Southside voices (1): Lou

The latest in a series of posts on the Southside

Lou James, President of the South Side Historical Society (12 mins.)

There are many good things being done, but SBHS has many concerns. Grateful to the City, Sands, Wind Creek, Arts Quest, etc., in preservation efforts. Many residents impacted by change going on. Traffic bumper-to-bumper. Many properties that were once affordable have been bought up by outsiders hoping to cash in. House rates and values have tripled. People looking for affordable housing have to look elsewhere. Beautiful row and single family homes are disappearing or becoming run-down, left to rot, as owners wait for development. Need to encourage housing that is affordable to the common person. Could be made a model for small town revitalization like Northside. Emphasis on history is the way to do it. Beautiful storefronts on 3rd and 4th streets — could this be outlet for destination shopping? Small town atmosphere is better. We’re stuck on bigger is better. People moving here from New York and Philadelphia moving here to get away from that atmosphere. New construction is beautiful but out of proportion. Emphasis needs to be fitting in to the community. Church project at State and 4th is model example. SBHS supports that endeavor. Must be way to re-purpose buildings instead of tearing them down. Modern is beautiful and understandable that developers want to make money but must be respectful of our history. Once gone can’t be brought back. Not against progress but must eye any project for preservation of rich history. Building height. Against small skyscrapers that are monuments to developers. Tall buildings defeats purpose of historic district and destroys neighborhood atmosphere. Auto-Zone proposed at 5 Points is stupid idea. Need homeless shelter badly. Need affordable housing for working class people.

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