Valdosta’s Penn Station to be torn down –Alfred Willis @ VCC 2014-10-23

Received as a response to Outside corporation trumps Valdosta citizens about historical Nichols house? –Jim Parker @ VCC 2014-10-23. -jsq

The City Council’s deliberations on the 23rd had nothing to do with any construction project, but rather focused on the sale of a parcel — as Councilman Carroll’s message of the 25th accurately conveys. The Council’s vote was historic because it signified openly the supremacy of certain private property interests (specifically, those entailed in selling as a form of enjoyment) over civic cultural interests, at least within the municipality of Valdosta. In doing so it gave Valdosta’s citizens a peek behind a curtain that had remained drawn over historic preservation here since 1980. The construction of buildings, the demolition of buildings, the remodeling or moving of buildings, the maintenance and preservation of buildings, their sale and their purchase, their adaptive reuse — all of those processes are historical processes that turn on the resolution of conflicts among interests. Thus they all reveal structures of power and the machinations of powerful individuals and groups. How could they not?

The construction of the Nichols house in the early 1950s showed with a degree of clarity that probably no other Valdosta building of that time did, the identity, values, attitudes, and mode of operation of Valdosta’s leadership. Its demolition will necessarily be no less revealing of what Valdosta and its leaders today are all about. The significance of the Nichols house therefore continues to build, week to week, from crescendo to crescendo toward a climax that I suspect will come only many years after its demise. It was in that sense that I referred to the Nichols house, when I spoke before the Historic Preservation Commission, as Valdosta’s Penn Station.

-Alfred Willis November 6, 2014 at 11:42 am