In the first year of this website, I visited the Scott Joplin House. I hadn’t been back on foot until last month; I drove through back in late July. Why is that?
Scott Joplin is a fascinating character, and incredibly important to our history. But I found myself this visit being more interested in the built environment, and how the house shows us a better way–a way of living in an urban environment where you walk to stores and see your neighbors out on their porches.
But what does the State of Missouri do? Mothball the buildings for eternity. There is really no use for these vacant, state-owned buildings?
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I am writing a biography of Scott Joplin for an electronic edition of his ragtime piano works. Do you have a photo of his house that we could have permission to put in the PDFs that will come with the SuperScore score files, and our website (http://scottjoplinarchive.org)?
Sad to say these will probably never be occupied. A person who works there told me that generally state parks like to have a “buffer zone” around them, which is why they bought the lots across the street and probably why no one has stepped up to do anything with the vacant land and buildings nearby.
Sorry to hear that. The state parks administration needs to apply urban standards to an urban site, not rural ones–where a buffer is certainly a good thing.