Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Missing Teeth

One of the saddest things I see in too many towns that I visit is the missing teeth in the smile of the town. No, I’m not in some really backwoods towns that bring back memories of the movie Deliverance. I’m talking about the torn down buildings that are in too many downtowns.

The program for my talk in Logansport, IN showed a downtown scene from the 1800s. Judi Barr of the Logansport-Cass County Economic Development Foundation had scanned the image from postcards her great-grandmother had saved. She later sent me a photo of the same street today. See for yourself the two photos below.

In my travels I’m beginning to see towns that are filling in those missing teeth. Some of my favorites are Oxford, MS and Traverse City, MI. These towns and others are creating a special feeling in their downtowns. They are vibrant during the day and late into the night. Residents are returning to the downtowns and condos are being built in close proximity.

What does your downtown look like? What could it look like?

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