Tag Archives: Archer House

Northfield Lines’ driver Jack Parker can park a bus like a Mini Cooper

bus, Northfield Lines bus, Northfield Lines Jack Park, driver, Northfield Lines
Robbie and I were having lunch on the deck at Chapati on Saturday when a Northfield Lines bus pulled up in front of the Archer House to pick up a wedding party. With cars parked in the spaces at both ends of the no-parking zone, I assumed the driver would just be able to pull in a tiny bit, but would otherwise be blocking much of the lane on Division St.

But he backed it in, just like backing a car into a parallel parking spot.  While backing up, he got so close to that Mini Cooper (center photo) that I assumed the bus had an external video camera at the rear to guide him.  When the car parked near the front of the bus pulled out, he was then able to bring the bus all the way to the curb, which is when I took the photos.

The driver was long-time Northfielder Jack Parker who said the bus was not equipped with any cameras or other electronic tools to assist him in parking. He attributed his being able to eyeball it to being a farm boy. Impressive.  He said he loved his job way more than over-the-road and when I watched him greet the wedding party as they stepped onto the bus, it was obvious.

Bittersweet Eatery & Gathering Place closes

Bittersweet Eatery & Gathering Place closing flyer: Bittersweet Eatery & Gathering Place
Bittersweet Eatery & Gathering Place in the Archer House closed yesterday. Nfld Patch’s story:

Like other restaurant owners in Northfield, [Jane] Volkert has dealt with rising commodity prices at the same time customers are watching their spending more. She attributed the closing to “the economy.”

The restaurant has been for sale for several months. Volkert spoke with her staff about the closing when she made the decision, and as a result, her staff has been reduced from six employees to three.

Todd Byhre, general manager of the Archer House River Inn, which leases the space to Volkert, said the hotel is exploring options to fill the area, possibly keeping it as a coffee shop, but nothing is set in stone.

See also Nfld News: Downtown coffee shop to close — but for how long?

The Archer House gets a new sign. See the fine print.

Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Designs Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Designs
Jim Bohnhoff, Bohnhoff Design, installed a new sign on the front of the Archer House River Inn in downtown Northfield yesterday afternoon.

I asked Jim to point to the small sign at the bottom that says:

PUBLIC RESTROOMS
Main & Lower Levels

Given that I’ve been complaining for a year about the lack of signage for the $100,000 public toilets, paid for by taxpayers, I’m happy to see it.  But it sure is small.

NHS requests $60K forgivable loan for public toilets. Does anyone give a shit about those $100K public toilets at the Archer House?

Archer House - front entrance Archer House - rear entrance Archer House - lobby level restrooms 
On the agenda at tonight’s City Council meeting:

The Northfield Historical Society (NHS) is adding an elevator to the building that will allow for ADA access to all three levels of the building. This project will also include the addition of six (6) ADA compliant restrooms that will be open to the public. The demand for more public restrooms is particularly important during community events in the Downtown Business District… The Northfield Historical Society’s request to the City is for $60,000.00 from the Master Development/TIF District #4 Fund. The overall project budget is currently budgeted for $700,000.00. The restroom phase of the project will cost $175,000. This project is scheduled to be completed by January 2011.

The Archer House, which got $100,000 last year for public restrooms as part of its renovation, still has not put up any exterior signs alerting the public to their availability.

The owner of the Archer House, Brett Reese, is co-chair of the NHS Next Level Campaign, and will be speaking to the Council tonight on the NHS request.

I support the loan but I think the Council should stipulate that NHS publicize the existence of the public restrooms on the exterior of the Scriver Building, and, retroactively, the Archer House.

Why no signs announcing that bathrooms are available to the public in the Archer House?

Archer House - front entrance Archer House - rear entrance Archer House - lobby level restrooms Wayfinding sign 
Archer House renovations are complete, including the ADA-compliant restroom facilities that are available to the public daily from 6:00 AM to 12:30 AM.

The public use of the bathrooms (lower level and lobby level) is part of the agreement with the City of Northfield in exchange for a $100,000 forgivable loan. (See last summer’s blog post, City ponders $100k forgivable loan for the Archer House; a royal flush for downtown?)

  • Why not put up some ‘public restroom’ signs at the front and rear of the Archer House.
  • Why not add ‘public restrooms’ to the Wayfinding signs scattered about downtown?
  • Why not put up a couple of ‘public restrooms’ signs along Riverwalk, now that Riverwalk Market Fair is in full swing every Saturday?

Public toilets and more emerging at Archer House

Archer House renovation Archer House renovation Archer House renovation Archer House renovation
Workers at Schmidt Homes Remodeling, a division of Steven Schmidt Construction, have been bearing down hard at the Archer House in recent weeks. It’s partially the result of the City of Northfield’s $100k forgivable loan for ADA-compliant public restroom facilities. Other areas of the Archer House are also undergoing renovation, estimated last summer to be $1.25M. I took these photos prior to the NDDC forum on Tuesday.

For all you firm and regular taxpayers out there who think the City’s loan was a waste, let me remind you that the “only true human waste is a waste of time.”