Not all change is progress

Many people believe being on the side of  light rail is being on the side of progress. How can growing infrastructure be a bad thing? We need to keep Minneapolis competitive and business friendly. This thinking is what must have fueled what could be seen as the worst decision in Minneapolis history. A painful lesson that Minneapolis, of all cities, should know: Not all change is good. Very few people know the history of downtown Minneapolis, but those that do, know that those in power can make mistakes, big ones. From Wikipedia:

“During the 1950s and 1960s, as part of urban renewal, Minneapolis razed about two hundred buildings across twenty-five city blocks—roughly 40% of downtown, destroying the Gateway District and many buildings with notable architecture including the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but are credited with sparking interest in historic preservation in the state.”[28]

 (You have to get a better look at this one, click to enlarge)Panorama-Minneapolis-1915

Imagine if downtown Minneapolis had a historic district as well as a financial district, like New Orleans, Chicago, or other historic cities? 25 blocks with buildings like this one:

466px-Metropolitan_Building_Minneapolis

If Minneapolis had not razed 40% of downtown would we be ranked in the top 10 or 15 most populous cities rather than our current ranking of 48th?

Don’t mistake change for progress. It is important to recall the lessons of history. Things don’t always “work out” for the best; we need leadership to make wise decisions and educated citizens to stand up for common sense.

The destruction of Minneapolis parks in the name of transportation would be disastrous. How many more good people will choose to live elsewhere once everything great about our city is only a faded photograph?

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