Since 1978, the brick foundation sat in the empty lot near Old Salem's famous coffee pot like a ghostly footprint of the distant past.Mr. Cole's daughter, Autumn, was a good friend of mine in high school. How I wish I had her father's skills to take on such a challenging and rewarding physical and mental endeavor.
In a town that values historical authenticity, open lots are preferred to historically inaccurate buildings, so museum officials were content to wait for the right person to come along and rebuild the house that was once there, said John Larson, the vice president of restoration for Old Salem Inc.
"It does take somebody who has a special passion for historic buildings to undertake a process like this," Larson said.
Last year, Stevie Cole, a builder from Danbury who has spent his career taking down old buildings and using salvaged building materials, some of which he then uses to put up new "old" buildings, began rebuilding the Cooper House on that empty lot. Cole is the owner of Steven Cole Builders Inc.
The two-story Federal-style house now rising on the site stops traffic on Main Street. At 4,000 square feet, the house is one of the largest in the restored village.
"You have to be someone like me to tackle this or you would go crazy," Cole said.
The term "bully pulpit" stems from President Theodore Roosevelt's reference to the White House as a "bully pulpit," meaning a terrific platform from which to persuasively advocate an agenda. Roosevelt often used the word "bully" as an adjective meaning superb/wonderful. The Bully Pulpit features news, reasoned discourse, opinion and some humor.