Thursday, April 27, 2006

Move the watch factory train station

Elgin spent money and energy trying to restore a former train depot at National and Wellington because it was the destination for workers at the Elgin National Watch Factory, a building demolished 30 years ago and commemorated by an obscure plaque hidden at the entrance of the discount shipping center that replaced it. (source: Elgin Courier 4/23/06)
Mike Bailey's editorial brings up a good point. It would be better to move the old watch factory's train depot to a more favorable location where it can get a new life as a refreshment, ticket, newspaper, or concession stand or something along those lines. Even if it's open only part of the year to sell ice cream or something, it would be nice. Festival park might be a good location.

The building is very small and should be easy to lift up off its foundations, placed on a truck bed and hauled down the street. That may also open up the possibility of developing the old site.

Yeah, that's another one of my half-baked ideas.

I don't mind putting half-baked ideas out there. I do half the baking. You can do the other half. Isn't that the promise of the Internet? To get ideas out there, and people talking about ideas, and together baking something better than what one person could have baked on their own? With some luck, someone with a social-entrepreneurial bent will pick up on one idea and run with it. If I put out ten half-baked ideas and one actually leads to some concrete positive change for the city and people of Elgin, that would make all this worthwhile.


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