Letters to the Editor

Downtown gem

October 30, 2010


To the editor:

Downtown Lawrence is in the top 10 best downtowns, and do I believe it! But unfortunately some people just don’t see it anymore.

Well, take another look. We have restaurants that could rival any big city, and you can’t beat the fresh farm produce that they use to, in turn, help our community farmers. How can you complain about that?! The bars give our downtown a great nightlife filled with music and merriment.

The parking isn’t that bad; you can always find a spot. Would it be so bad to park where you can, even if it’s a block or two away and take a stroll to your destination and back? Maybe you’ll see something in the window that sparks your interest or stop for ice cream.

Downtown Lawrence is the last bit of culture in this town, so why can’t everyone see what I do? It’s an amazing place filled with art walks, delicious food and drinks, a great music scene, charming shops, and a place you can get your errands done. We have a true gem on our hands and I encourage you to get downtown and enjoy yourself. If we’re on the top 10 list we must be doing something right!


horsegirl 3 years, 5 months ago

I love downtown. You can never make everyone happy. That is the only truth on which we can all agree. Period.


not_holroyd 3 years, 5 months ago

I think I will open a wine emporium downtown, because obviously their is lots of whining in this town to share. The biggest vat will be full of one-eyed Wilbur Whine, but he will have competition from Moocher and some others.


powershopper 3 years, 5 months ago

This LTE lost me very early on when the author states that Lawrence has restaurants that would rival any big city. Haha, that is hilarious.


Roland Gunslinger 3 years, 5 months ago

The wife and I love eating downtown. I'm not much of a bar person, but I enjoy the atmosphere walking or driving past the bars and seeing everyone in good spirits (no pun intended). I do miss the movie theaters downtown...


rtwngr 3 years, 5 months ago

Downtown is cool. Subsidizing business from the tax coffers is not. If anything, the tax dollars should be spent on the overall "ambience" of the downtown district. Lawrence is the best town in this state in which to reside. Even if it is full of weirdos like me.


corduroypants 3 years, 5 months ago

Why haven't they torn down the Masonic Lodge and built a two-story Red Olive Lobster Garden? Huh? Huh? And there are too many trees downtown!!! They should be bulldozed!


ralphralph 3 years, 5 months ago

To help the Downtown Treasure, the city fathers (and muthas) have created a special taxing district so we can pay more for our stuff at a chain drug-store, Taco Bell, TaxBurger and a new yogurt-tax joint way out west on Sixth .... Seriously ... we couldn't attract a taco chain, a drug chain, a gimmick burger shop and another yogurt place without giving them a secret-tax-kickback?

Won't you all join me as I patronize local businesses and Boycott the Bauer Farms Tax Scam?


George Lippencott 3 years, 5 months ago

Once more into the breach – the last time I responded to one of these I was figuratively crucified. I will try to do better this time.

It is clear that the author enjoys the amenities in our “downtown”. Good. My question is whether she accepts those who do not. Would it be acceptable to have different interests and tastes and seek that elsewhere? Should those with different inclinations be forced to pay for the amenities she enjoys and they do not? The letter leaves open those questions. From past experience I wonder.


UpperLawrence 3 years, 5 months ago

Love downtown - my husband and I spend money there almost every day - be it on coffee, beer, a bite to eat, a book, some ice cream, outdoor equipment, convenient office supplies, a cookie from the Pink Box, whatever. While out and about, we typically run into friends and coworkers, sometimes our dentist or banker. When our friends visit from California or Maryland they specifically plan time to go hangout on Mass Street at their favorite haunts.


amesn 3 years, 5 months ago

It is so sad to read these posts baggin on downtown Larryville! I moved here 2 yrs ago from a small western Kansas town. Downtown Lawrence has offered my family a unique and multi-cultural experience each time we visit. We love just strolling up and down the streets in the evenings watching the interesting buskers perform and window shopping! Mass street offers a great variety of cuisine, a unique gift for any occaision, all the while giving you that "small town" atmosphere. Other patrons on Mass st are in good moods as they too explore the streets of downtown so the interactions we have had with people downtown have always been positive. For a college town I feel there is a fairly nice balance amongst the bars, restaurants, and retail stores. Topeka, Salina, Wichita, and DEFINATELY not Aggieville don't even compare!


Phil Minkin 3 years, 5 months ago

Oneeye and healthcare-When you have a precious resource whether natural like National or State Parks etc. or man made like historic buildings or our downtown, we as a community need to help protect and preserve them. Downtown provides jobs and tax revenues and to let that go away for the lack of a small % of our budget would be a disaster.


Healthcare_Moocher 3 years, 5 months ago

The DLI needs to be de-funded. If it needs to exhist, then it could do that on its own, if not so be it.


antacid 3 years, 5 months ago

I was unfortunately down at 10th and Mass last night. I took my monthly trip downtown to take the better half out to eat. A bunch of stupid, drunk college kid ran out right in front me as I was going right on Mass from 10th. Almost hit them too. They were utterly oblivious to the fact that they had just ran across 10th against a red light and almost been crushed. Nice job Jane Pennington and DLI at turning that entire street into a bum filled, drunk kids, nightly bourbon street type atmosphere where you can't even drive without nearly killing some idiot. There is nothing special about that street, its no different than Westport or the P&L District or Old Town or Aggieville. It's a bunch of drunk people going to and leavingWhat bars. And we cant get a normal Mall for that!? What a crappy tradeoff.


oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 5 months ago

So if it is so great why is there always money being given to the Downtown Lawrence INC from the city commission? Can't downtown survive on it's own?

It's great all right. Just look at the dirty sidewalks, the rear of the buildings that are nothing but fire traps. Check out the back ends of the buildings on the west side of Mass, 1000 block. Boarded up windows, well Masonic temple boarded up. Check out the transformer station in the parking lot across from the 1.5 million Carnegie renovation. Trash piled deep around the transformer. Trees covering parking lot lights.

It's great for drinking and eating at nightime with Free parking while the daytime customers get gouged for parking. Downtown is favored for the nightime crowd. The city constantly is cleaning Mass after the bars close. You think, xbusguy, that the city would have done something like that for the bus barn?


Chris Ogle 3 years, 5 months ago

A positive outlook is so refreshing these days. Thank you.


scott3460 3 years, 5 months ago

Why? Because to feed the greed of the "developers" in what used to be the great town of Lawrence, we foolishly allowed the creation of huge swaths of suburbia in Lawrence and imported lots of stupid, greedy and soulless suburbanites who'd rather shop at Walmart, eat at TacoMcBurgerFilA, and park their minivans on football field sized parking lots that are consistently 1/4 full than venture to a downtown, see real people (including the poor) and be forced to shop at non-homogenized store.


Abdu Omar 3 years, 5 months ago

Downtown Lawrence is totally unique except for the franchise stores. I think they belong in a mall and let local merchants offer something to the public.that can't be found anywhere else. How fun would that be?


Richard Heckler 3 years, 5 months ago

Yes downtown Lawrence is a great place however downtown Lawrence can only support so many bars and eating establishments. Otherwise Lawrence will experience way too much turnover. Therefore the focus needs to move in the direction of another department store or two.

Our downtown is the primary attraction for Lawrence even during the "holidays". Again and therefore the focus needs to move in the direction of another department store or two. This will attract evermore traffic thus also supporting our charming shops.

Nightlife is good and enjoyable but it is not everything.

Art always has value - Can The Arts Help Save OUR Small DownTown? Most likely.

Can The Arts Save Your Small Town?

by Joanne Steele

Last weekend I had one of those serendipitous happenings that keep my belief in magic alive.

Phoenixville First Fridays feature live music, open studios and gallery showings.

The topic of our monthly Revitalization Team meeting was to be art as an economic development tool. Who should appear at my info table at our small town summer festival but an expert in art towns!

Joe McArdle is a resident of Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, a former steel town that revitalized itself by attracting artists and selling itself as an art town. They’ve been at it for years with great success.

Here are some of Joe’s sage suggestions:


geoismeo 3 years, 5 months ago

Nice letter. Every letter to the editor does'nt have to be negative. I've lived here all my life and have always loved downtown.


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