I just read all that.
Even after getting kicked from the server at 6 am last night because everyone on the East coast decided to wake up and check the forum I came back after classes!
And I took notes!LONG MESSAGE read the summary and "lol wut" section at the bottom if you really must.summary:
Lets do it in Pennsylvania, I think we could start small with a B&B/restaurant and workshop and make a small town if we find the right spot to start on. In the end there may be Dr Cross' stables, a public workshop, underground tunnels (really!), and any number of participants.
Thanks for reading ;]
The Sgt. Major says it best. "Pioneer Spirit." but the B&B- alone, in the middle of Portland- will never
be the physical beginning to a Steampunk community. The pioneers went to a land that was free, and took what was needed to grow
; stack the odds. You don't plant a seed and watch if you really want it to grow; you have to water and weed it. It has to be planted in fresh soil. I want to pose some questions:
A Steampunk community is a GREAT idea. Williamsburg, Plymouth, and Jamestown all have historical communities to varying degrees of participant immersion and success. American history makes these important and attractive. What makes a Steampunk community attractive? Can we mitigate a lack of initial draw by making it at an accessible distance?
I get the vibe, in general, of the East coast having more pride (and spending) invested in history and immersible experiences. The West coast has always been too progressive, almost flighty, in my observations. Am I wrong? I'd be overjoyed if someone could prove me wrong! Now to give what I have thought of:
If I was to spring a Steampunk community out of the ground... (by the way, I am in my first semester of a 7 year Architecture program and have always had an interest in starting communities from scratch, history, reenactment, city planning, engineering, environment planning, and theatrics ;] )
Pennsylvania is the place, in a moderately or entirely forested area, near a navigable river, small city with a hospital, and within 3 miles of a rail line that will soon be expanded. Dr. Cross' horse therapy farm would be extremely welcome. You would have plenty of land, helpers, and clients.
All this can be built by participants and any number of annual surges of enthusiasts. Think "barn raising."
The first buildings would be wood, and not at the future center of town. They would include a B&B/small restaurant, apartments, a public workshop yard that can produce brick and mill lumber, and at least 400 acres of undeveloped land. If the population expands before any brick buildings go up, more apartments will have to be built. From there, the brick would be used to build up the waterfront and create an artificial baseline for town construction. Remember
Below the roads would be a series of tunnels used for transporting waste/recycling and easy access to gas, water, electricity and communication grids.
In the SCA we say that we are representing the Middle Ages "as they should have been". We can have the Victorian era as it should have been.
Once the waterfront is partially lain down, that can be stopped as a cistern is bricked into the baseline. Water from the tops of buildings and from electric wells will supply this; each building will have an independent electric pump. Once the cistern is done, buildings can go up. At this point in time the preferred internet connection will switch from satellite to fiber-optic. Think of how open the sky would be with all that under the ground.
Here is a small diagram of the elevations:
____________The town_________,.,. _,,,.,.,.,.,.,.,,.,.(base camp),.,
_______The waterfront _||__The baseline_||___||___||__||__/
,,,,,,,,The river ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,/
Brick buildings: As mentioned, cistern done = buildings go up. We would start with general-purpose buildings and move on to designs that people put forward. These might be anything from workshop with loft to storefront and home to art gallery with a bar to a small bookstore with a porch far over the street. Mixing it up and keeping just the right distance is the way to go. Workshops for private businesses are a definite, as are any hotels that wish to spring up.
Cars and other transportation devices will be housed near the base camp, and the main street will have to be a public road to get business. The bricked area of town would have plenty of access from the underground and the streets. Having a public road starter street also almost ensures proximity to power lines at the ignition site of our grand little explosion and lets any passer-by easily park their car for an excursion.
The land is possibly easy to get, because farms failing to grow always begin to fail in this age of agricultural wonders. Family farms sometimes have
to be sold, and I think everyone here and there would rather see something awesome and new- rather than McMansions and cookie-cutter suburbia. Here lies the answer to any queries considering sustenance farming. It is impossible. All successful farms specialize. Specialization can refer to free-range meats and tourism/pick-your-own, however, and some of us may be interested in such. Farming some land in the form of grocer's gardens or orchards is a perfect idea, but requires either a majority community effort or migrant workers to run (guess which I support). Sounds fun to me!
Awww I wanted to be King
lol, If we do this it will become either a non-profit-to-incorporated-town or nothing-to-incorporated-town. (I think...) In either case the end result is a town council which can prevent people who try and spoil our fun. Law and order will be preserved through *ahem* open carry and people being deputies.
Believe me when I say the baseline will make individual security paramount.
Mail post. We could have personal ticker-telegraphs, post kiosks, or almost anything! Instant messaging via Steampunk is awesome in my head. lol wut?
I suggest not wasting time and money on a tea-room. BUT since this would take a few years to even get all the stuff together (not to mention the fact I can't leave Boston until I'm done this degree in seven years) it is in no way a waste. Go for it. I will visit and be extremely jealous!
If you think a motley bunch of people couldn't do this, you would be wrong. Carpentry and brick-laying classes and a construction manager are essentially all that would be necessary as far as I can see; as long as the plans are easy to follow and maintain. There are enough steampunks with skills to do this.
Again, thank you for reading. Isabella, Dr. Cross, and Akumabito: ya'll are crazy ;]