Phoenix rises in Lincoln Park: Legacy House supports AmeriCorps Vista program

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Phoenix rises in Lincoln Park: Legacy House supports AmeriCorps Vista program

The two-story building in Lincoln Park, abandoned for 20 years, has been a lot since it was built in 1910, including a women’s hat shop or a hat-making shop. But until the city of Duluth handed the building over to Ecolibrium3 in 2017, it was just another nailed-up, dilapidated property – a bastion for neighborhood pigeons with no hope for the future. Now it is being reborn as a home for the AmeriCorps VISTA poverty fighters. “Legacy House can be part of cleaning up rot and be an example of how damaged real estate can be rehabilitated and breathe new life into the community,” said Hayley Cormack, a local VISTA executive for AmeriCorps, Ohio. Hayley Cormack walks outside Legacy House at 2114 West Fourth Street on Wednesday May 26, 2021. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com) Started by President John F. Kennedy, AmeriCorps can be imagined as a native peace corps whose members work to eradicate poverty through community project work. Ecolibrium3 runs the AmeriCorps VISTA program locally and has been around for five years, starting with 10 members and currently with a cohort of 24 members. In August, when a new cycle begins, that number will increase to 41. Currently, his “vistas,” as they are called, are working on things like vaccination campaigns and training farmers to build food sovereignty on the Fond du Lac reservation. Its members receive approximately $ 13,000 in scholarship during their year of service – making the rising cost of housing an obstacle for some people who might want to get into their post-high school or college years but cannot afford to that the rent accounts for 60% of that modest income. “It can discourage people from choosing national service, which is an opportunity and a privilege,” said Cormack. Ecolibrium3 or Eco3 is a nonprofit nonprofit organization that serves as a hub for solutions in the areas of sustainability, energy, health and equity. For Eco3, the development of Legacy House was a natural fit. “What we love about Legacy House is the fact that we have these volunteers who are able to affordably live in the community they serve,” said Jodi Slick, founder and CEO of Eco3. “Legacy House fulfills many of our mission points – service, affordable housing and redevelopment here in Lincoln Park.” On Wednesday, May 26, 2021, carpenters will be working on the first floor of the Legacy House. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com) When The News Tribune visited the Legacy House last week, apprentices from the Carpenters Training Institute in Hermantown crawled through the entire project installing the steel-studded frames for four bedrooms upstairs and a fifth, wheelchair-accessible bedroom Bath on the joiners ‘union follows over the summer the training of plumbers, electricians and window glazers to dedicate their time and skills to the community, “said Joel Stone, the carpenters’ union instructor.” This is good for them; chances are they wouldn’t have gone and framed a 800-square-foot ceiling in the training center. “The property was last sold for $ 47,000 in 2006. A man wanted to renovate and live the house that has gone through its many commercial iterations is formally a maisonette. But sources say he found love and moved away, causing the property to slip into disrepair and into the hands of the city. The Legacy House sits on a narrow 10-meter lot with few on either side Meters separated from its neighbors. “It is far too small to build on again” We are able to maintain part of the neighborhood density and maintain an old property that serves the neighborhood instead of being an empty lot “, said Lucas Giese, VISTA program coordinator for Eco 3. Giese started out in Duluth as Vista himself. He bears a great responsibility for the community solar garden along Lower Michigan Street. “He doesn’t brag much, but Lucas is great,” Slick said. “I hired him and now he’s running the VISTA (on-site) program.” Hayley Cormack and Lucas Giese speak to visitors in front of the Legacy House on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com) During the tour, Giese and Cormack noticed a large hole on the second floor that was stabilized and described Work on gutting the property began by scraping out bird droppings. “We wore full suits,” said Giese. A new roof was installed last year by Duluth-based contractor Jamar, who gave a $ 10,000 discount on the work. Last fall, Cormack launched a $ 40,000 fundraiser. Dollars to match a $ 40,000 challenge grant from the Lloyd K. Johnson Foundation of Duluth. “We just completed fundraising in April to make this happen,” said Cormack. Reality could be in on a receipt The list of donors is even longer. Cormack and Giese introduced Curtis Martinson from Gardner Builders, one of the heaviest lifters on the project. “Gardner Builders has been helping us with this project for several years, accompanying us through the Design process and now manages some of the various construction elements, “said Giese.” Curtis is a great help, our guiding principle. ” me, ”said Martinson, who started his career with the Carpenters Training Institute. “It was a great collaboration within the unions, the coordination of when people can come – and keeping to their schedules. They have a fairly regulated schedule for what they need for their training. ”Curtis Martinson Because of this, the project takes longer than a typical reconstruction. The project can be dormant for weeks. Apprentices are deployed when they need special aspects of practical training. “We hope to be at a point where it’s habitable at the end of summer,” said Giese. Until then, it will remain a symbol of resilience. “Legacy House can be part of cleaning up rot and an example of how damaged property can be rehabilitated and breathe new life into the community,” said Cormack. When asked about the name, Legacy House, Cormack said it reflected the cycles of prospects who helped the effort but will see no personal benefit from it. “It is a privilege to serve in Duluth,” said Cormack. If individuals wish to support Legacy House, materials are still needed to complete construction. Donations can be made at ecolibrium3.org. Darius Narvaez takes a measurement for a student while working at the Legacy House on Wednesday May 26, 2021. (Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com)

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