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Saturday, March 11, 2017

Online 'History of the Institute' has Ames Avenue Report Corrected

Our online history up until today had stated that large swaths of Ames Avenue had been sold off to private residential property owners. Ames Avenue remains in tact and has not been sold off to local property owners, according to Bob Murphy and Institute Registrar, Kathy Gilner. Bob serves as one of the co-chairs of Institute History on the official Board. 

It is now assumed that this particular story line came about by the site of seeing the cars of local residents regularly parked on Ames Ave. which is situated very close to their cottages. The story line apparently became even more established when additional stories of some alleged infringements on the west side of Ames Ave. were added to the mix. SilverLakeNewsBlog will attempt to locate the Board minutes on the subject for future reference. We suggest a paragraph on Ames Ave. be added into the new edition of the Blue Book, tentatively planned for this year.

Ames Avenue in the late 1800s.
From the Bob Murphy Collection

About twenty-five years ago, the SLI Board of Trustees passed a policy rule that would keep Ames Avenue as a footpath, as it had historically been from the late 1880s through the mid 1950s and beyond. The purpose of this policy rule was three-fold: (1) to preserve both the historicity and the safety of using Ames Avenue, particularly because there were no sidewalks on the new public thoroughfare of Perry Ave. connecting Camp Road with Chapman Ave.; (2) To categorically state that parking of vehicles would be permitted on Ames Avenue as long as the parked vehicle(s) did not obstruct the free passage of foot traffic; and (3) The Institute would continue to be responsible for keeping the footpath clear of obstacles and overgrown grass.

Ames Avenue is that grassy, historic footpath that served to deliver walkers from the Auditorium located in Bishop Burt Park (from 1888 to 1918) over to the Hall of Philosophy (later Epworth Inn) on the south side of Chapman Ave. When Epworth Hall was completed in 1892, Ames Ave. came to be the "main drag" of foot traffic connecting all three of the Institute's big, main buildings--The Auditorium, Epworth Hall, and Hall of Philosophy. At that point, there wouldn't be a Perry Ave. south of Bishop Burt Park for another 62 years!


  1. I wanted to comment on your Ames Ave posting.  I remember in my youth that the Ames Avenue route without cars was the preferred way to get to Epworth from the rest of the Institute.  About a year ago I tried it again but was hampered by cars parked there and other obstacles-- especially at the Epworth end.  Thinking that I was trespassing on private property, I gave up before reaching the end.  Now that I know it is in fact Institute property, I will persist.
         Maybe, given the curve in Perry Ave and the speed of cars, more attention should be given to restoring Ames as a pathway for pedestrians.  Maybe an experiment for the Silver Lake Experience when a lot of people walking around ( and extra traffic.)

    Nancy Sellar

  2. Very interesting food for thought!!!!

    Kathy Schaefer

  3. For the Silver Lake Experience, just post No Parking signs for during the daylight hours of the Experience.

  4. EDITOR'S NOTE -- Anyone having difficulty posting a comment may feel free to email your comment to greg@silverlakenynews.blog and I will post it here for you.

  5. Why if indeed, this is a walkway are the Silver Lake Institute Executive Board of Directors not taking a pro-active approach and posting signs, enforcing and following through on restrictions of walkways. We have someone doing maintenance, this person is only part-time, but could report the problem. You have renters and homeowners who should know this is not allowed but have they been made aware of this.


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