As an historic preservationist, I won’t even touch the discussion being bandied about if we should or should not have a senior center, or where it should be, etc. My only concern, if located in an existing building near the Downtown, is that historic restoration procedures are done within reason to at least the structural and exterior of the facility, that historic brick and granite be on the front curb and the center becomes a pleasing and accessible asset to our City. If it’s a new building and again, somewhere near Downtown, that the structure follows the general guidelines for fitting into an historic district.
But as an amateur historian, I have to remark that this whole process seems to be a decade or more April Fool’s joke! As codified by the 2001 Master Plan, one location that almost seems decisive in the Plan’s statement, the senior center was to be on the Armory location on Low Street. I know from being here in the 80’s that the Firehouse was at one point hailed as a possible location. Since then, we have had the Kelly School considered and the persistent idea of having a new structure that was directly on the Waterfront near or in place of the Market Landing Park. The worst one I thought was the choice of Pearson’s PIt that lies filled with construction debris behind the Firehouse. Nasty, subliminal messages toward seniors can be thought by just mentioning that hole! I’ll let your imagination run with it but let’s just say if I was a Senior I would be deeply insulted.
Now it seemed after years of hard work that Cushing Park was finally going to be the location, a new building tastefully built with the remaining desecrated park (from the misguided paving for Hytron), finally landscaped and made into a mixture of park, parking and basketball court. I (strictly personal opinion) would like to see the entire Cushing Park restored and so designated as a true park codified and recognized by the Commonwealth legislature. But politics is all about compromise!
But alas, the senior center hoax keeps on bringing in the laughs. It’s the Towle Condominium Development. No, it’s Port Rehab (Curiously close to the Armory), no, it may be somewhere else.
Now, we have a public hearing today at 5:00. This comedy act (Comedy infers happy endings though) continues at 5:00 at City Hall.
This may be entertaining enough for Portmedia to show up!
Of course, the crowd may not be in the mood to take this parade of locations as a joke. Mayor Holaday needs to realize that it’s this historical travesty that makes people angry and shouldn’t take it personally.
But I’d check citizens at the door for rotten eggs and tomatoes!