“The Deserted Village" the poem by Oliver Goldsmith starts out with the first line and I quote "Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain," and continues on. I was raised and educated in Auburn the first 22 years of my life. I have a long and vested interest in Auburn. My family came to Auburn in 1879 and have been there ever since, 136 continuous years.
The problem facing the core of the village with the proposed project is cause for concern to me and many others. Many reasonable and sensible reasons for not doing this project have been presented. I support the cause for aborting this project.
I was living in Opelika when the first two historic districts were established here, the Northside District and the Downtown District. I live in the Northside District. Our Opelika Historic Preservation Commission (OHPC) has done commendable work in all districts by maintaining the importance, character and significance of Opelika's history.
Auburn needs an established Downtown District. It would protect the core and could be bounded by Magnolia, Gay Street, Tichenor and College Street. If this were to happen then the Auburn Historic Preservation Commission (AHPC) would take the established written guidelines into consideration to approve or disapprove a Certificate of Approval for any outside changes or construction. The rules may have changed over the years, but all properties in a historic district are in and none can opt out except church property exempt by Federal Law.
I highly recommend reading the book "Lost Auburn." A Downtown Historic District involving the AHPC on any projects in the district would be an aid to the planning department, the mayor, city council and citizens of Auburn. Many of us do not live in Auburn now but our spirits still do. War Eagle.
Maj. George B. Wingard, USAF, Ret.