"Preserving the past" | Aug. 22
We must preserve historic buildings
Alexandra Zayas' story on demolition by neglect powerfully outlined the uncertain future of our community's architectural treasures. By contrasting the photos of the building's attractive past and crumbling present, Zayas painted a compelling portrait of irresponsible stewardship. The building owners let their properties rot.
The good news is that historic buildings were constructed so carefully and of such solid materials that most can be successfully rehabilitated and add to the richness, history and character of our area.
Even the ravages of our challenging climate can be countered by a new roof, repointed brick, spackle and restored windows and doors. The German-American Club, Carnegie libraries, D.W. Waters school, Ybor brewery and Palace of Florence apartments are all wonderful examples of special structures brought back from the brink of collapse by careful restoration. These buildings and many others enrich our neighborhoods.
I am working as a council member to develop financial incentives for property owners to properly "mothball" their buildings, so that even if they don't have the inclination to restore their property, the building will be in a state of stability for future restoration.
This newspaper does Tampa a great service by increasing our awareness of demolition by neglect. We must now recognize the financial gains from restoration and develop an array of carrots and sticks to properly protect these special places for our future.
Linda Saul-Sena, Tampa City Council member
"Elevated roadway best choice for all" | Aug. 15
Double-decked Gandy isn't for us
Amazingly, we have here Michael Rainier from the boondocks of Riverview setting himself up as the authority on how a double-decked Gandy Boulevard would affect our neighborhoods and the businesses we frequent.
His little journeys to St. Petersburg once in a while seemingly have set him up as a self-professed judge and jury. Well, we live here! And we don't want the added traffic, pollution, noise plus the god-awful overhead road we'd have to look at, ALL for the pleasure of the escapees from St. Petersburg in case a hurricane comes!
Gandy flows evenly except for the twice a day heavy traffic times that we have all over Tampa. People going and coming from work!
Those of us who have enjoyed our homes for 50 years wish to continue. We're not dumb. We know what they're trying to do with those 30-foot islands and we'll fight to the last breath to keep them from raising those concrete Y's to hold the overhead road. Take the Howard Frankland, Rainier! Or stay home and shut up!
Wynelle Gilbert, Tampa