Things continue to happen downtown

After a few days of cold, clear weather, we’re entering a rainy spell. It was 50° on the porch this morning, which was a bit of a surprise, because we were beginning to settle in to the routine of an evening fire to ward off the cold. It’s too early to declare that it’s spring, but it is noteworthy that so far, we’ve only had a sprinkle of snow.

Things continue to happen downtown. I hear that the skating rink has been pretty popular, even though it is a bit hard to find at the far end of the downtown park (where the Labor Day Barbecue is held).

The old BP station across the park from our office (and diagonally across from the train station) has been sold. I’m told that Angie Arp, who owns Chattahoochee Outdoor Adventures, has bought it and plans to put in a ropes course similar to the one at Stone Mountain.

The Temple Baptist Church on West Main Street has been torn down. I’m told that the church is hopeful that it will be worth more without the structure. This was apparently their reasoning in tearing down the parish hall, but it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense from the real estate point of view, especially with the property listed for $2,500,000. The highest and best use of the structure was probably a restaurant, and I’ve heard some speculation that the folks at Temple Baptist did not like the idea of beer being sold in their former church. There was some feeling that they left downtown because of the restaurant across the tracks (the Whistlestop Cafe), so this seems possible. It was torn down without a lot of notice or fanfare, and I’ve heard some people express hard feelings about the fact that it was torn down. I suppose that the immediate result is that the two empty lots make the “abandoned building” on Messer Street a little more visible. That’s probably the only building in the immediate downtown that remains at all distressed, or in need of serious renovation. As someone who remembers what the downtown was like twenty years ago, that’s an amazing fact. It must be hard for people who didn’t see it back then to imagine what it was like before all the renovation and transformation.

We took a little walk up Goforth Creek on New Year’s Eve. We had the place to ourselves, which was nice, and there was quite a bit of water in the creek. So much, in fact, that we couldn’t cross up by the old home place, but it was a beautiful winter walk. It’s hard to believe that they are still bent on building a new road over it and an access road alongside it. I wish more people would stand up and scream about these boondoggles, but I guess that most people just feel powerless. If you haven’t heard the whole story, you can read up on the “Corridor K” project on the WaysSouth website. Long story short, it involves spending millions to build a new road through the Cherokee national forest, with a stated reduction in travel time over the existing road of exactly … two minutes.

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