MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

October 27, 2013

Hunt’s building removal good for downtown

The City of Muskogee Foundation’s approval of a grant to demolish the old Hunt’s Department Store Building downtown will remove an eyesore from Muskogee.

The grant, worth up to $250,000, was made to the Eastern Oklahoma Land Acquisition Co. The limited liability company plans to buy and demolish the building.

Foundation board Chairman Earnie Gilder said the holding company will buy the downtown building for $65,000. It will cost an additional $123,000 to tear it down, fill in the basement and raise it to grade. The same company hired to raze the former S.H. Kress and Bully Good Saddle Shop buildings earlier this year will perform the Hunt’s demolition.

What the space will be used for remains to be seen. Frank Merrick, the foundation’s executive director, said a green space is the plan.

For downtown, this is addition by subtraction. We prefer to have addition by addition, but this will make downtown more attractive. Sadly, an empty lot is an improvement.

If the demolition is approved, it will be the third building this year to be demolished downtown.

These structures once had a grand place in Muskogee’s history, and in a way it is sad they had deteriorated into such disrepair. But because they had deteriorated so much, they were just old buildings — a shell of their former glory.

Of course, it would be nice if those buildings had remained bustling hubs of activity as the years went by. But they didn’t. The only activity they saw was deterioration.

Another Muskogee landmark nearly suffered a similar fate. Only a community effort saved the Roxy Theater from eventual demolition. Now that theater is a bustling hub of activity several times a week.

Removing these buildings should encourage businesses to move downtown, improving Muskogee and our quality of life in the process.

1
Text Only
Opinion
AP Video
Raw: Obama Tours Gyeongbok Palace Swimmer Michael Phelps Back in Competition Raw: Obama Lays Korean War Memorial Wreath Obama Leads Naturalization Ceremony in Seoul Calif. School Bus Crash Hurts Driver, 11 Kids Country Club for Exotic Cars Little Science Behind 'Pollen Vortex' Prediction US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents
Poll

Should a federal judge have the power to strike down Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage?

Yes
No
     View Results
Featured Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks