Tuesday, July 31, 2007

":A New Hope", Star Wars, North End

The entire headline is "In building plans, a new hope for the North End", and below, "City and developers' goal is neighborhood revival and a showpiece for Invest St. Paul".

This article from July 23rd in the Pioneer Press is what began my past days' wading through the weedy language of the Housing Initiative org and Center for Neighborhoods. Two lots on Rice Street "If all goes according to plan...will become the Winnipeg, twin three-story apartment buildings with 6,000 square feet of new commercial space that many hope spark a turnaround in a working-class neighborhood whose reputation has declined."

The article is filled with these yearnings. "...could bring more life...", "Rice Street...is very crucial to the image of the neighborhood and how it is seen by the rest of the Metro", "...officials expect a showpiece developemnt to highlight neighborhood revitalization", "...some hope a new project echoing the past will inspire shopkeepers to apply fresh paint...", "We think (it) will be a major statement about what's going on in the neighborhood...said Lee Helgen".

I hope they are right. Time crashes in on me, (I write mornings before work). I think the equating of new buildings with new, revitalized neighborhoods is specious. An unvital building is the symbol of problems, not the cause. More anon.

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