I am back from the NCAR meeting in Savannah, but before leaving, took time to do a little touring. I was struck by the town’s reverence for and joy it takes in its history. Those folks really know how to make the best of an old building or park. The town was designed around multiple “squares” or small parks in the center of the historic area. It was clear that they consider those to be gems to be polished and admired.
Every town has some history that can be recalled and cherished. I’ve seen some towns tempted to throw it all away in favor of having everything shiny and new. Downtown Charlotte has struggled with that for years and lost many great buildings because of it. Back in the 60′s, Mooresville had the idea that if they covered up all of the old downtown buildings with modern aluminum facades, that they could make the area look like a mall, which back then was considered by business people to be the holy grail since malls were still new back then. More recently, Mooresville figured out that history and nostalgia are actually good things. The building owners pulled down the facades and spruced up the old store fronts. That has made for a much more pleasant and compelling look. Statesville has done some of that, too, and now are offering grants to building owners to help them bring back the old look.
I think we’ve finally figured out that we can only grow strong by taking care of our roots.
Here are a few shots of Savannah. Wish I’d had time for more… next time.