Thursday, June 21, 2007

Another one bites the dust

It was a couple of months ago that the old, dilapidated Transport Incorporated building out on Gateway Drive was finally torn down. Now, another Gateway Drive eyesore has been demolished. The old Weekley's Auto Wrecking building and house, located just west of the Transport Incorporated site, is no more. One metal shed remains on the property and I would assume that this structure will also be razed.

The Weekley's complex was one of the worst eyesores on the stretch of Gateway that runs through north Grand Forks. Now, if we could just get them to clean up their act at their Gateway Drive property west of the city!

I'm not here to argue whether or not a business like Weekley's is vital or not. What I will argue is that the Weekley's building that was torn down has been basically abandoned for years now. It has been battered by the elements and little if any upkeep has gone into the structure. It has been an eyesore for far to long. It's good to have this building gone and it's good to now have an empty area on Gateway Drive so close to University Village that can now be redeveloped.

Ugly buildings and properties that no one maintains properly are eyesores for the entire community. Some would argue that an eyesore here and there isn't that important, but I would argue that when we see ugliness it brings us down and casts a bad light on the rest of our city. In ways, it is really a quality of life issue. I, for one, am very happy to see blight like this eliminated.

30 comments:

Anonymous said...

While they're cleaning all this up...why doesn't the city re-paint the traffic light poles along Gateway? Some are more brown than yellow from rust. Some are so bad I feel like I need a tetanus shot when I have to be near one at a red light.

GrandForksGuy said...

I agree, anonymous. The traffic light poles are terrible on Gateway. They are also terrible along some areas of 32nd Avenue...especially right by the Interstate. How much money or effort would it really take to get someone out there to paint a few poles one day? Please!

Anonymous said...

So the buildings are gone but have you actually been back there? Take a drive through the parking lot of the dive motel just west of the old Weekley's and you will see dozens of junked cars rusting away in weeds 5 feet high. A portion of the English Cooley runs through this area, I'm thinking it can't be healthy at all for the pile of junk that remains back there to be rusting into water that ends up in the river. There is much work yet to be done.

Ben said...

they need to give the same treatment to that whole hotel complex. Drug and rat infested as it is, get it out of there and allow a decent size development to come into that area.

Anonymous said...

Well where all of you when the Westward Ho Complex sat vacant for years? Talk about rats ! Myron Weekley and family lived in the house, kept many valuable items in the basement. Not a lot of people invited into house. We had a small yard and lots of cash in your house. Anyway its the site of money, recycling is a multi-million dollar business. Old cars bring in lot of tourists to look for valuable car parts. How about tearing down that ugly barn of Happy Harry's or at least a coat of paint. greenglass4

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, that Happy Harry's is quite an eyesore, alright.

Yikes. That was almost intelligible.

Anonymous said...

Thanks to everyone who tore down the roach motel.

Anonymous said...

"We had a small yard and lots of cash in your house."

Is English your second or third language?

"Old cars bring in lot of tourists to look for valuable car parts."

Yes, nothing brings in tourists from around the world like rusty cars. Forget Disney World or Niagra Falls, we can just build "Junkland" (aka Highway 2 west) - that will really pack them in!

Try laying off the crack before posting next time.

Anonymous said...

Grand Forks is not a tourist city, despite what some may think. I know we get lots of Candadian visitors, but this is for shopping. Tourism is reserved for very special attractions. Everyone wants to visit the Empire State Building, or something like it.

Anonymous said...

it might be cheaper to move the airport ...Gateway is some kind of ugly....

Anonymous said...

"In ways, it is really a quality of life issue. I, for one, am very happy to see blight like this eliminated."

It might be an eyesore, but a quality of life issue-please, get real!

Anonymous said...

I always thought it was kind of cool looking. Like a building out of a horror movie or something. :)

GrandForksGuy said...

"It might be an eyesore, but a quality of life issue-please, get real!"

So you don't think blighted properties and blighted areas of town are quality of life issues?

"I always thought it was kind of cool looking. Like a building out of a horror movie or something."

Yeah...we really need buildings that look like they could be in a horror movie right on a main corridor in town.

Anonymous said...

re: the comment about GF not being a tourist city and places like the Empire State Bldg being places everyone wants to visit... Not everyone can afford to travel to New York or even out of state. I for one like to have nice places for people to see when they visit Grand Forks/East Grand Forks. It doesn't have to be a wonder of the world to attract people. Seems that some who live here can't find a good thing about living here and those who visit admire what we have. Go figure!

ec99 said...

"Seems that some who live here can't find a good thing about living here and those who visit admire what we have."

Familiarity breeds contempt. What specifically do they admire

Anonymous said...

They admire our quality of life, our clean streets and air, our Greenways, our regrowing downtown area, our schools, our history and the PEOPLE. Maybe you haven't had friends and family visit and compliment your city, but I have. Why are we always whining about what Fargo has that Grand Forks doesn't? Geez-don't we have enough restaurants and shopping options now? I find Fargo to be a mess for traffic and quite honestly prefer to shop in Grand Forks. I have no idea what your comment about "familiarity breeds contempt" means in this context. If you can't find anything good about living here...get on I29 and leave. I may be in the minority but like it here.

ec99 said...

"I have no idea what your comment about "familiarity breeds contempt" means in this context."

It's pretty straight forward. You commented that some living in GF see little to compliment. Could it be that their experience here, their acquaintance with the city, has led them to that mind set? As for "quality of life," that has been so overused by so many cities that it's become a cliché. It's a completely subjective phrase and cannot be quantified in any way. It only reports what a given indivual feels about a place.

dale said...

People who are here looking for Minneapolis, San Francisco or (even) Fargo are bound to be disappointed...

People who are looking to get away from those sorts of places are going to find things that they like.

Anonymous said...

If you have children who can ride their bikes to the pool without getting harmed,if you can walk your dog after dark, if you go to school (be it college, tech, high or grade school,need help changing a flat tire, need honest service on your car....it is quality. I know the phrase if overused. But so is bashing everything. So like I said-you can always leave.

ec99 said...

"So like I said-you can always leave."

Another cliché.

ec99 said...

"If you have children...[etc]

You make my point for me, quality of life is all subjective. What if you don't have kids, don't go to a university...? What if you like fine dining and are tired of the 2 or 3 places GF has to offer in the line of restaurants? What if you own a car, and wonder why gas prices are identical all over town. What if you'd like a classical music concert once at the Alerus? Despite Robert Pirsig's attempt at a definition, quality is in the eye of the beholder. And why is honest criticism always characterized as whining? And why should critics always have to leave town?

Anonymous said...

No one said you have to leave town-but if a place doesn't have a lot to offer someone-why stay? I sense your needs and wants would be better met in a metropolitan area and not in a city the size of Grand Forks. If classical music concerts can be supported by attendance then there would be some at the Alerus. How about the Fritz or Empire for smaller venues?

I very much agree quality is subjective. I was born and grew up here. I enjoy visiting other areas of the country/world. But I am pleased to call this home and appreciate it even more every time I return. I don't mean to suggest critics leave-but why in the name of God would you stay and be miserable unless you are with the Air Base and don't have choices?

When I visit my kids in Minneapolis we drive 30-45 minutes to get to a restaurant or to shop. It reminds me of people who won't drive in Grand Forks because of "all the traffic". So yes it is
subjective but we have choices.

dale said...

What if you like fine dining and are tired of the 2 or 3 places GF has to offer in the line of restaurants? What if you own a car, and wonder why gas prices are identical all over town. What if you'd like a classical music concert once at the Alerus?
-- snip --
And why is honest criticism always characterized as whining? And why should critics always have to leave town?

I really fail to understand your point of view. How many fine dining restaurants have you opened? Do you publish a poorly mimeographed newsletter that tries to call attention to gasoline price fixing and other social ills? Do you petition, door to door, in an attempt to drum up support for the symphony?

Complaining is fine when a) it's limited in scope and b) it serves some sort of purpose. Both the symphony in the Alerus (which would sound horrible, by the way, the acoustics are far better in the Fritz,) and the shortage of fine dining restaurants are due to not enough people wanting them, which is a result of not enough people being here.

If you opened a fine dining establishment, you'd run the risk of either failing, or causing one of the existing places to fail, because there is only so much demand for such places. If you put the symphony in the Alerus, it wouldn't make money, and everyone would be complaining about how the Alerus loses money.

It's unrealistic to expect big city frills in a small town, unless you're willing to pony up the cash to sponsor them. And constant griping about it will indeed result in a lot of "if you don't like it, then why are you here?" questions.

Don't get me wrong -- I'd like more classical concerts, off-Broadway plays, fine dining, amusement parks and zoos, too. Unfortunately, they're not here, so I go to Minneapolis or Winnipeg when the desire strikes. I'm happy with the five minute commute, safe streets and friendly neighbours that I have here.

ec99 said...

"I really fail to understand your point of view."

If you read my comments, you would understand my point. Those who proclaim GF's quality of life find pleasing what the city has to offer. Those who criticize it, don't. It's that simple. While some rejoice that another Subway is opening, others, who don't care much for the cuisine, lament. When you get down to it, GF is a small town, like many others in the midwest. It will never me a destination city, it will never please everyone. Those who criticize have as much right to point out the faults, as those who praise, without being told to leave.

dale said...

Those who criticize have as much right to point out the faults, as those who praise, without being told to leave.

Yeah, that's the bit that I don't get. Pointing out faults, but not doing anything about it, isn't helpful. You know the saying, "if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem." Complaining about the lack of good food options isn't a part of any solution.

If you feel that passionately about it, open a restaurant. If you lack the skills, cough up some money and convince someone else to open it. The guys that open Subway after Subway (which I'm no fan of -- you'll never see me rejoice at yet another Subway, Starbucks or auto parts store,) are putting their money or time at risk because they see a need. You're not willing to do the same thing, so I'm not sure you're really all that justified in griping about it.

And the bottom line is that the things that you're complaining about are a factor of not having enough people here, and pointing that out, over and over, accomplishes nothing and never will. Thus, your (or anyone's) complaints will not resolve your basic issue, while you (or anyone) relocating to a bigger area will, and thus, the suggestion.

No one is saying "ec99, you suck, get out of town!" They're saying "if restaurants and symphonies are high on the list of things you want, moving to a bigger city is the best way to ensure them."

Or at least that's what I'm saying.

Anonymous said...

When it comes to new restaurant and entertainment options, I don't think a lack of population is the issue, it's a lack of creativity. GF lacks quirky, eclectic ANYTHING. Creativity doesn't require lots of cash, it does require imagination.

MattFacingSouth said...

Last anon - have you been to the jazz jam sessions at the Urban?

They can be quirky, eclectic, and creative all in the same sitting.

Anonymous said...

Anon looking for creative, quirky, and eclectic...You mean like The Westward Ho?

Coffee Guy said...

mattfacingsouth, please e-mail me at kidsoncoffee@gmail.com.

Love,
Coffee Guy

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, sweet.

I love these blogosphere love affairs.