28 Things you may not know about Becketwood
Compiled by various Becketwood Members and staff
In celebrating our 28th Anniversary on March 28, 2014, we have assembled the following list:
1) When Becketwood was built, 10 women were the original Development Team. Two of them still live here. You may read more about how Becketwood was established here.
2) More than 20 authors live at Becketwood. We have an entire section of the library dedicated to their works!
3) We have 608 trees on our 12+ wooded acres, with 20 more scheduled to be planted this spring.
4) Beginning in November of 2008, Becketwood has presented a monthly art show in its Wellington Gallery. Becketwood is home to numerous artists including painters, sculptors, potters, textile artists of all kinds, jewelers, photographers, and videographers. Many of these art shows are featured here in these short videos.
5) There are 990 windows that let the sun shine in through the Member-owned units. With dozens more throughout the common areas of the building, we have well over 1000 windows total.
7) The “Ten Thousand Lakes Flute Circle,” a Native American flute circle, meets at Becketwood once a month.
8) Before becoming a housing cooperative, the Becketwood property was first the Sheltering Arms Orphanage, later the Sister Kenny Treatment Center and then a school for children with mental disabilities. The property has served people in need for seventy-two years. Becketwood has since become home to one of the children who lived at Sheltering Arms as well as one of the employees of the Sister Kenny Center. Read more about our history here.
9) At least 15 retired members of the clergy reside at Becketwood.
10) Not only do we recycle at Becketwood, but we are able to compost all of our food scraps and all non-recyclable paper. Roughly 30 Members assist with Becketwood’s efforts in composting and recycling.
11) We average about 50 opportunities per month for excursions, programs and classes.
12) Becketwood has received a grant from the Mississippi Watershed Management Organization to create rain gardens that will help protect our beloved Mississippi River from storm water runoff damage.
13) At least 25 pianos are in place in Members’ units or common spaces. In addition to so many pianists, we have a harpist, an opera singer, and a playwright!
14) 17,838 meals (not including catering) were served in the Wellington Room in 2013.
16) The oldest person to have lived at Becketwood was 102 when she moved out.
17) As an Eagle Scout project, a Member’s grandson built a chimney swift tower near the Member gardens.
18) The Becketwood grounds have been home to barred owls, Cooper’s hawks and, most recently, a flock of turkeys.
19) About 80 individual garden plots allow members to grow everything from tomatoes, zucchini, and herbs to sunflowers, poppies, and zinnias. Many Members share their garden abundance and the designated ledge is often filled with extra vegetables for the taking.
21) Many of those same adept Members from the workshop have repaired thousands of items over the past 15 years, ranging from wobbly furniture to lamps to framed pictures. They are currently building a “Little Free Library” box that will be near the 46th Ave bus stop.
22) The estimated square footage of all the common areas in the building totals 73,416 sq ft.
23) T'ai Chi Chih instructors and students come together each week to practice together. In the warmer months, they meet outdoors in a park beside the Mississippi River.
24) Members have come from as far away as Alaska, Hawaii, the Bahamas and Great Britain.
25) Dinner and a movie events as well as foreign movie nights are held frequently and have become quite popular.
26) The Socrates Café brings Members together regularly to exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences.
27) Each week a different Member leads a non-denominational Vespers service in our historic stone chapel, built in 1922.
28) As of January 2014, 18 cats, 6 dogs, and 2 birds make their home with Becketwood Members.