I just returned from a vacation to Charleston, South Carolina. As I walked through their downtown one thing above all else grabbed my attention - all the historic buildings. Many had lost their original use years ago, but instead of demolishing these architectural landmarks they were saved and new uses were found for them. How wise the leaders of Charleston were and are. To lose the connection to your past is to lose the purpose of your future.
Now I return to Memphis where the battle to keep the Union Avenue Methodist Church is growing. The members of the church have plans to move and CVS demolish the building and build a pharmacy. Well I’m all for new businesses but if we turn our communities into strip malls who will remain to patronized these establishments?
There is an effort to create an overarching plan for the area. This has been something I have advocated for several communities including North and South Memphis. All too often we allow development to occur piecemeal; with one project having no connection to the next. We must develop a plan and strategy to where we are trying to go. If we fail to do this we might find ourselves somewhere we don’t like.