William Godwin


Money has no conscience it is the man or group that possesses the worth of doing right that does. Collectively can a group maintain integrity or bow down to the god of the dollar and throw away the history of a city. If one valuable location is not worth saving then none will be safe ever again. And yet a group will use the dollar from others to pay for their deeds.

Since the urban renewal craze that destroyed buildings from the 1950’s into the 1970’s the lessons should have been learned about the true value of trust. Trust that significant buildings that even have protections against destruction are not safe when a commission is willing to sell its soul for money.

The Wichita City Commission has approved the destruction of the Mead building on Douglas in Old Town. This is an area that has been saved from the wrecking ball in order to revive a historic part of the city. The project has been intended to attract people to the down town and old town area for everything from shopping, eating, and even living.

The all knowing developers that look at the results of the years of work that it has taken to revive an area now are willing to tear down a part of it to put up another monstrosity that will have no place in the character of the community. Modern architecture even when intended to look period ends up  a monstrosity.

And the landlord who has the responsibility of protecting the historic building and neighborhood has sold his integrity for the fast dollar. First by raising the rent to run off the tenant and now selling it for its destruction.

How does anyone ever instill the love of history into a city commission? How does one instill the love of history into an owner? How does one get away with destroying history to a neighborhood and city that has cherished the history?

When the tax incentives can be used against the ones who pay the taxes should there not be integrity? How does a builder expect the support of the ones who will ultimately use the new building? Questions that are vexing.

Should not the laws that protect history be enforced so no commission can undo them? Where is the integrity? Does the department of economic development add to their brochure that our commission has no value on the quality of life. Come to Wichita and what ever you can get them to pay for you can have?

Meade’s Corner will end up being another one of those locations that is remembered and not experienced by those who come behind us.

Will the rest of Kansas learn the lesson of integrity or greed? Wichita sets the example.

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