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As in the Windy City, So for the Crescent City: Developers are Dedicated to Making a Difference.

  David Bagwell Company neighborhoods offer aesthetic qualities and sense of place found in the country's venerated communities

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 destroyed 4-1/2 square miles, including all of the downtown area. It killed 300 people and left 100,000 homeless. Property loss was extensive-estimated at $3.2 billion in today's dollars, including eighteen thousand buildings. Half of the city had insurance, but only half of those actually received any insurance payment.

Smallpox and cholera spread due to poor sanitation, as did lawlessness. The Chicago Evening Journal reported, "The city is infested with a horde of thieves, burglars and cut-throats, bent on plunder, and who will not hesitate to burn, pillage and even murder, as opportunity may seem to offer them to do so with safety."

But, like the fabled phoenix, Chicago rose from the ashes. It became an even greater city than before the fire. The first building to go up was the real estate office of William Kerfoot, under a sign that proclaimed the city's irrepressible spirit: "All gone but Wife, Children and Energy."

Today, Chicago is one of the world's great cities, a commercial hub of great ethnic and religious diversity, world-class educational institutions, and incomparable architecture.

Some question whether New Orleans should rebuild following its own catastrophe. Although there's no denying the seamy underbelly of New Orleans, its history and culture of food, music, education, literature, architecture and savoir vivre residents make it uniquely beloved throughout the United States. In contrast with the bombast and artifice of Las Vegas, New Orleans has character, charm and timeless sense of place that enriches people in every walk of life.

How New Orleans and its neighbors on the Gulf Coast will be rebuilt is not yet resolved. Even so, in the spirit of Chicago real estate developer William Kerfoot, the David Bagwell Company is dedicating money from lot sales in its Colleyville developments to fully fund construction of a Habitat for Humanity house in renascent New Orleans.

Bagwell further explained his intent by citing a parable. The story goes that a man was walking along a beach following an inexplicable freak event of nature. As far as the eye could see, the beach was littered with starfish that had washed ashore. In the distance was a woman picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. He approached her and asked, "What are you doing?" She answered, "I'm throwing these starfish back where they can live." He declared incredulously, "But there are millions of them on the beach. What difference can one person make?" As she threw another starfish back, she responded "Well, I can make a difference for this one."

New homebuyers are invited to visit the Colleyville developments of the David Bagwell Company, where we are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our neighbors both locally and beyond. Call Susan Folkert at 214/673-6754 for information or go on-line to www.bagwellcompany.com


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