Letter: How quickly can downtown be saved (again)?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Having been involved in the “Save Downtown” movement in the late 1970s, when a group of citizens joined with business and property owners to defeat a plan to demolish the center of downtown in order to replace it with a suburban-style shopping mall, hearing the reports of the state of downtown now, to use an old Southern expression, “breaks my heart.”

I know the same thing — or worse — would have happened if a suburban mall had been built. It would have been a fine place for the homeless to congregate.

My questions are: How did, for example, Charleston, S.C., escape this fate of crime and homelessness? How could things have gotten this bad without intervention? How quickly will this situation of fear and crime be turned around?

If it is not, I fear the bad publicity will slide into negative consequences for those many small businesses downtown that make it such a unique and fun place to visit. I still shop and meet friends for lunch downtown. I haven’t personally had any negative experiences.

My message to the City Council, managers and Police Department: Get with it!

— Kathryn Long
Ambiance Interiors (previously at 25, 27 and 29 Broadway and 189 E. Chestnut St.)
Biltmore Lake

Editor’s note: Most of the letters about downtown Asheville in the March 15 issue came in after a recent Xpress newsletter that highlighted three articles covering concerns about public safety and cleanliness downtown. Those stories can be found at avl.mx/chuavl.mx/chw and avl.mx/cht. To sign up for Xpress’ free newsletter, go to avl.mx/8st.


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3 thoughts on “Letter: How quickly can downtown be saved (again)?

  1. Frank

    Not sure the council reads MX. I think you have to vote to get a message across.

  2. R.G.

    Sometimes, the only way to save something is to let it crash and burn and begin all over again…

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