Friday, January 9, 2009

My E mail to the mayor on Historic Bank St

I just sent this email to the mayor's office, if you would like to contact the mayors office you can email him at :

The Hon. Mark Mallory office of the Mayor,

You may not be aware that four historic homes located at 833-839 Bank street will be demolished by the city of Cincinnati if no action is taken by you.

Since this issue was brought to my attention yesterday and I published the information on my blog:
In 24 hours I received over 250 emails from people not just from Cincinnati but from across the country outraged that the city would allow these four historic buildings to be reduced to rubble.

This "bulldoze mentality" is a failed urban planning model that most progressive cities have long since abandoned. Spending thousands of dollars to demolish homes neither increases the coffers of city government nor increases the value of the land, and in time of economic crisis is not sound fiscal policy.

People are worried about their history being destroyed. You, coming from the West End yourself should realize the great strides that the area have accomplished. The continues restoration of Historic Dayton Street proves that "change is possible. Tearing these structures down serves no useful purpose, not when they can be saved.

I understand the city is swamped with abandoned and foreclosed properties and these are difficult times for cash strapped city governments but destroying the history of the neighborhood does not revitalize it , it demoralizes it.

Surely a compromise could be reached? Since the owner will obviously lose these homes , perhaps a conditional sale could take place. The owner would be allowed to sell these homes and a protective covenant could be placed that required prospective owners to demonstrate availability of funds to restore and pull permits within 30-60 days of close. As for me I have made it publicly known that I am willing to donate my time to write restoration plans on any or all of these properties if prospective buyers can be found. It should be noted several people have expressed interest in these homes. They can be saved. I have written several articles on my blog for the need for new urban planning strategies in the West End. There are options.

Historic Urban neighborhoods may be built of Brick and Mortar but they are fragile things. Once gone they are not easily brought back. As Mayor you are in a unique position to 'set a tone", go the extra mile and try new approaches to save a neighborhood. Let me respectfully remind you that this is your old neighborhood These aren't just 4 old buildings, They are the "Poster Child" for saving neighborhoods in downtown Cincinnati They are not only a part of the city's history but yours as well. You would not be mayor today were it not for a strong community. That community deserves a chance to thrive. A bulldozer is not a solution and you could take a leadership role on this. It is my hope you will.

A response on the position of the office of the mayor is appreciated.

Paul Willham

1 comment:

Randy Simes said...

I was able to get a little more information from the City via Leslie Ghiz, the Code Enforcement Division, and Historic Conservation Office.