Saturday, July 21, 2007

Some Beatification Needed

Okay, I love Fall River, truly I do, but I'll be the first to admit Fall River has its share of problems.

One of the things that bothers me most about the "Spindle City" is that it really needs a good cleaning! Our streets are littered with trash, weeds and grass seem overtake every sidewalk crack, buildings are allowed to become rundown and dilapidated, in short, things really need to be spruced up!

To keep a city like Fall River clean takes a concentrated effort and it turns out that in the 1960's Evelyn Lowenstein, a woman of some local celebrity, was put in charge of that effort. Mayor Roland Desmarais asked Lowenstein if she would serve as the Beautification Director of Fall River. She agreed and although having no experience she did have clear ideas on what it meant to beautify Fall River and that meant cleaning up.

"To me, beautifying is cleaning up," she says. "Before you plant trees, you've got to clean up."

She worked to identify priorities and co-ordinate city departments, she marshaled resources and worked to promote the vision of a more beautiful city. Amazingly all of her efforts were done not as a city employee but as volunteer.

Although it may be hard to appreciate the lasting effects of her efforts, it is easy to see the continued need for those efforts today and wonder who, if anyone is filling that role.


Stef said...

How about turning the now blank space where once the bus station stood into a park? That would certainly beautify the area. The idea that a seven story court house is going in there is anathema to me.

By the way, you have the best Fall River blog out there! Keep up the good work. I read you all the time!

Lefty said...

I knew I had a third reader out there! Seriously, I do appreciate the compliment. I think that perhaps I write mostly for me, views I wish to share and express, and hope that others will find them worth reading. The blog doesn't get as much traffic as I would like but it's nice to know that the people who read it think well of it.

I'll admit to being impressed with the artist rendering of the court house, however I was not in favor of placing it there, I thought that the courthouse should have gone where the existing one is and made use of the vacated police station site.

I can picture a courtly (no pun intended) park, with waist high wrought iron fencing, cobblestone walkways, and fountains, it would be very pretty but I'm not sure if I think that is the best use for that land.

Remember, besides the bus station that was also the site of South Main Place, the failed 'downtown mall'. I had envisioned the mall being utilized as both a performing arts center to be utilized by Fall River's Little Theater and perhaps other live events and a home for a Fall River Children's Museum. I think if it were possible to stop the court house from being built I would love to see a Children's Museum fill that spot, however I would hope that a renovated Capitol Theater could now be the venue for performing arts.