Is Mayor Ballard trying to give people reasons to vote for Melina Kennedy?
The Administration is spending a part of the proceeds from the sale of the water company to demolish unsafe, abandoned houses. Most of us have no problem with that–but, just as with the “if it moves, pave it–but only during rush hour and don’t check with the utilities” program–the administration has decided to use a mallet when a flyswatter is called for.
As news reports have noted, the City has greatly increased the number of structures being demolished, and the pace of demolition. In its haste, the Administration has decided not to bother with pesky procedures like checking with the affected neighborhoods, insuring that the buildings slated for demolition are structurally unsound, or checking on the historical or architectural significance of the targeted structures.
A few days ago, the City demolished a park structure in the Butler Tarkington area designed by noted architect Ed Pierre. To add insult to injury, they announced plans to replace it with a $200,000 pre fab “toilet facility.” The neighborhood wasn’t consulted, and many Butler Tarkington residents are furious.
As Ericka Smith wrote in her Star column this morning, once a building is gone, so are the neighborhood’s options. Once a historically significant building is gone, it’s gone–once a structurally sound structure is eliminated, so is the potential for its reuse. That doesn’t mean you never tear anything down; it means you do your homework first.
Decisions made by each administration limit the ability of future generations to shape our city. That’s why it is so important that those decisions be made thoughtfully, and in consultation with those affected. The Ballard Administration seems oblivious to that reality.