Demolition delayed for some historic buildings
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It will be at least another year before the wrecking ball is free to swing on three historic buildings in downtown Wilmington, but there are mixed emotions about this delayed demolition. The Wilmington Historical Preservation Commission has delayed the demolition of Chandlers Wharf Shops, McEachern's Sons Warehouse and Taste of Country Restaurant for one year. Some people believe the owners have the right to do whatever they want to with their buildings, but others disagree. Kevin O'Grady of the Historic Wilmington Foundation said, "I can understand the motivation. It's economics and what we're saying is that when you take this building down you detract from all of the other buildings and all of the sudden it's not the historic district anymore." O'Grady says the law doesn't allow for the Wilmington Historic Preservation Committee to deny demolition permits, only to delay it. He is asking the City Council to change that and give the Historic Preservation Committee the power to deny a demolition permit.

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I would really like to see these building stay. As one of the VERY FEW Wilmington natives I have already seen so much of our area change and not so much for he best most of the time - mostly for the best monetary outcome for a few. However I do agree these business owners should be given the fair market value for their properties. maybe instead of throwing millions of dollars at TITAN only to pollute and cause more harm in the long run we should be using that money to invest and preserve what we have left of historical Wilmington!!! We should be strengthening our community and keeping the original beauty and attraction for our children to enjoy. It helps our economy by bringing in tourist and if it is just another commercial city we may as well just forget about that revenue. THINK LONG TERM NOT JUST WHAT IS GOOD FOR YOUR POCKET TODAY!!!!!!!!!!
Is the city or the Historic Wilmington Foundation going to write out a check to pay fair market value for the land to preserve the building? If not, stand back and let the demolition crew get through! Your little group has no right to render anyone's property worthless. Buy it or butt out.
Oh please. Just look at some of the ugly buildings built downtown during the 70s. If you took the time to find out what was there, some beautiful buildings were torn down to build that junk.
is referred to as the Wilmington Hysterical Foundation...drives owners nuts!
But without the old stuff down in our "historic district" we'll just be left with a bunch of ugly new buildings that after 10-20 years will look outdated and then Wilmington will become just another city. I think it'd suck if downtown looked just like the commercial areas of collage road. With all the foreign countries buying things in America...just imaging if someone bought the Washington Monument and then decided to knock it down and put up a Starbucks. These people that bought these properties that are looking to knock them down only care about making money. They don't care what their actions do to the charm of downtown.
Have private property rights been eradicated? The Fifth Amendment is quite clear: "....nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." If a property is valued at ten million dollars, but the owner cannot do anything with it because a designated historic structure (and THAT is entirely left to the whims of this committee?), then you have effectively deprived that owner of his property without just compensation. In the case of Chandler's Wharf, the owner must be content to collect rents from tenants and STILL maintain the structure? How many millions do you think that has effectively removed from his wallet? The city provides that just compensation in the form of buying the property at fair market value, or it allow him or the new owners to bring in the crane and wrecking ball. It's not "OUR" property - it's HIS! * The Washington Monument is a poor example, as it sits on property wholely owned by a government. I have no problem with the government doing what it wants to with its own property. I have GREAT heartburn with the government destroying the value of mine. * People wanting to make money? How dare they! (I guess I am in Russia. Half the country is about to vote for a man who believes that people who make money should have it taken away from them.) * As far as Wilmington, time to snap out of your daze - we ARE just like any other city, as we prove day after day. Most of the charm of downtown Wilmington centers around winos, druggies, pan-handling bums, and the ability to be shot, stabbed, or raped on any given Friday or Saturday night. The greatest tribute to history we could undertake would be to FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION.
If you continue to destroy structures that have architectural, historic or cultural significance in your city, you will lose the historic character that has survived for years! Your buildings help define how a city grew. It's your city's history! Corner buildings are of key importance. Why not get a citizens petition going to ask your city council for local legislation to enable the city to regulate demolition? It is up to the city to make sure that it preserves the character and integrity of the historic districts through laws andordinances. Losing the very fabric of your city to demolition or to the whim of developers who build structures unsympathetic to the surroundings should be outlawed. If the council does not listen to the citizens - vote them out!
The Historic Foundation, as the article states, can only delay the redevelopment process to where a second look can be given to destroying these structures. Russia? I think not. Looks like a good 'ol democracy at work to me. Could this not be applying a little (ahem) common sense? I myself much prefer the elegance and charm that old Southern cities, who have developed wisely, have to offer. Let's not forget the tourist dollar that is brought in by keeping these old structures in place. Who in their right mind would want to tour downtown Cleveland, Toledo, Cincinnati, Detroit, Buffalo, Baltimore... Charleston, Savannah are much better tourist destinations because of their proximity to beaches and charming downtown areas. Let's bring the tourists to OUR beaches and downtown. There are plenty of other places prime for development of business and industry in our area without hurting the almighty dollar. The Taste of Country home would make a nice bed and breakfast or even a residential home. You claim in previous blogs that you have adapted to Southern culture but you seemed to have missed the point here and with the ABC warehouse issue too.
"He is asking the City Council to change that and give the Historic Preservation Committee the power to deny a demolition permit." Got it? They want the power to tell you that YOU can't do anything with YOUR property, permanently. I note that you have not bothered to address the Constitutional issue. Skipped right over it. Who cares about that little ol' document, eh.... ....and how you can explain away a small oligarchy making unilateral decisions and executing a de facto taking of property without compensation as "democracy" is truly baffling. I'd say it's more like royal decree. In closing, please do not confuse adapting to and enjoying Southern culture with a desire to shred the Constitution or put on blinders to all progress in an attempt to pretend that we're something we're not. If these structures are so important to the city, the city needs to buy the property at fair market value. You can have your quaint, charming downtown - just do it the RIGHT way.
Mr. O'Grady is simply asking the city council for the power. That will never happen. The City Council give up power? Come on now. And again, all that is going to happen is a delay. Someone may come up with the funds necessary to satisfy. Let's not get excited and watch as "the sky is NOT falling".
Both cities have a far bigger, more visited, and certainly more interesting waterfront that is centered around new buildings.
Don't recall mentioning Norfolk. I hardly doubt that Baltimore has more tourism than Wilmington. Presented with sarcasm...Charming and quaint city, that Baltimore. Golly gee, I wish I could live there! I grew up about 70 miles South of Baltimore and couldn't wait to leave that dump over 30 years ago. But this is something that second and third generation Ellis Island can't understand. Tell me, what is wrong with giving this a second look, trying to satisfy the property owners and promote more tourism?
Try Googling Baltimore's Inner Harbor. Take a look at Norfolk's Waterside area. They attract far more visitors than downtown Wilmington, but to be honest, they have far more to offer than downtown Wilmington. I detect a distinct change in your attitude since your first post. Back then, you were bemoaning those evil people who just wanted to make money. Now, you're wanting "to satisfy the property owners." Nice to see you're coming around to a sensible view that respects private property rights. Remember that whenever you accept that the government has a right to steal from your neighbor today, you are giving it the right to steal from you tomorrow.
No change on my part. I wasn't the original poster. My stance was and has always been to promote tourism, keep business, property owners happy and preserve historically significant structures. When cutting Wilmington up to JUST the downtown area, sure Baltimore Harbor MAY get more tourism. When looking at Wilmington as a whole, I beg to differ. I fail to see what one man *wishes* for his organization matters at all. It's not going to happen. AGAIN, the sky is not falling. It's a delay to take a second look. Why do you wish to turn the text of the whole article into a communist conspiracy?
...about the "almighty dollar." You seem unable to grasp that I was responding to an article in which it was plainly stated that the Historical Committee is wanting the power to permanently bar destruction of anything they unilaterally decide to be "historical." (Such as those historical dumps you want to preserve up on 17th Street.) THAT is the key issue. THAT is what prompted my initial post. You may feel that it won't happen, but you have no special insight or power to guarantee that outcome, do you? I am simply making my feelings known regarding its possibility, and to inspire people to stand up and insure that it doesn't happen.
The Committee of 100. No doubt a think tank. If you think for one minute they would relinquish control, or even those so called city commissioners relinquishing their control, guess again. Look how "someone" cleverly used politics to undermine the overwhelming decent from the public concerning the convention center. There are folks who are STILL excited about the prospect of concerts at this albatross and they are convinced that it's going to happen! Hardy Har Har...the yokes on them. In closing, history and memorabilia is big business these days. There are many cities who have restored downtown areas and have successfully opened many opportunities. I could cite several success stories. Let's look before we leap and get the best bang for the buck. Too bad they trashed the Ice House. The only reason many middle agers went downtown to spend ('cuse me) their almighty dollar!
The government steals from the people anyway. Has for years.