Thursday, July 23, 2009
Why Cincinnati Needs to change it's Demo policy
Now I know many think I am just a "Rabid Preservationist" who wants to keep 'everything old'. The facts are that not all buildings can be saved but most can, and should be saved. Cincinnati has perhaps the greatest collection of intact architecture in the nation, BUT, if the city keeps on bulldozing everything we will just be another rust belt city.
Case in point, Indianapolis. I have spent the last 10 years or so working on restoration or preservation of what is left of Indianapolis's historic neighborhoods. Indy has 'some' historic
One of the things Indianapolis business leaders lament is that they are not a historic Tourism destination. People simply don't plan vacations around the idea of going to Indy to "look at the old houses'. Indianapolis pretty much bulldozed most of its Urban environment in the 1960's and 1970's. Mostly for wonderful things like Parking. Many of its Historic areas were "clear cut" blocks of grand houses deemed "blighted' by the city.......Sound familiar?
My point is, and has been that Cincinnati is special. It actually HAS it's history. It is a rare commodity, something that most cities in this country WISH in retrospect that they had.
We are at a crossroads, Cincinnati can be another New Orleans, Charleston SC, Savannah or San Francisco. Cities that bring in millions of dollars in historic tourism dollars, provide thousands of jobs in the hospitality business and actually have a tax base, OR we can be Detroit.
We are at the tipping point and either those who love old houses, believe in neighborhoods and want this city to "be something" need to get involved and push the city council and this mayor to get off their "lazy" and develop a long range plan to develop this city's historic Tourism potential or we will be another rust belt 'has been' city like Detroit or Flint Michigan.
So today's photos are an illustration of what 'might have been' Indy's historic tourism industry. Every one of these buildings is GONE! Bulldozed for "progress' for things like parking lots or gas stations, or strip malls or tacky apartment buildings. It is all GONE. Look around Cincinnati people, look at the buildings, do you really want to LOSE YOUR HISTORY?