Thursday, June 22, 2006

More Grand Forks blogs

This is becoming a routine thing. I'm letting you know about a couple more Grand Forks-related blogs that have shown up on my radar...

Another Grand Forks Blog is the title of a blog started in May by Coffee Guy. So far, he has a plea for Chipotle to set up shop in GF, a mention of the theater lenses being stolen in GF right before the premiere of The DaVinci Code, and a post about the Grand Forks Herald's sale to Forum Communications.

Grand Forks, UND, and the unvoiced is the (slightly long) name of another new GF-related blog. Jeni M. just started it up last week. So far, she has some of her concerns over the new UND student housing project.

I'm happy to see that we're still growing here in the Grand Forks Blogosphere! Keep up the good work everyone and welcome to the newest bloggers, Coffee Guy and Jeni M. I hope to see more interesting posts by these two new bloggers soon. Welcome to the gang!


Coffee Guy said...

Thanks for the plug, GFG!

CottonwoodBeach said...

I won't start my own blog yet, but I would like to propose a topic for yours...

Any thoughts on the City Historical Preservation Commission? I would be interested to see a blog entry about what exactly their contribution has been to the progress or lack of progress by the city. It seems that the commission is holding back a number of business and residential property owners from making changes to their properties, which has the effect of increasing the cost of making changes or preventing the changes from being made. An example showed up in their most recent meeting. During discussion about a proposed teardown of the Transport, Inc. building, one of the commission members became concerned that the teardown of the building might make way for something "new and hideous". As opposed to the crap pile that is already Gateway?

I think it goes without saying that a lot of residents would like to see Gateway cleaned up. The HPC is often at odds with goals like these under the guise of "historic preservation". I'm interested to see if the blogosphere has any reaction to what this commission does or doesn't do for Grand Forks.

BTW, thanks for your blog. I've been a daily reader since I found it.

GrandForksGuy said...

I'm actually a strong supporter of the Commission and its work. I usually agree very much with their decisions and sentiments. I am truly a believer in the importance of historic preservation. Its a shame when we learn of all of the truly historic structures downtown that were torn down in the 60s as a part of "renewal." Many of those buildings would have been worth saving and it's too bad we didn't have more people trying to save them back then.

I am, however, a little disappointed to see a fuss over the Transport Inc. building. It is not in an overly historic part of town (like Downtown or the Near Southside Historic District) so I don't see that it greatly contributes much to its neighborhood. It is very run down and looks out of place on a high-speed road that would be more suited to larger scale commercial development. The building isn't even all that old and I doubt that it ever looked like much even when it was new. It is a small, little, one-story, stucco building with no notable features. I would not be sad to see it removed in the near future. In my opinion, keeping that building wouldn't be "historic preservation" because I can't see that the building is "historic" or worth preserving.

I think Historic Preservation Commissions are very important in cities like Grand Forks. Some very historic homes and commercial buildings in the city would have lost most of their old charm and historic features if it wasn't for the Commission.

Thanks for the comments and thanks for being a loyal reader, CottonwoodBeach!

CottonwoodBeach said...

My particular problem with GFHPC is that EVERY property seems to have some historical relevance. Reading the minutes of their meetings over the past couple of years has shown me that there is little discrimination in the kinds of properties they try to exert their influence on, and their hypocrisy is obvious in looking at the valuable and truly historic structures they didn't protect.

Now they want to start getting their hands on mid-century properties, which in this city means single-story ranch style homes. Is there any need to protect 50 year old structures? Are they truly historical at that point? "They will be someday" is not a viable answer.

This is all about money. The federal government provides loads of money for these types of committees, and requires some effort be made in mitigating the historical impact of new development as a contingency of other federal funding. When something becomes all about money, it is no longer about the community or the people it is supposed to serve. I experienced this first hand in dealing with the GFHPC over a situation with my home. They weren't interested in working with me to find a solution. They just wanted things their way, end of discussion.

I agree with and support the concept of historical preservation, but not in the ruthlessly inefficient and unfair way the GFHPC attempts to do it.

Thanks for the comments. I'd enjoy seeing some further dialog develop on this topic.

Conservative Yahoo said...

What GF could use is something similar to a museum where items and pictures of the area's history could be seen. Everything the city does in their pursuit of the "destination city" depends on you spending a bunch of money to enjoy. Alerus & CanadInn for example. I know about the Myra Museum, but it isn't enough, nor was it put together very well. (It's been a few years since I've been there)

There must be a ton of pictures from the past somewhere in this area to include all of GF County, etc. They need to be cataloged and exhibited. The city spends so much money on dog parks, ball parks, etc and there are a few empty buildings around that could be used.

Just a mind-seed for later

GrandForksGuy said...

Good point, Conservative Yahoo. I too would like to see a bigger and better museum for local history. What about using some some currently empty space in the downtown area? That way, it would be readily accessible for tourists who would probably already be visiting the downtown area.

JGS said...

Welcome guys! Good to have ya.

Anonymous said...

The museum is a good idea however, that's another quirk about Grand Forks. If somebody, or a business, moves on to bigger and better things, it's a hush "mumms the word" sorta thing. It's bizarro. Unless, there's a UND connection, then it's okay. Just one of those weird deals about Grand Forks.

(I remember a few friends, and I, were making a list of local quirks a few years ago, and that one popped up).

Oh well, what can you do about it.