Letter to the Editor: Losing Sight of City's History?

Letter to the Editor: Losing Sight of City's History?

In reading the letter from Mr. Van Fleet, I could not help but think there will now be three projects all in the same few blocks, all large, and all at the same time.

What is this city coming to? What happened to the history of our city? Doesn't City Council or anyone care anymore? The proposed condominium behind the townhouses at the end of Harvard Street looks to be an eight-story project that will tower over the townhouses.

Then directly across the street at the corner of Harvard and King, we have a beautiful building, the Naval Reserve Building that was originally constructed in 1928 and by 1930 it was an apartment building housing tenants. This building is still the original brick and mortar, only a few years shy of being historical. The developer is trying to purchase the building and the one next to it to tear them down and build another hotel, six-stories high with 124 rooms, and office space and retail restaurant.

Metro is planning to redevelop the King Street Metro Station removing just about all the available parking that is currently there. All three of these projects will be going on at the same time. Does no one except the residents think about this and how it affects the neighbors whether they are residents or retail? With the project at the corner of Harvard and King, they are proposing to make part of Harvard Street a two-way street. Harvard is a very narrow street, and one side is historical, but there are houses on both sides that are at least 100 years old. To make part of Harvard Street two-way, they would have to reduce street parking. They are not planning to have parking available for their employees which means they will be parking wherever they can, including on Cameron Street. The residents on Harvard and Cameron already have to fight for parking they pay for because anyone else coming in refuses to park at the meters or in a garage where they would have to pay.

The Naval Reserve Building is part of our history, it is still a usable building. The building was actually renovated in 1985 and kept the original building, just gutting the inside. Why can't the developer go to a smaller scale and incorporate one of our oldest buildings at this end of King Street into their plans? Why do they have to destroy and take away from our city? Sure this is 2017, but we need to preserve what we have that is historic. Sure, George Washington never stayed in this building, but it was home to many city occupants for many years. Is anyone taking into consideration how much damage all this construction will do to the existing homes or to the businesses at this end of King Street? These projects, all of them, will take up to two years. They may have to re-route traffic taking vehicles off King Street and routing them in different directions, this will hinder businesses. You want revenue? Stop destroying what we have and rethink how we can improve what we have and have people want to come to our city.

Bea Porter