Thursday, April 13, 2017
Did you know that Blaisdell is a war memorial? Do you care that big bucks may be spent to unnecessarily “improve” it?
The Blaisdell is a “living” or functional war memorial, a common type of memorial from the mid-20th century. Living memorials follow a dual purpose of honoring veterans while also serving the community.—Civil Beat article
by Larry Geller
Thanks to Tanya Harrison (follow her on Twitter as @BlaisdellMemorl), the city’s plans to reconstruct this facility have now been exposed to a larger audience.
Among the several questions Tanya asks is the economic one:
With the problems of rail, homelessness, and infrastructure, why is this a priority? Wouldn’t it be more prudent to simply renovate? The initial estimate of $400 million could easily balloon to more than $ 1 billion. While the powers-that-be wrangle over revenue increases to balance the budget, discussion of Blaisdell redevelopment, budgeted for $12 million next year, is not on the public’s radar.
[Civil Beat, Is Anyone Paying Attention To The Blaisdell Center Makeover?, 4/13/2017]
The planned redevelopment likely links with the theft of Thomas Square as a public park. Taken together, renovation of Blaisdell would whet the city’s appetite for commercial development. But is this in the public interest?
Why has the Arena’s status as a war memorial been shrouded from public awareness as these plans continue?
Read the article at the Civil Beat website. If you enjoy concertgoing or even shopping at the Wednesday farmers’ market, you might also be concerned about this plan, apparently developed with as little public participation as possible.