Inspiration in Greensburg, Kansas…

On December 30, Rachel visited Greensburg, Kansas, the town that rebuilt sustainably after being hit by a devastating tornado in 2007.  Close to Home continues to find inspiration in the lessons that Greensburg has learned and shares with other communities that are rebuilding post-disaster.  Rachel met with Mayor Bob Dixson and Greensburg GreenTown’s Jana Schwartz & Ruth Ann Wedel. The vision of Close to Home and the work that Greensburg is engaged in are in alignment and we look forward to seeing what 2014 will bring thanks to this shared vision.

Here is a photo tour from the visit.

 

Rachel @ City Hall after meeting with the humble yet inspiring Mayor Dixson.

Rachel @ City Hall after meeting with the humble yet inspiring Mayor Dixson.

 

 Greensburg Wind Farm is in the distance... along with gorgeous Kansas landscapes and winter colors.

Greensburg Wind Farm is in the distance… along with gorgeous Kansas landscapes and winter colors.

Before the tornado, Greensburg was known for “The Big Well”.  More on that from “The Big Well” website “The Big Well is a marvel of pioneer engineering that was completed in 1888 as the town’s original water supply. At 109 feet deep and 32 feet in diameter, this is a breathtaking sight to see. This new museum opened in May 2012 and once again allows visitors to descend a spiral staircase into the Big Well and view exhibits that feature Greensburg’s history, the tornado, and our rebuilding as a sustainable community.”  My thanks to Stacy Barnes, Greensburg’s Convention & Tourism DIrector, for another excellent tour of the museum.

 

This photo was taken from the bottom of the well – as far as you can go down the spiral staircase – and then looking up.  It’s an absolutely beautifully designed building – and you feel the coolness envelop you as you descend, and the warmth return as you climb the staircase toward the light.  This photo was taken from the bottom of the well – as far as you can go down the spiral staircase – and then looking   up.  It’s an absolutely beautifully designed building – and you feel the coolness envelop you as you descend, and the warmth return as you climb the staircase toward the light.

 

This photo looks toward the circular top of the museum – where you can see out and around the City of Greensburg.  This photo looks toward the circular top of the museum – where you can see out and around the City of Greensburg.

After visiting the Well, I went out to Mullinville, to see the “Round” Barn, built in 1912.  After immersing myself in the study of the latest and greatest sustainable building techniques, I love having an opportunity to appreciate the knowledge that tradespeople had way back when, regarding how best to build for efficiency, wind resistance, etc.  This is a beautiful sight, and the circular patterns which are found at the top of both of the buildings – the Well and the Barn – (and that recur in nature all of the time) have a powerful effect.

 

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I’ll look forward to my next trip to Greensburg.  I’ve left inspired after each of my visits.

-Rachel Stamm, Close to Home, Founder & CEO

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