The 45th Annual Lafayette Square Spring House and Garden Tour is set for June 7 and 8, 2014. For more information, click here.

Lafayette Square refused to fall to the whims of shortsightedness. Faced with that unsavory prospect as the 60s came to a close, the neighborhood chose a different course. As I walk the streets of my neighborhood today, I am struck by the amazing progress that has occurred in just the last 15 years. 

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This home will be featured during the 45th Annual Lafayette Square Spring House and Garden Tour.

I stopped to admire a building owned by past clients and friends. They took on the challenge of renovating a building that needed generous quantities of love and money. The owners proved to be up to the task. After working with them on their interior projects and solidifying their tax credits, they asked me to help with their mansard project.  I knew that project was well beyond my abilities. So I sent them to a team I knew they could count on. The results are breathtaking. So much so that the owners now receive accolades from passersby and even in letters from once unknown neighbors.

After catching up and admiring the amazing reconstruction of the late 1800s replica mansard, I meandered through the park, admiring the work on the boat house.

When we moved into the neighborhood, the historic brick structure bordering on a small lake, had a leaky clay tile roof and arched windows with Plexiglas panels and metal mesh covers, a huge fireplace that sent more smoke into the open gathering space then up the chimney, and bathrooms in name only.

Years ago, I worked with the neighborhood and championed a master plan for our 33-acre historic park. Working together with H3 Studios and the entire community, we were able to define the priorities and goals for our park and provide an outline for next steps. It’s satisfying to see these things come to fruition.

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These accomplishments, both on personal and public levels, are wonderful examples of how groups of people can come together, overcome skepticism and blatant resistance to define goals and objectives, build teams, engage the users and create success. It’s about a successful planning process.  And it’s about making sure you build a solid team to ensure you and your company get what you want and truly need, while capturing those critical nuances that make the process rewarding for everyone.

 Great examples are everywhere!

Julie Padberg-White

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