THE JOSEPH PALMER KNAPP BUILDING
With the National election drawing near (at least I hope we have one this time) and not a "decision" from the Supreme Court. I thought this might be a good time to say something about The Joseph Palmer Knapp Building on the campus of UNC in Chapel Hill, North Carolina that houses the now named School Of Government formerly the Institute Of Goverment.
The idea behind it as you will discover if you read through these pages is brilliant, but very simple although it is not Knapp's. One of J. P. Knapp's natural talents, always seemed to be recognition of good ideas and when he believed in them, he had the resources (sometimes the chronies , sometimes the checkbook , sometimes the combo) to support or see them through.
J. P. did not need to take any credit either. Holding fast to the low profile kind of guy he seemed to be, many times he just worked far behind the scenes, writing the check, or letter, or grabbing the ear of someone who could do something. His name is on this building not because of ego. It was because of his widow, Margaret Rutledge Knapp who thought it was a nice way to honor the deeds he had performed for years in the State Of North Carolina. North Carolina was his second home from 1916 (he was born in Brooklyn, NY in 1864) and burial place. The Institute Of Government was a piece of unfinished business J. P. got involved with before he took ill after WWII and left his Mackey Island home in Currituck for the last time.
The other and main reason I'm adding it in now is the very current aquistion of the Knapp building Dedication Brochure from 1960 that tells the story of the Institute Of Goverment and much of Joseph Palmer Knapp's deeds to truly help humankind. That and interestringly enough there was a dedication of the Six Year and 24 Million dollar renovation of the building that occured just last month on September 10th 2004.
Politicaly Knapp was a Republican, as was his father before him. However he seemed to have lived his life above politics as much as anyone can. Knowing what I do about him though, I would have to say he would not be too pleased with what is masquerading as the Republican or Democratic parties these days... or the way politics is done by spin doctors, corporate lobbying and journalists in the tank for one side or the other. That too seems ironic because this building and the spirit behind it is to make government work better and for the people not against them.
But enough soapboxing from me ... there is way too much of that these days too. Take a trip through cyber space ( I'm hoping to be able to visit in person soon ) back to November 27, 1960 when there was a new frontier in President elect J. F. K. and have a look at The Joseph Palmer Knapp building and then later the Brand Spanking New Renovated One ... both brought to you in part from the generous contributions of the Knapp Foundation.