This week we saw demolition begin on the distinctive Kress Building downtown.
The structure has been allowed to become derelict and dangerous over the years and, despite efforts to restore or at least preserve part of the building, it's coming down.
We also saw work get under way on a new middle school for Liberty-Eylau, replacing the 1938 vintage rock school structure, though plans call for a portion of the old facade to be incorporated into the new school.
Texarkana has seen a wealth of historic buildings fall over the years. We look back on photos of the city as it once was and mourn the loss of these beautiful structures.
And we have abandoned buildings now, primarily downtown, that have been sitting derelict for years. We hear from readers who want these buildings restored. We hear from readers who say they should be bulldozed.
Ideally entrepreneurial individuals and companies would see the value and restore these buildings for future use. That's happened with Zapata's, Hopkins Icehouse, Silver Moon on Broad, Pecan Point Brewpub, City Hall Lofts and a few others. And it may happen with the Grim Hotel. But that's the ideal, not always reality.
The fact is that such rehab projects take money. Private investment only goes so far and expects a return on investment. They won't see much chance of that in some buildings. That means tax dollars would, in many cases, have to be used if these buildings are to be restored--—or even just preserved—-in hopes the right potential owners will come along. But is it worth it?
We want to know what you think. Would it be worth your tax dollars to help preserve Texarkana's architectural history? Or are efforts to save local historic structures just a waste of money?
Send your response (50 words maximum) to email@example.com by Wednesday, May 24. You can also mail your response to the Texarkana Gazette Friday Poll, at P.O. Box 621, Texarkana, TX 75504 or drop it off at our office, 101 East Broad St, Texarkana, Ark. Be sure to include your name, address and phone number. We will print as many responses as we can in next Friday's paper.
Last Week: Free Speech or Tax Free?
Last week's question was about the Texas House of Representatives bill giving protection from discrimination lawsuits to publicly funded adoption and foster care agencies that refuse to work with unmarried, gay or non-Christian prospective parents. Should taxpayer-funded faith-based adoption or foster agencies be allowed to determine child placement based on religion, marital status or religious beliefs? Or should taxpayer funded agencies have to treat all Texas taxpayers equally?
The charge of "discrimination" by those in power, who lack the godly ability to discern between good and bad, will, (as we now see), result in true "discrimination" against those who stand for "good." If ages of applied common-sense is not enough evidence, recent studies show that a traditional family-married man, and woman is the best environment for a child.—D.H.M., Texarkana, Ark.