We live in a small town in Ohio that has a pretty interesting history. At the heart of the city is a 4-block stretch of historic buildings. Back in the day, our “Broadway” was once a bustling center of commerce and activity. You could come here to get your teeth cleaned, pick up ingredients for dinner from the local grocer, have the heel on your shoe fixed, eat lunch, catch a show and strategize about your next business deal before taking the cable car home. The products were quality. The buildings were statuesque and full of character.
Downtown had spirit.
Today, Broadway has its challenges. Like many main streets across America, the elements of daily commerce have been hijacked by major corporations. Daily needs have been spread across miles of concrete, infused with preservatives, designed as cheaply as humanly possible (literally) packaged in plastic and sold the same way to the same people all over the world. You can taste the bile dripping from those words, right?
Anyway, as a result, “downtown” has begun to die a slow painful death. For years now, the heart of our town has beat with a shallow, irregular rhythm.
It’s community dysrhythmia.
Our beautiful, historic buildings have lost their luster. Their spirits have been covered by decades of peeling wallpaper and crumbling ceilings. Amazing spaces, full of potential have been left to die.
Well hand me the freaking defibrillator.
Sitting back and watching death rather than doing something about it is near insanity in our book, so we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating several quality businesses in our downtown, no matter what it takes.
We spent a day a few weeks ago examining the bones of a building and you know what? The spirit is most definitely still alive here. Within the walls and the towering architecture, the designers of the past are whispering the secrets of quality to us in the future.
There is a heartbeat… Now to figure out how to pay for it all.