The demolition of the Garman Theatre is set to begin.
It will take years to reckon the true cost for our community on multiple levels and, because of the precedent it sets, for future preservation efforts across the state.
But I bet the sum, when fully known, will be astonishing. Just the damage done to various important community working relationships, erosion of trust in the responsiveness of local government and of faith in the fairness of our court system already frame a disaster.
That does not even touch upon the loss of an irreplaceable historic building and the economic, cultural and educational opportunities that have been thereby squandered.
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We have the potential to lose additional businesses downtown because the clearly expressed will of the people and of a united business community have been ignored.
The only winner here is the private developer whose pockets stand to be filled. The rest of us lose big time.
Gary V. Hoover, Bellefonte