The U’s demolition spree is really starting to bug me.
I can’t help connecting it to the Republican Regents: funny that after 12 years of being appointed by Republicans (edit: the Regents are appointed by the Legislature, which only recently was conquered by Republicans, although it feels like forever. I was confused by Peter Bell’s stint on the Regents; Governor No appointed him using the power of the Governor to appoint temporary replacement Regents, or RegenTemps. It turns out that eviscerating our heritage is a bipartisan activity.) , the U’s major plans are to tear down buildings in the inner city and build a huge suburb on the fringe.
Now Wesbrook, and and the reasons to demo either confusing or laughable: too close to Northrup? It’s an urban campus, and probably half the buildings fall into the shadow of another building. Mold and water damage from Northrup? Haven’t you had 80 years to fix that?
And the need for a transit plaza? Well, the Daily reported that the ghost of Wesbrook “will serve as a waiting space for the light-rail line” – they should read the press release again. Finance & Commerce was a bit more specific, implying that it will be the location of a new bus stop for buses that will likely be used as a shuttle to a light rail station.
This is probably a better stop location than the existing stops at Pillsbury Circle, being better spaced from the necessary stops at Dinkytown, and more interior to campus. But the Regents must think we’re from General College if they expect us to believe that all that space will be needed for a bus stop. The existing plaza to the south of Wesbrook has more square footage than will any Central LRT platform.
The Regents are just looking for an excuse to quit paying for an expensive old building. They need to recognize that one of their responsibilities is to maintain our historic resources.