‘Your Town Friday’ visits West Lafayette!

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WEST LAFAYETTE (June 26, 2015) -- Last week “Your Town Friday" traveled up to Lafayette--this morning we head to neighboring West Lafayette.  You’ll find the Tippecanoe County 67 miles northwest of downtown Indy.  West Lafayette is home to Purdue University and has a population of about 30,000.

Off of Woodland Avenue in West Lafayette is a beautiful historic home designed by famed American architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

"The home was built in 1955/1956 for the Christian family and the reason they wanted a home by an architect is because they knew they needed something special because they wanted to entertain faculty staff and students.  Wright felt like we were unique and special people and we deserved our own architecture; not what had washed up on the old shores like Gothic or Italian or Victorian.  He hated all that so he came up with this design.  We have modern glass windows in the corner, we have no down spouts or gutters, instead we have copper pipes that go right through the roof-line.  The water goes right down and hits these ornaments he specified should go on the copper pipes and it splashes  out and helps to water the garden that way.  We have no attic and no basement; we have a flat roof and we have lots of glass that opens the house up to nature," said Associate Curator Linda Eales.

Eales tells me the home is known as Samara.

"It means wings seed and you know them well because you played with them as a child and you cuss them out as an adult.  They are the helicopter seeds that come from the maple trees.  The home is still owned and occupied by the original owner 97-year-old John Christian, but he opens up his home to the public by appointment April through November.  They spend about an hour and a half in the house learning about Frank Lloyd Wright and his relationship with Christian's, how the house came about and the significant aspects of the home that make it so unique," said Linda.

Just a few minutes away off Sagamore Parkway, Jami Gold and her staff are busy little bees.

"On a daily basis we have white chocolate marble cakes for birthdays, showers and anniversaries.  You can special order cakes with 48 hours.  We have 30 different flavors, everything from snickerdoodle, peanut butter and chocolate chip and chocolate raspberry, all sorts of things.  We offer sandwiches and most of them are chicken salad, ham salad, turkey breast, roast beef; pretty simple homestyle type of stuff.  We make our breads fresh here every day, we're really known for our soft kaiser rolls.  We make salads and soups fresh here.  Everything we do is from hand here.  We don’t get anything in frozen of pre-packaged.  We shred the chicken, we do it all fresh so it's our claim to fame everything is hand-done here," said Jami.

Jami gold bought Baker's Peak Bakery and Cafe a few years ago, but the bakery has actually been around for the last 26 years.  It started out as a pie shop down the street and over time the shop has expanded and moved, but their friendly customer service has never changed!

"My waitress Dee, she’s been here for nine years, my head cake decorator has been here for four almost five years and I've been here for almost four years.  We have a very regular employee base and we know our customers.  We get to know your name and your order, we ask questions about your life and I think that’s what a lot of locals like," said Jami.

"We're here at the Neil Armstrong statue on the Purdue University campus.  This is one of the most popular places for students to come.  Most all of our freshman come and get a picture with Neil Armstrong and on graduation day you'll find students and parents lined up to take their turn and take a picture with Neil.  It was created by a man named Chaz Fagan from Charlotte, North Carolina.  One of the significant things about this statue is it’s the way Neil Armstrong looked when he arrived here in 1947.  He was 17 years old when he arrived on campus, he had skipped a grade and came here very young.

"The day we dedicated the building he said only Purdue would put a statue of a scared freshman in the Hall of Engineers.  We have many pieces of art on our campus especially since the 1980s we’ve been beautifying the campus and putting sculptures.  In addition to the Neil Armstrong we have one of Amelia Earhart who was also worked here in the 30's before she disappeared on her flight.  We also have one of John Purdue near where John Purdue is buried that’s also become very popular with our students right now.

"In addition to those 3, we have some beautiful fountains with sculptures in them.  In our Discovery Park have new planet systems and we're constantly putting up new pieces of art on campus.  People from West Lafayette and Lafayette come over here to Purdue.  You'll see kids jumping around in the footsteps, kids running through our fountains and people from the community come here to play and relax and to take part of benefits that are here," said author John Norberg.