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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Brookings County Wants to Knock Down Houses in One of Best Midwest Neighborhoods

Mr. Powers highlights some special media recognition for his lovely town: This Old House Magazine has named the Central Residential Historic District in Brookings one of the best places to buy an old house in the Midwest. What makes the center of Brookings such a peachy place to perch?
  • Lots of trees and greenery
  • Proximity to parks and schools
  • Downtown restaurants, book store, and antique shops just a five-minute walk away
  • Safe place to raise kids
  • Children's museum coming in old Central Elementary
TOHM also notes the healthy real estate values in this neighborhood: folks stick around and keep up their properties, and the neighborhood's placement on the National Register of Historic Places prevents "unattractive updates and alterations."

So who would want to reduce the housing stock available in such a great neighborhood? Why, the Brookings County Commision. They think the community will be better served by demolishing a couple of these choice tax-generating houses and replacing them with parking lots.

I don't see parking lots anywhere among the criteria that won Brookings this national recognitions in TOHM.

The National Register of Historic Places can't stop all dumb ideas. Fortunately, we have a public vote as a back-up. Let's hope voters reject the notion of parking ├╝ber alles and preserve the integrity of a healthy, tight-knit neighborhood.

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