Tuesday, April 1, 2008

More money to make Paradise Valley

The News reports that City Council plans to spend another $7.5 million in its effort to transform Harmonie Park into Paradise Valley, a downtown district that the city hopes will be a hub for black-owned businesses and black culture. The name honors Paradise Valley / Black Bottom, the black neighborhood that was demolished in the era of "urban renewal."

The city certainly deserves a thriving black-owned area, but the article's quote of Councilwoman Barbara-Rose Collins still strikes me as needless: "Someone suggested to me it would be easier if we said Harmonie Park/Paradise Valley. I said no. This is Paradise Valley. This is not Harmonie Park anymore." In other words, the city once demolished Paradise Valley, so the city will now erase Harmonie Park in turn. So much for the spirit of historic preservation.

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