolition and site prep are underway, and phase II finalization is just getting the planning board’s okay. 307 College Avenue was proposed and the Vine Street Cottages and 309 Eddy Street were approved. Development began on the third neighborhood of EcoVillage, and the BJ’s in Lansing barely earned approval due to a controversial tax abatement for a senior-housing project on the rear end of the lot. Lansing began construction on a new locally-owned supermarket, and the Poet’s Landing apartment complex was proposed in Dryden. IC finished its Athletic Center and began prep work to expand its Circle Apartments complex.
Too bad not all news was about progress. Ithaca Gun is a cleared site awaiting further development, which has been slow, if any at all. The Ithaca Hotel, Cayuga Green Condos, and INHS proposal are stalled due to lack of funding. The only substantial work completed downtown were the renovations of the Petrune and Plantations buildings on the Commons. At the very least, the Seneca Way project came forward to offer some hope for downtown redevelopment in the near-future.
~Greek Life went into a tailspin with the proposed, and then approved, plan to eliminate underage drinking from parties by banning freshman from attending fraternity events with alcohol, and making rush dry by 2013. Unfortunately for the system, all it takes is a couple of idiots to cause an alochol-induced fatality, and to make questionable choices while drunk at a public event, and the damage is done. While SAE earned itself a heave-ho from campus for the next 5 years, three other Greek orgs, the fraternities Phi Kappa Sigma and Alpha Phi Delta, and the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma, expressed intent to reestablish themselves on campus after a decades-long hiatus. Oh, and we got to watch Bob Saget be “initiated” into Seal & Serpent, much to the chagrin of image-conscious Greeks. Personally, I’d be more image-conscious of SAE’s pledges mass-migrating over to TKE even as four of their pledgebrothers were indicted. Real classy guys.
~The 2010 census showed that the city and county grew. Ithaca proper is busy mulling over its future with proposed Commons renovations, renovations of Stewart Park on the lakeshore, and a one-year moratorium on development for West Hill (excluding pre-approved projects). On the short-term, the county had to deal with tornado damage in Danby and arresting Cornell students with massive stashes of heroin.
Time passes, thing change. In comparison to last year, when I wrote this entry from a crappy sublet and with an uncertain grasp in grad school, I moved into a new place, changed advisers, worked my arse off, but feel much happier now than I did at this time last year. As I write this right now, I keep an eye on the clock, since I only just came back from visiting a friend I graduated with out in Amsterdam, and plan for a hiking trip in the Adirondacks tomorrow. The birds chirp outside my window and the sun plays off the leaves rustling in a light summer breeze.
Three years is a relatively large chunk of time for a blog to be active. But I enjoy writing because I think, or at least hope, that’s it useful to folks who are curious about the history of something at Cornell, or what’s under construction on campus or nearby. If I’ve been able to make someone a little more knowledgeable, than I see no issue with all the time I’ve poured into this blog over the years. As long as I have history and news to write about, I plan to keep this blog going for the foreseeable future. It gives me something to share with others, and it’s what makes me happy.