Janesville64.6°

Some nice homes, some not so nice

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Greg Peck
June 27, 2013

We’re creatures of habit. We often travel the same paths. We drive to and from work or our favorite grocery. If we go for walks, we might well take the same footpaths.

In recent weeks, however, my wife and I have taken different routes while bicycling and walking around Janesville’s east side. We’ve spent much of this time walking in the area bordered by Main Street, Randall Avenue, Ruger Avenue and Milwaukee Street. Some things I’ve seen impress me; others distress me.

Here are examples.

We’ve watched as a crew scraped an old home for repainting in or near the Courthouse Hill Historic District.

Last night we walked by another home that is so badly in need of a paint job that it detracts from neighboring properties. The family was enjoying the fenced backyard, seemingly oblivious to the need.

A couple in our neighborhood spent at least nine days reroofing their own home, their “sweat equity” no doubt saving them thousands of dollars.

In contrast, a home atop Oakland Avenue has an old detached garage so dilapidated and such an eyesore that it would make a certain “carriage barn”—which the city condemned and tore down years ago after much legal wrangling—look like a palace.

A couple on Ruger Avenue have a crew completing their new driveway just today. A short walk away, some sidewalks along heavily traveled Ruger are so askew that some slabs jut up 2 inches, just waiting to trip the next unobservant walker.

This section of Janesville I outlined above has many impressive homes, most of which I’ve driven by repeatedly without admiring. Only when you’re out bicycling or walking can you pause long enough to appreciate them. Some have nicely manicured and landscaped yards, while others look like they haven’t been touched all summer. Our home is many decades old and requires new investments each year to maintain; I can only imagine the dollars a family can sink into maintaining some of these architecturally intriguing but even larger and older homes.

I applaud those who invest time and money into them. Their efforts can enhance neighboring properties, entire neighborhoods and even our community and its economic future in general.

Greg Peck can be reached at (608) 755-8278 or gpeck@gazettextra.com. Or follow him on Twitter or Facebook



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