To the editor:
Cultural heritage and authenticity are some of the attributes of a historic district. The review standards for impacts upon a Historic District, Historic Landmarks, and Environs Review are well documented.
We can see through our observation of downtown Lawrence that its growth has been one of gradual progress. The historical fabric of the mercantile street is largely intact from the former car dealership that now houses Waxman Candles, to the distant opposite corner from the historic Watkins museum, and former bank near the Douglas County Courthouse.
Along the way an expansion on the vacant lot next to the Eldridge has not yet occurred although recently approved. Before the next City Commission election a new tower has been approved opposite the Treanor/Compton hotel at Ninth and New Hampshire, and now a seven-story project is being proposed opposite the historic courthouse and Watkins Museum.
How can it be that one of the commissioners whose restaurant businesses have been largely successful due to their location in a historic district be so cavalier about a complete change in the character of Downtown Lawrence?
Historically, the mercantile street called Massachusetts was limited to four-story buildings with the only exceptions being at Ninth and Massachusetts.
Several of our current City Commission members were elected in part by funding from a political action committee. Do they truly represent the best interests of the community or rather the interests of “special donors” whether downtown, or in building no vote/no bid recreation centers?