Saturday, October 25, 2008

What happened to your downtown?

The awards presentation was held in the Will Rogers High School auditorium.This week Tulsa hosted the National Preservation Conference. The experience has exceeded my expectations in a number of ways. And I think it may have done the same for our City.

While most of the 1500 attendees came to Tulsa to learn, some of the real lessons came from observing these first-time visitors. They notice those architectural treasures we have become accustomed to. I think Tulsans may have a better appreciation for their hometown after this event.

But these preservation-minded tourists, most from larger cities, also observe that which is lacking. One attendee remarked, after walking across a sea of asphalt parking, "What happened to your downtown?" Another visitor asked if there had been a fire. The concept of tearing down a building to provide a handful of parking spaces is foreign to these outsiders. Hopefully a little bit of that will rub off while they're here.
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Postscript.