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Streetscape concept of limited value

Reader Input
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It is nice of the Auburn Journal to ask for our opinion on the Streetscape (Our View, June 10). I don’t recall the city asking for our input. We have two factions at work here. One is the group who want to modernize Auburn and remove its individual charm. I agree we need to upgrade our utilities. To tear up and move the streets is not necessary. Traffic moves well through Central Square now. We have a good mix of specialty stores but no room for a “full-service” grocery or department store (remember Wards?). The other group wants to save our history. One effort is to put the uptown firehouse on the National Register. It will not qualify because it has been moved. They also want to make Downtown a historic district. I doubt that would qualify either because most buildings no longer have their original storefronts. We have piled rocks over nice brickwork, replaced tile with stucco, put a new false front on the Goss building and gingerbread on a gas station. Wouldn’t it be nice if we still had Wellers Jewelers street clock instead of the high maintenance clock tower? As one who has talked to tourists and given walking tours of Downtown I know people want to see historic sites, architecture and landmarks. They don’t come to see baskets of flowers and banners. Now they see empty storefronts – not good unless they want to rent one. My father and both of my grandfathers were carpenters and helped build this town. I don’t like the idea of it being changed so radically. I don’t see this project as a benefit. I doubt that either approach will bring in more shoppers or tourists. DONNA HOWELL, Auburn