Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Just got around to reading the Sunday papers. The Courier's editorial page came out strongly against the proposed Wal-Mart. Mike Bailey's editorial is available online. He says Elgin has an inferiority complex:
While Algonquin, Crystal Lake and St. Charles have flourished, Elgin foundered. A disproportionate share of apartments to owner-occupied homes brought temporary residents with no commitment to their community. Older housing stock deteriorated and became multiple-family dwellings.

The influx of lower-income residents and immigrants brought the need for expansive social services, charities and agencies to serve them, which in turn attracted more of the same. Low-income housing generated the need for even more such housing.

Quality department stores left, to be replaced by seedy strip malls, bargain stores and resale shops. As the unskilled labor pool here grew, so did the concentration of businesses requiring such help.

While communities around us moved forward, we languished in envy...
Separately, the Herald published an interior picture of the rotunda of the historic First Universalist Church (also see the Downtown Elgin blog). The owner discussed a restaurant, but to me it looks perfect for some kind of a performance space. There are some 200 seats in the balcony. If the acoustics are good it would be perfect--perfect size, perfect everything. Price is around $750K plus $1M to revamp it. Any takers?


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