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Norman

“Crossing the Continent” book

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Norm has completed the manuscript for a new book titled, Crossing the Continent: Pioneers of Transcontinental Travel. Transportation’s impact historically on the growth of American towns and cities has been more than significant—it has been incredible. America’s rise as a great nation was in no small part due to individuals who developed its transportation systems. The book presents a narrative history of the development of our nation’s transportation systems through the perspectives and activities of personages significant in each historical era. Some of the protaganists are familiar—George Washington as a young surveyor trekking to the new western territories. Some were ruthless in their quest—Thomas Durant, master schemer of the Union Pacific Railroad. Others were larger-than-life figures now largely forgotten—Carl G. Fisher, eccentric entrepreneur who oversaw construction of the country’s first coast-to-coast highway as a way to promote sales of his automobile headlamps. Other biographical sketches illustrate unbelievable feats—Annie Kopchovsky, who in 1894 left her husband and two children for fifteen months to successfully ride a bicycle around the world. The individual stories are intriguing, enlightening, and sometimes unbelievable. A reflection on these individuals and their roles in ‘Crossing the Continent’ provides the focus for this history of American daring and determination.

Norm is now in the stage of final editing, and he is looking for an agent or publishing house for the 85,000 word manuscript.

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Tyler Family History

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Norm has begun work on a new book covering the 380-year the history of the Tyler family in America. His new book will not include the family genealogy; that is already well documented with almost 10,000 names in three volumes. Instead, it will be a narrative of interesting stories about the family history from 1638 to the current time.

A sample of stories includes: derivation of the Tyler surname, saving the 300-year-old Tyler homestead, Salem witch trials of Tyler ancestors, the poem “Mary Had a Little Lamb (Mary was a relative),” the Tyler who was involved in the Aaron Burr Conspiracy, a copy of the “official” Tyler Family hymn, a review of the family’s many national reunions, the creation of the Job Tyler Family Association, among many other topics.
As he works on the manuscript, Norm is looking for stories and information from other Tylers for possible inclusion. You can contact him for info or to see a copy of the book chapter outline at: ntyler@tylertopics.com.

New Cover

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The new 3rd edition of our Historic Preservation book is being printed, coming out in the fall. For the cover, the photographer blended four photos of the St. Louis Courthouse and Gateway Arch to create this dramatic shot, representing new and old preservation projects. Ilene was very involved with the Courthouse project, less involved with the Arch.

University of Michigan Alumni Tour of Japan

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In October, Ilene and Norm joined with 22 other University of Michigan alums and friends on a 12-day tour of the highlights of Japan. One highlight of a tour filled with many highlights was viewing the Golden Temple, with exterior walls covered with gold leaf. The tour group traveled from Tokyo to Kyoto, seeing incredible temples, shrines, and gardens. However, Ilene felt the best part of the trip was the food, and now that we are home we are now adding Japanese cooking to our everyday menu.

3rd Edition Draft Working Session

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Four of us (Norm, Ilene, Ted Ligibel, and Sarah Marsom) are working diligently on  the 3rd Edition of our book, Historic Preservation: An Introduction to Its History, Principles, and Practice. We spent an entire afternoon together looking at the text on a big screen and discussing final edits. Each edition is more work than expected, but the revisions provide relevant updates. The final version will be going to publisher W.W. Norton & Company in just a few weeks. Stay tuned for the unveiling of a surprising new cover.

American Planning Association Presentation

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American Planning Association Presentation

Norm was a member of a group of the College of Fellows presenting at the annual APA Conference in New York City. The topic was “The Role of the 21st Century Planner.” A packed room listened to discussion of how city planners could better adopt new ideas and technologies into practice. Other speakers were moderator Andrea Brown (APA Michigan Executive Director), Mitchell Silver (former APA president), Bruce Race (University of Houston), and Janet Ruggiero (California planner).

Included in the audience was Ilene with her Jane Jacobs doll. (Ask her about it.)

Library Lot Proposal

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For many years the city of Ann Arbor has been discussing proposals for a new development on a key site in the downtown next to the city’s library. The current proposal is for a massive mixed-use structure with a plaza in front. Ilene and I wrote a letter to City Council expressing our concerns with the current design. We have attached the letter here as a pdf.

Ray Detter Celebration

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Ray Detter has been a community activist in Ann Arbor for decades. As our next door neighbor, we have worked with Ray on many of his projects. This fall we joined a small group of “conspirators” to plan a surprise recognition dinner for Ray. Over one hundred people came to an elegant dinner, with a few speeches by his old friends.

One outcome of that effort was that we raised funds to support the Ray Detter Community Service Award, to be given to a student(s) in an Ann Arbor high school who have been involved with a history project in the community. Ilene and Norm now head this Award Committee, which is enabled to give up to $1,000 each year.