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Argonne National Laboratory's Illinois

Argonne National Laboratory' is located outside Chicago and was the first science and engineering research United States Department of Energy National laboratory in the United States, receiving this designation on July 1, 1946. It is the largest national laboratory by size and scope in the Midwest. Argonne was initially formed to carry out Enrico Fermi's work on nuclear reactors. Today it maintains a broad portfolio in basic science research, energy storage and renewable energy, environmental sustainability, and national security.

Argonne began in 1942 as the "Metallurgical Laboratory" at the University of Chicago, which was part of the Manhattan Project. The Met Lab built Chicago Pile-1, the world's first nuclear reactor, under the stands of a University of Chicago sports stadium. Considered unsafe, in 1943, CP-1 was reconstructed as CP-2, in what is today known as Red Gate Woods but was then the Argonne Forest of the Cook County Forest Preserve District near Palos Hills. The lab was named after the surrounding Argonne Forest, which in turn was named after the Forest of Argonne in France where U.S. troops fought in[World War I.

Other activities were added to Argonne over the next five years. On July 1, 1946, the "Metallurgical Laboratory" was formally re-chartered as Argonne National Laboratory for "cooperative research in nucleonics." At the request of the United States Atomic Energy Commission, it began developing nuclear reactors for the nation's peaceful nuclear energy program. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, the laboratory moved to a larger location in unincorporated DuPage County.

Our appraisal assignment was to appraise, a number of acres within, Argonne for inter government transfer for the GSA.

Center for Research Libraries at U of C Illinois

VVS appraised the Center for Research Libraries which is part of the University of Chicago Campus. The actual building is a uniquely constructed four-story, +175,000 square foot building having no windows except on the east side’s first floor. The remainder is total concrete construction having no natural lighting (which deteriorates printed page). This two-module facility was construction in the 1980s with its large and modern addition finished in 1993. It provides excellent security and a preservation-quality environment for paper and microform collections – many of which are unique or irreplaceable. The facility also does much of the processing, cataloging, digitization, and service of Center for Research Libraries collections. The HVAC system is programmed to maintain preservation-quality conditions of 60 degrees (F) and 40% relative humidity on the upper three floors, where most collections are stored. We were told there were only two similar quality preservation facilities in the world.

This facility holds approximately five million newspapers, journals, dissertations, archives, government publications, and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. Current acquisitions emphasize materials produced outside the United States, especially publications and archives from developing regions. The Library’s Area Microform Projects are important sources of this material. Millions of pages of documents, primarily from the U.S National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) and the National Archives of the United Kingdom, in addition to many special collections of archival and primary source material such as the 100,000-plus-page archive of Cambodia’s notorious Khmer Rouge regime. Further there are 800,000 doctoral dissertations (including those of Albert Einstein, Bag Hammarskjold, and other Nobel laureates) from universities outside the U.S. and Canada. The Library acquired the majority of the collection through deposit from member libraries and continues to acquire about 5,000 titles per year from major universities through demand purchase and deposit.

It also stores several hundred thousand volumes of publications from the government agencies of more than 100 countries, including more than 1,750 official gazettes. There are also more than a half million volumes of deposited and purchased monographic and serial publications of the U. S. state government agencies and legislatures from the earliest period through 1950, including financial reports and research studies. The Library has more than 500,000 monographs in all formats and subject areas. There are more than 10,000 titles from most countries of the world and every state in the U.S., including over 1,800 U.S. ethnic titles and some of the earliest African American newspapers ever printed. They are 66,500 serials, including a large collection of U.S. trade and industrial journals from the late 19th century through the mid-20th century; journals on science, medicine, technology, agriculture, and textiles in South, East, and Southeast Asia; and journals from the Russian Academy of Science.

Dixie Square Mall Harvey Illinois

VVS has appraised the Dixie Square Mall. The 'Dixie Square Mall was an enclosed shopping mall located in Harvey, Illinois, at the junction of 151st Street and the Dixie Highway. It stood vacant for over 30 years, more than twice as long as it was in business. It was famous for having been used, both inside and out, for the mall chase scene in the movie ''The Blues Brothers''. More recently, it achieved notoriety because of a growing Internet cult following (including local urban exploration groups) dedicated to covering the mall's deteriorating condition. Like other "dead mall", it had been characterized by high vacancy rates and low patronage, which led to its closure. However, while other dead malls were redeveloped or demolished, Dixie Square stood out due to its extensive neglect, vandalism damage, and sordid history.

Since the mall closed in 1978, numerous plans had been proposed to demolish or redevelop the property, though most never came to fruition. The first plan to demolish the mall was developed in the late 1970s, but the filming of ''The Blues Brothers'' prevented this from happening. The mall was then left to decay, due in no small part to a lack of funds (the blighted town of Harvey owned the property itself for the greater part of the last 25 years). For some time, the only parts of the mall that had been fully demolished were the central energy plant, the former F. W. Woolworth Company anchor, and the former Montgomery Ward building. Final demolition began in February 2012, and was completed in May.

At the cost of 25 million dollars Dixie Square opened in 1966 on the site of a former golf course. Construction had begun in late 1964, and Montgomery Ward was the first of the mall's stores to open, on October 21, 1965. A soft opening took place August 31, 1966, with 36 stores. Construction was completed nearly three months later, and the mall was dedicated on November 9, 1966, with grand opening celebrations from November 10–12, and 50 stores open. Grand opening celebrations featured Homer and Jethro, Art Hodes and Sid Sakowicz, the Art Van Damme Quintet, and Ned Locke of the Bozo the Clown show.

However, by the early 1970s, crime was becoming an increasing problem in the mall's town of Harvey, a failing, poverty-stricken suburb. In November 1972, a young woman was fatally shot near the mall in a botched robbery attempt. On April 20, 1973, another person was shot in a robbery on the mall property itself. On July 17, 1973, a teenage girl was lured away from the mall by three other teenage girls, and strangled to death.

The entire mall closed its doors in November 1978. On January 25, 1979, a full year after closing, JCPenney briefly reopened and held a sale which they called "Dixie's Last Gasp", in which they liquidated outdated merchandise, mannequins, and display cases. The Harvey- Dixmoor School District attempted to sue Universal Pictures in December 1981 for $87,000, citing damage to mall property created during the movie shoot, which was never repaired. The district eventually vacated the property, and the mall was completely shuttered.

Gentilly Landfill

Just over six years ago, the gates of the Old Gentilly Landfill in eastern New Orleans swung open, and with New Orleans in ruins, it quickly became the region’s busiest dump. It was situated amid wetlands and atop an old city landfill that accepted all manner of waste, and environmental groups were aghast. It had an uneasy feeling of deja vu, they said: After Hurricane Betsy, New Orleans reopened the Agriculture Street Landfill, citing the need to dump a lot of trash quickly.

Over the next two decades, city and federal officials built a neighborhood and a school on top of that landfill, only to have it declared a Superfund site in the late 1990s — putting the city on the losing end of a multimillion-dollar state court judgment it still hasn’t paid, and leaving the federal Environmental Protection Agency with a $42 million clean-up bill.

Hoping to head off another Agriculture Street disaster, the environmentalists, led by the Louisiana Environmental Action Network, took their case to court. Their lawsuits led to settlements that slowed down the pace of dumping at Old Gentilly and required the landfill to take various other measures to guard against ground and surface water contamination and the possible compromising of a nearby levee.

The landfill, according to the state Department of Environmental Quality, became perhaps the most closely watched construction and demolition debris dump in the state.

Six years on, the landfill is still open, though it’s taking in about 85 percent less waste each day than it was in the days after Hurricane Katrina. Though some environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club, still see Old Gentilly’s existence as a mistake, the ecological apocalypse that some feared in 2005 has not come to pass as of date.

Kellogg Sanitarium Kalamazoo Michigan

VVS appraised the former Kellogg Sanitarium, now Hart-Dole-Inouye Federal Center. The Center is situated on +24 acres or +1,045,440 square feet of land and has +656,987 square feet of office. Dr. John Harvey Kellogg coined the term "Sanitarium". The complex became Kellogg's laboratory for developing and promulgating good health and fitness were the result of good diet, exercise, correct posture, fresh air and proper rest. It served as part of the Army's Percy Jones General Hospital complex during the 1940s and 1950s and then became part of the Hart- Dole-Inouye Federal Center in the 1960s. The Sanitarium tower was built in 1927 and is fifteen stories high, with penthouses above each tower, and the exterior remains virtually unchanged since its construction. The building has been nominated to the National Historic Registry.

This tower went into receivership in 1933, while the sanitarium continued to operate from its main facility. In 1942, the U. S. Army purchased the tower and established the Percy Jones General Hospital; the hospital closed permanently in 1953 and one year later became the Battle Creek Federal Center. Owned by the Seventh Day Adventists, the Battle Creek Sanitarium continued to operate as a psychiatric facility through the 1970s but closed its doors by the end of the decade. In 1986, the main building was officially razed, ending the final chapter in the history of the Battle Creek Sanitarium. Medical records have since been but into microfiche and are now kept by the nearby Fieldstone Center, in Battle Creek.

Along with high numbers of patrons, there was a large number of staff at Battle Creek. Kellogg stated that "at the Battle Creek Sanitarium, the number of persons employed is never less than eight hundred, and often rises in the busiest season to more than one thousand”. The sanitarium became a destination for both prominent and middle-class American citizens. Celebrated American figures who visited the sanitarium (including Mary Todd Lincoln and Sojourner Truth) would influence and encourage enthusiasm for health and wellness among the general population. "Battle Creek Sanitarium was world renowned and became the 'in' place for the rich and famous to seek their lost health, to listen to health lectures and to learn and practice the principles of a healthy lifestyle".

Methane Disgester

Anaerobic digestion (AD) is the process by which organic materials in an enclosed vessel are broken down by micro-organisms, in the absence of oxygen. Anaerobic digestion produces biogas (consisting primarily of methane and carbon dioxide). AD systems are also often referred to as "biogas systems."

Depending on the system design, biogas can be combusted to run a generator producing electricity and heat (called a co-generation system), burned as a fuel in a boiler or furnace, or cleaned and used as a natural gas replacement.

The AD process also produces a liquid effluent (called digestate) that contains all the water, all the minerals and approximately half of the carbon from the incoming materials.

Many agri-food AD systems are located on farms. Farm-based AD systems work well with liquid manure. AD systems provide a valuable manure treatment option, since most other economically effective manure treatment systems (such as composting) require solid materials with dry matter greater than 30%.

This digester had a total site size is +449,626 square feet of +10.322 acres. The land was zoned A-2 Agriculture Industrial. The parcel was improved with an anaerobic digester. The main components of the digester center are; an 18,600 square foot building to house equipment, a concrete 4.5 million gallon digester tank, process equipment, 6-Guascor 750kw generators, waste treatment equipment, a receptor pit and connection to NIPSCO. Based on building area the subject had a land-to-building ratio of 24.17:1. When it was first constructed it was the largest anaerobic digester in the state of Indiana and remains so as of the date of this writing.

Post Cereal Plant Battle Creek

VVS completed an appraisal of the former Post Cereal Plant in Battle Creek, Michigan. The total site area was +64 acres or +2,787,840 square feet. The site was improved with a 100 percent owner occupied, 52 building manufacturing facility having between one to seven-stories. The metal, brick, block and concrete, structures were constructed between 1900 and 1998. The buildings had +1,919,354 square feet of which only +1,676,634 square feet are usable.

Post Holdings, Incorporated. '''NYSE|POST” formerly '''Post Cereals''' and previously '''Postum Cereals''' is an American consumer packaged goods holding company that operates in the center-of-the-store, active nutrition and private label food categories. Post's center-of-the-store portfolio includes Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles cereal|, Great Grains, Post Shredded Wheat, Post Raisin Bran, Grape-Nuts and Honeycomb cereal. Post also offers premium natural and organic breakfast cereal, granola and snacks through the Attune, Uncle Sam Cereal, Erewhon Organic Cereal, Golden Temple, Peace Cereal, Sweet Home Farm and Willamette Valley Granola Company brands. Post's active nutrition platform includes the Dymatize, Premier Protein; Supreme Protein and Joint Juice brands. Post also manufactures private label breakfast cereal, granola, dry pasta, peanut butter and other nut butters, dried fruits and baking and snacking nuts, servicing the private label retail, foodservice and ingredient channels.

In 1907 ''Collier's Weekly'' published an article questioning the claim made in advertisements for Grape Nuts that it could cure appendicitis. C. W. Post responded with advertisements questioning the mental capacity of the article's author, and ''Collier's Weekly'' sued for libel. The case was heard in 1910, and Post was fined $50,000. The decision was overturned on appeal, but advertisements for Postum products stopped making such claims.

The Postum Cereals Company, after acquiring Jell-O gelatin in 1925, Baker's chocolate brand in 1927, Maxwell House coffee in 1928, and other food brands, changed its name to General Foods Corporation in 1929. By far the most important acquisition of 1929 was of the frozen-food company owned by Clarence Birdseye, called General Foods Company. Chairman E. F. Hutton changed the name to General Foods Corporation after the acquisition of Birdseye and eventually moved the corporate headquarters to Park Avenue in New York City. General Foods was acquired by Altria Group-Philip Morris Companies in 1985.In 1989, Philip Morris merged General Foods with Kraft Foods, which it had acquired in 1987, to form the Kraft General Foods division. The cereal brands of Nabisco were acquired in 1993. In 1995, Kraft General Foods was reorganized and renamed Kraft Foods. In July 2011, Ralcorp announced plans to spin off Post Foods into a separate company. About a quarter of Ralcorp's sales in 2010 were generated by its Post Foods unit.

Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Facility

VVS has appraised the Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Facility. The design flow of the Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Facility is 32 million gallons per day (MGD). The City has a "Combined Sewer System" in which sanitary, industrial and storm water flow into the same sewer lines. The plant site encompasses approximately forty acres with sixteen buildings. The three main buildings are connected by underground tunnels.

Wastewater flows to the treatment plant primarily by gravity, through sewers ranging in size from 8 inches to 10 feet in diameter. There are approximately 300 miles of sewer lines buried beneath the streets and other areas of the City and parts of areas outside the city limits. Some low areas have pumping stations to lift wastewater up into another sewer so that it can again flow by gravity to the Wastewater Plant for treatment.

The interceptor (main sewer pipe) conveys the wastewater to the treatment plant, where it enters the raw sewage wet-well approximately 50 feet below ground level. After passing through a coarse bar-screen with 3 inch openings, the water is pumped to an elevation several feet above ground level, enabling, under normal conditions, gravity flow through all plant processes, including discharge to the Saginaw River.

When high river water levels or high hydraulic loading rates through the treatment plant prevent gravity discharge to the river, pumps are available to lift the water again, to allow gravity flow to the river. The river discharge point is at the bottom of the river, in the center of the shipping channel. A treatment plant uses a series of stages to clean the wastewater before allowing it to be safely released to a lake, river or stream.

Treatment at the Saginaw Wastewater Treatment Facility consists of two major steps. These steps are Primary Treatment and Secondary Treatment. Along with these major treatment processes, the residual left by these processes (bio-solids, more commonly called sludge) also has to be removed. Before the water is discharged to the river, it is also treated with chlorine to kill harmful organisms (pathogens). The cleaned and disinfected water is then treated to remove excessive chlorine, which could be harmful to aquatic life.

Theodore Levin United States Courthouse Detroit Michigan

VVS appraised the ''Theodore Levin United States Courthouse'' (also known as the ''Detroit Federal Building''). It is a large high-rise (12-story) courthouse and office building located in Downtown Detroit. The structure occupies an entire block, girdled by Shelby Street (east), Washington Boulevard (west), West Fort Street (south), and West Lafayette Boulevard (north). The total site area is reported as +74,520 square feet or +1.7 acres. The building is named after the late Theodore Levin, a lawyer and United States District Court judge.

Construction began in 1932 and finished in 1934. The building has +771,882 gross square feet of area. It is constructed out of reinforced concrete with an Indiana limestone facade. The building was designed in the Art Deco and Art Moderns styles of architecture, incorporating granite and limestone into the structure. The main façade is limestone, above a polished black stone.Inside the building, there is an open-center court above the second floor. The building contains bas relief sculptures of eagles and emblems above the entrance, which symbolize the building's governmental function (as a courthouse).

One of the building's most notable features is the chief judge's courtroom on the seventh floor. At the request of Chief Judge Arthur Tuttle, the courtroom from the previous building (built in 1896) was disassembled and stored during construction, then reassembled in the new building. The "million dollar courtroom," as newspapers dubbed it at the time, contains more than 30 types of marble. In today’s dollars that is nearly $24,000,000. The bench is carved from East Indian mahogany, and is flanked by two convert12 foot}-tall columns of Italian marble, each topped by four lions holding up a globe. Behind the bench is a frieze of 10 female figures, depicting the purity of justice. A frieze of more than 100 unique lions' heads surrounds the room just below the ceiling. Only the floor and ceiling were modernized when the room was reassembled.Chief Justice of the United StatesJohn Roberts has reportedly described it as one of the finest and most beautiful courtrooms he has seen.

The structural system is of a regular bay steel frame construction, resting on a series of concrete caissons. Concrete is also used for poured-in-place floor slabs as well as fire-proofing for steel columns and beams. The exterior stone cladding is hung from the steel frame or tied to back-up walls of unit masonry.The principal entries to the building are located on the north and south elevations. Each entry is centered on the elevation where three portals are defined by four fluted pilasters surmounted with stylized eagles. These entries are reached by granite stairs leading from the sidewalk level to recessed loggias. At the north end of the east and west elevations are granite-clad vehicular sally-ports which lead into the basement level parking/loading dock area.