"The Copes decided to start small: They were sick of looking at the graying wood fence across the street, so they painted it bubblegum pink. They even got some of the neighbors to help."
"Then they set their sights on the foreclosed house down the street - a working class, wood frame, single family house that was listed for sale for $1,900. The house had been trashed by scrappers who stole everything, including the copper plumbing, radiators and electrical lines. Still, they decided to buy it and turn it into what Cope calls the 'Power House Project.'"
"'Our idea - instead of putting it all back and connecting to the grid, we wanted to keep it off the grid and get enough solar and wind turbines and batteries to power this house and power the next-door house,' Cope says."
"He thinks he can make the whole place operate "off the grid" for around $60,000, a cost he hopes to help cover with grants. And, since the whole point of the project is to better the neighborhood, Cope wants to turn the first floor of the Power House into a neighborhood art center. The second floor will be a bedroom for visiting artists; Cope believes that if he can just get artists to visit the neighborhood, they'll want to stay. And he hopes the cheap real estate will lure them there."