Letter: City shines, thanks to preservatoinTwo recent letters to the Republican Eagle raise interesting questions about proper city and county government priorities (R-E, Oct. 13).
By: Winson Kaehler, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Two recent letters to the Republican Eagle raise interesting questions about proper city and county government priorities (R-E, Oct. 13).
One letter questions the new copper roof on the Red Wing Public Library; the other questions selling the Citizens Building to build a new building for the newly combined county Department of Health and Human Services.
The present letter is written to raise the point that, in both of the above cases, the cheapest alternative is not always the best value.
Most Red Wing residents are probably unaware that the Citizens Building, at that time the Citizens Fund Building, used to have a grand interior atrium space that was truly awe-inspiring. The latter was eliminated to make supposedly more efficient use of space.
Also, most Red Wing residents seem not to have noticed that both the county Citizens Building and the Government Center Building are magnificent examples of Deco or Moderne architecture, irreplaceable examples of a priceless architectural integrity that goes far beyond simple dollars-and-
Likewise the Library, while not yet as old a piece of architectural heritage, nevertheless exerts a public-image impact for the city that is greatly enhanced by replacing its original copper roof to let citizens and visitors alike know that this is a city that values who we are, and that it is not a waste of taxpayer dollars to preserve our architectural heritage. Consider all the wealth that heritage has brought into this town over past decades. T.B. Sheldon and his affluent buddies were no fools when they created a civic mall and other architectural assets in the center of Red Wing according to precepts of the then-trendy City Beautiful movement. The benefits of their foresight at that time are obvious.
Let’s hope current county and city resident caretakers have the foresight not to deface the natural and architectural resources we now enjoy by destroying and shipping them off to parts unknown, whether in the form of sand or demolition detritus, all for the sake of a quick shot of economic adrenaline that will wear off all too quickly.