Monday, July 28, 2014
a long walk
Based on what I saw a few days ago, I'm going to approach a discussion about the revitalization of Holyoke with caution. The industrial building stock is impressive, and the canal could serve as a defining feature of a refurbished downtown. I just read that work on the "Canal Walk" started recently, but I didn't take advantage of it. And who would live there? Who would work there? Why would people choose the challenges of turning around so many decades of decline and misfortune? Architects could make an argument about the character and beauty of the place creating an attractive force, but I doubt that a critical mass could be established based on that.
There are some notable places in New England defined by brick and water. The water will endure, the brick crumbles. The romance of the pastoral, rendered in the form of thousands of suburban homes, is the alternative vision. Character fades.