“The people that’s got the real skin in the game are the people who have put the money into the existing buildings.” - Jim Huston, Doe’s Eat Place
At the corner of College and Dickson sits the Washington County Courthouse, a building which was once (if you blinked real fast you would have missed it) a savings and loan.
Before it was a savings and loan, it was the site of a car dealership for many years, so I guess building the doomed savings and loan on the property was definitely an improvement.
But before it was a car lot?
When I first moved to Fayetteville in the 1970s, I read in Grapevine the sad story of how a Civil War era house was destroyed to make room for the dealership. Business interests trumped historic preservation.
The same battle has been fought many times, and in many places. In Fayetteville, a lot of history has happened in the Dickson Street area, and we have the buildings to show for it.
The attempt to establish a local historic district around the Dickson Street area is, naturally, being opposed by those who think with the wallet first and civic pride second, if at all. The quote above from the owner of Doe’s Eat Place isn’t very subtle, but at least it’s he’s expressing his honest viewpoint.
You don’t points for being wrong, though, which he is - one hundred percent.
In terms of preserving history, everyone in the community has “skin” in the game, and not just the business owners, who often have an unfair advantage over those who actually care about such things.
And it’s not just us, who have an interest in seeing Dickson Street become become an official historic district, but those who will follow us, long after many of these businesses have closed up shop and left.
Quote of the Day
I react against the plain, the one-dimensional men . . . I meet them everywhere, prosaic, down-to-earth, always talking of politics, never for one moment in the world of music or pleasure, never free of the weight of daily problems, never joyous, never elated, made of either concrete and steel or like work horses, indifferent to their bodies, obsessed with power. - Anais Nin