Image by Flickr user zaskem Image by 20090222-historic.jpg Brack says sometimes, they're just too far gone.
Urging a reassessment of Charleston's preservation standards the publisher of Charleston Currents, Andy Brack, writes in part:
It's not likely that lots of tourists take the Romney Street exit off Interstate 26. ... But what if they took the exit? What do you reckon they'd think of our city if they glimpsed the [rundown building]?
More than likely, they'd have proof of all sorts of cliches about the 19th century still being alive today in our South. About the only worse thing that might happen would be if when trying to figure out how to get back on the Interstate, they ran across a replica of the Dukes of Hazzard's General Lee race car at the light when Romney crosses Meeting.
He goes on to argue that we ought just tear down the buildings even if it means leaving an empty lot, saying that would remove the eyesores and reduce havens for crime.
I'll level with you, I don't think much of Brack's argument.
Old run-down houses are not unique to Southern lore, they're common in any low-income area all across the country. And, if they're historic, hanging onto them can do our community a lot of good.
Indeed, the last two house I've lived in were once rotted-out crack houses -- but now they're fixed up and both the tourists and I enjoy them farm more than I would any modern construction.
However, I agree the policy of preserving most every structure can be quite overzealous, but it's a policy that has served our community and tourist businesses very well thus far.
Perhaps it's time we re-examined it, but change it too much of it and the upper Peninsula could have far too much in common with far too many other American cities.
And there will be little point for tourists to visit a part of Charleston that is just like their city.