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Welcome to the Leinkauf Historic District Neighborhood Organization. We hope you will use the menu bar above and click on the tabs to learn About LHDNO (the Leinkauf Story, Take a Photo tour), check out our Events, Join Us, and read our "Under the Oaks" News Blog. This is the only official website representing LHDNO and the actions of its Board.
OUR LEINKAUF NEIGHBORHOOD IS FEATURED IN MOBILE BAY MAGAZINE! DON'T MISS THE INTERESTING HISTORY OF OUR NAMESAKE WILLIAM LEINKAUF. GO TO THE "UNDER THE OAKS NEWS BLOG" TAB, ABOVE, TO SEE THE POST WITH THE LINK TO TOM MCGEHEE'S THOROUGH AND FASCINATING STORY ABOUT LEINKAUF IN THE MAGAZINE.
LHDNO General Membership Meetings for 2021 were suspended due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The Board’s work continued in committee during 20-21 and has included the continuation of several successful programs such as our Official Flag Sales for general fund, the Leinkauf Elementary School donation program, and the Signage Sales for reproduction historic marker signs used to fund the historic marker signs that have now been installed throughout the Leinkauf Historic District.
One of LHDNO's biggest projects is our LIGHT UP LEINKAUF lighting project.
Below is a recap of Phase One of the lighting project, and if you drive down Adler and West Avenue parallel to Virginia, you will see the evidence that the work has now begun!
LIGHT UP LEINKAUF!
At our October 25th 2018 member and resident meeting, we were pleased to be able to announce the first definitive step had been taken toward our LIGHT UP LEINKAUF project. If you have still not heard about our project 4 years later, here is the background:
Since 2008, LHDNO and neighborhood groups have worked to begin lighting projects in our district, but at each attempt, have hit a wall for one reason: the electrical grid that would support improved street lighting does not exist, making any such project enormously expensive because of the infrastructure foundation needed.
The existing antique poles inside the district were on the city's very first electrical grid! That switch, located at the southwest end of the district, has been condemned. Our electrical grid is a patchwork of the lamps on Government Street updated a few decades ago, functioning antique lights on Park Terrace, condemned and dismantled antique lights in the Battery Heights area, and security lights on wooden poles installed by Alabama Power and the city.
The short story is that the original street lighting switch, apparently somewhere in the general area of South Monterey at Lamar, is condemned, and in order to renovate existing antique lighting or install new reproduction antique lights, a new primary switch and grid series or electrical run must be established. That new switch will be somewhere in the McDonald Avenue to Adler area. Those are lay terms for the technical situation as explained to the lighting committee when they met with the city.
In summer 2018, LHDNO President and Board member Tim Maness suggested we again work on lighting. He agreed to chair a new Special Project Ad Hoc committee, and he and VP Harold Bolton have been working on that since August 2018, along with voluntary chairs in the original Lighting Committee: Chair Carol Adams-Davis, Beautification Chair Brenda Bolton, Dexter representative Allyson Henry, NEC chair Suzanne Schwartz, our 2018 Board, and other resident members. It takes the village. The committee met for a brain-storming session which produced clear goals, an approximate timeline and the beginning steps which broke the huge district-wide project into "do-able" segments.
Then and Now:
Earlier committees from LHDNO, Flo Claire, Dexter Street and individual residents, have vocalized the need for lighting and worked hard to overcome the "no infrastructure" obstacle. While their work was not successful at the time, they brought attention to the need. As a result, two things happened in approximately 2008-2010: First, Alabama Power installed 19 more security lights to at least address the dark. The problem was that the 25' high poles placed the lights hidden above the tree canopy in many cases. Further, the draping wires for many of the poles made some areas --as one resident complained--look like "a trailer park." While better than being in total dark, the security lights were minimally effective because of the tree canopy, and did nothing to improve the aesthetics of anyone's street, with exposed wires that made the lights ugly and more vulnerable in storms.
The second thing which the early committees accomplished was to bring enough attention to the need that the city developed a master street light plan for the Battery Heights area where the original electrical grid had been condemned and where our antique lights were being dismantled. This plan, if implemented, would: replace and upgrade the condemned switch and series; replace the dismantled antique poles with reproduction iron poles, acorn globes, and LED lighting (see those being installed on St. Louis Street); install a new "primary" switch for street lighting and move it to a more-easterly location, making future runs to new streets shorter and therefore less expensive; and finally, cost-estimate the project.
That Master Plan had been waiting for action since the 2008-2010 era, and we were able in 2017-18, through Mr. Manzie’s help, to get a commitment from the city that the plan will be moved into the city's "Action Plan" for 2020, which began in late spring or early summer of 2019 with the actual work-planning phase. The actual work was to begin 2020 but was delayed by hurricane repairs, COVID, and supply chain issues. Once begun, the project will provide the foundation we have needed for over a decade that will allow future street runs to be added. This removes the "roadblock" to our earlier efforts. Next, it will begin the process of actually replacing existing, dismantled lighting on the Battery Heights circuit (the general area is along Lamar starting at So. Monterey, turning south along West Street, then running on West Avenue, parallel to Virginia, and terminating on Adler Street, with a possibility of added poles, to be determined by costs).
Because of Mr. Manzie’s support and commitment of his city CIP funding, the Master Plan for the project remains viable and the project remains in the 2019-2023 City Budget as an active project. The supplies were ordered, according to Traffic Engineering, and the bid was let to Bagby and Russell last year.
As of late September, 2022, we can finally announce that hands-on work has begun! Congratulations and Thanks to LHDNO and the 2018 Ad Hoc Lighting Committee, and to former Councilman Levon Manzie, who will be remembered for his steadfast support on this project.
The LHDNO Mission is to honor the gift of our shared lives by elevating our Quality of Life, preserving historic properties, and nurturing the enduring legacy of our natural surroundings.
ELEVATE the Quality of of Life...
• PRESERVE AND RESTORE our historic homes and properties
• WORK FOR a neighborly, connected, safe, and clean District
• ADVOCATE for high quality commercial design
• WORK TO INFLUENCE nonresidential uses appropriate to our historic, residential character
• WORK TO PROTECT AND IMPROVE our natural greenways and built legacy
President - Tim Maness of Michigan Ave.
V. Pres. - Harold Bolton of West Street
Secretary - Anne Stafford of McDonald Ave.
Treasurer - John Gillis of West Street
New Area Representatives (even numbered, beginning 2022)
Area 2 - Jack McManmom of Monterey Street
Area 4 - Vacant at present, Board appointment pending
Area 6 - Vacant at present, Board appointment pending
Area 8 - Graham Jones of Michigan Avenue
Continuiing Representative (odd numbered, for new election for 2023)
Area 1 - Joe Brown of Houston Street
Area 3 - Vacant at present, Board appointment pending
Area 5 - Caroline Jumper of Tuttle Avenue
Area 7 - Jean Pitts of Stocking Street
Area 9 - Jake Smith of Ann Street
See the Under the Oaks News Blog on the tab bar above for other 2020-21 accomplishments while our organization was in epidemic mode.
Don't forget to visit our beautiful Stokley's plant center for your fall plantings! BUY LOCAL !!!
FLY YOUR FLAG! THE LEINKAUF HISTORIC DISTRICT FLAGS are available again, and at a slightly lower cost of $48! Email your interest in a flag to email@example.com (Payment in advance is required for order/delivery), or pay for your flag online with Paypal at the "Contact Us" tab.