Check out what Gordon Iseminger, a distinguished history professor at UND, has to say about Smiley's place in our community. Kudos to Iseminger for taking the time to put his feelings into words.
"In one breath, these individuals profess the need to make Grand Forks a destination city and, in the next, they call for the demolition of the very structures that make the city distinctive, the historic structures that would draw visitors and revenue to the city."
"Tourism is North Dakota's second major industry, and those in state government do not insist that historic landmarks and natural formations pay their own way. The Badlands and the Burning Lignite Beds do not generate rent. The statues of Sakakawea and Gov. John Burke on the state Capitol grounds do not return a profit. All, however, pay dividends by drawing tourists to the state."
"For the “bargain” price of $50,000, the cost of demolishing Smiley, the city will gain an unattractive, bare piece of ground, unsuitable for anything. For $200,000, the cost of preservation, the city will preserve a landmark that has greeted tens of thousands of people for decades and which will continue to do so as the city fulfills the dream of those who want to make it a destination city."