Home Opinion Dear Editor Let’s cherish historic structures

Let’s cherish historic structures

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Copyright © 2021 Roswell Daily Record

I am writing in response to the editorial by Briana Beaudoin.

Her pessimistic outlook is in stark contrast to that of fellow millennial entrepreneurs Daniel Cederberg and Jacob Molinet, who were recently highlighted on your front page. Ms. Beaudoin sees a city going backward, while many of us see the excitement and promise of Roswell’s future.

Ms. Beaudoin’s argument is that “change is good” and that Roswell is opposed to change and stuck in the past. The basis of her thesis is the opposition to closing Cahoon pool. She refers to opponents as “afraid of the unknown.” I was an adamant opponent to closing the pool, not because I was afraid of the unknown, but because I was afraid of the “known.”

I knew Cahoon could be thoroughly renovated at a fraction of the cost of a new pool. I knew a new pool would be one-quarter the size of Cahoon. I knew the sales tax burden would fall disproportionately on the poor. I knew the historic and fiscal intrinsic value of the Cahoon. Case in point, New York City has 13 WPA era pools older than Cahoon, which not only are still in use but will be an asset for future generations of New Yorkers.

I formerly practiced architecture in Boston, a city with hundreds of thousands of historic structures. In the 1960s, in the midst of the urban renewal movement when the “old is bad, new is good” mentality was prevalent, a whole section of the historic city known as the East End was demolished to make way for “progress.” Block after block of century-old brick townhouses were condemned through eminent domain and razed to make way for faceless apartment blocks, all in the name of “progress.”

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Today we realize how short-sided and wrong this decision was. Today, the East End is an urban wasteland when compared to the historic districts of Beacon Hill, the Back Bay and the North End, which are all vibrant and thriving. Roswell should learn from Boston’s mistakes.

Boston has literally hundreds of thousands of historic structures while Roswell can count the number in the mere hundreds. We should value our historic structures even more because of their scarcity. When they are gone, they are gone forever. Yes, change can be good, but we must not forget our past but instead honor and cherish it because it makes us who we are.

Donald Daugherty
Roswell