As time passes, and we all get greyer, Lorain’s downtown misses out on more opportunities to do something with itself. More and more money gets wasted on surveys that will gather dust in a corner or on the shelf at the local library, rather than time and money being spent to resurrect this town from the grave it continues to dig itself into. While people argue whether downtown or infrastructure should come first, so that the other will follow, absolutely nothing gets done, making the entire argument moot. Our Design Review Board merely gums itself on the statutes they’ve lain out years ago, because none of the guidelines are really adhered to or, dare I say, even evident to anyone today.
This past weekend, I was in Bardstown, Kentucky for the wedding of my cousin Kris and his fiancee, Julia. The ceremony was in the evening, so we had Saturday afternoon to check out the downtown. I was both thrilled and saddened because I could shoot another downtown, and only dream about what could be back home. According to a friend in the know, some of the stores downtown remain vacant because the owners are looking for $1500 per month rent. That’s JUST rent. A prospective businessperson would still need to shell out for utilities and insurance and everything else. And since there’s so many empty shops along Broadway, there’s less and less draw to the area. (Maybe the City could cut some of these store owners a break on their taxes IF they dropped rent to something that a prospective new business could afford so they could actually try to improve Downtown’s chances again?)
Dreaming aside, as you can see from the photos below, not only was Bardstown a beautiful area, it was also very busy, with numerous restaurants and even a soda counter in a drugstore!! Remember those? Sundaes and sodas and malts and shakes, sandwiches and snacks. Parking was a little scarce, but a drive or two through would find a space just recently vacated. Very hospitable shopkeepers, friendly faces, and polite people were everywhere. If only…..