To my letter published Oct. 1, 2006, looks like the taxpayers are going to sink another $122,000 in the old Conoco Service Station with the installation of an insufficient public restroom facility and a temporary visitors center.
I do not see any way that this small building can accommodate a proper public handicap facility that can handle major crowds. Then there is the problem of installing these accommodations in an existing building. (Busting out floors, walls, proper ventilation, etc.)
The taxpayers have already invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in this facility and look what they have got. It is in the right location and has the right appeal for a perfect visitors center.
Check out my old letter (below) and tell me what you think.
You asked for suggestions for the future of the Conoco Station, so here goes. Construct an annex West of the Conoco Station, to have public restroom facilities and also house a photo gallery. This gallery would display the history of Roswell with photos. The Historical Society could supply items from their inventory of 10,000 photos.
You could have a separate area for the early 1900s, the 20s and 30s, war years, etc. These displays could change periodically with the inventory that is on hand, and possibly include private collections that might be available. Seniors would enjoy the photos from the Roswell Army Air Force days. The annex could be manned by volunteer senior citizens groups.
Here’s the best part of my daydream: The annex would be an architecturally compatible building with a high walled patio connecting it to the Conoco building. This patio would able to accommodate about 150 people. It would have a fountain, big shade trees, planters, fireplace, tables, chairs and benches as part of the walls around the patio.
What a treat this would be for the traveler. Locals could enjoy a sack lunch there. Special events could be scheduled for the patio. How about a catered breakfast meeting at 7 a.m. for the Chamber of Commerce on a nice spring day?
What if the attendant could tell visitors that “tonight at 7 p.m. that the youth mariachi group will be here to perform?” Or a lecture about the Lincoln County wars? Or a two-act play by the Roswell Little Theater? Or a Spanish guitar player? Or a cowboy poet? Or how about a real cowboy with his horse?
With 90,000 people going through the Civic Center’s doors already, they don’t the have space to treat visitors to this kind of experience.
If the city is going to spend big bucks, let’s get some big bangs with something special and new.”