In reading the many articles and letters to the editor on the “Save the Garman” project and group, it has caused me to reflect on the group and project from a different perspective.
We have been described, among other things, as unrealistic and idealistic. I consider the group neither. I consider us visionary, not unlike many other groups from the past to the present.
I have reflected on the vision of the Founding Fathers of Bellefonte, who carved out a community of industry and wealth in the late 1700s. Of the generous responses was a gift of 200 acres by a gentleman farmer and ironmaster from Bellefonte for an agricultural university, now Penn State University.
I have been reminded of the historic preservation movement that began in the 1970s by a group of residents who wanted to build a park along Spring Creek, now Talleyrand Park; of a group that enlisted the aid of a dedicated individual and saved a gristmill from demolition, now the Gamble Mill; and of the group that worked to see that about 400 buildings in the area are now listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
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Do we need to and can we “Save the Garman”? Is there a plan for the preservation, rehabilitation and sustainability of the Garman?
Will saving the Garman aid the economy and revitalization of downtown Bellefonte?
Yes. Because we have a vision!
Sally Houser, Bellefonte