Bettina, Warren, Amanda – of course, you’re all correct…except for a couple of points.
Like it or not, Dream City was conceived, organized publicized and pushed by the Gazette. It is thought of, correctly or incorrectly, as a Gazette promotion.
And, it might be fair to assume that Dream City might share some of the characteristics of its parent’s Multiple Personality Disorder.
Given the G’s longtime editorial slant, I’d guess that the paper would oppose most of the initiatives likely to emerge from Dream City.
Those of us who were around in the 90’s well remember the Gazette’s fierce opposition to TOPS, not to mention the reams of favorable coverage given to Douglas Bruce and the charter amendments and statewide constitutional amendments that he wrote.
But that’s neither here nor there -just a reminder that an apparently friendly old pit bull behind a chain link fence will still bite, given the opportunity.
The larger issue is that of change itself and of the myopia that afflicts those who push for it at any time in the history of a community.
I remember the beautiful Victorian downtown of my childhood, and how it was swept away in a few years-not destroyed by fire, or allowed to crumble from neglect, but torn down by well-meaning, civic-minded folks who wanted to rebuild downtown, to make it modern, shiny, and up-to-date.
What they succeeded in doing was to transform much of downtown into a wilderness of parking lots, conveniently located close to the clubs where the eager youth of our city get drunk, spill out in the streets when the bars close, and fight merrily among themselves-such an improvement!
The businessmen who, with the enthusiastic cooperation of the city (which created its very own ‘urban renewal’ program to fund the destruction of the city’s core), didn’t raze these noble old buildings out of spite – they thought they’d make money and improve downtown.
Careful, modest preservation initiative work (e.g., Dave Hughes’ brilliantly conceived plan that rescued Old Colorado City from the wrecking ball). Grandiose schemes (southwest downtown?) often die of their own weight, and when revived, transmogrify, becoming the antithesis of what was originally planned and imagined.
Your eyes, and your ideas change over time. Decades ago, I thought neon signs were tawdry and tasteless. Today I think we ought to gather up and preserve the remaining historic neon signs, put ‘em all up in one of downtown’s desolate parking lots, and have a Vegas-style Neon Museum.
So forgive my skepticism – I earned it fairly, and have the scars to show for it. Doing good things – I’m all for it. Going to meetings – no mas! Expect maybe only in bad weather, after work, and close to one of my many favorite downtown watering holes.
Especially one that’s close to a parking lot.