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Augusta In Transition: Lower Street to Chestnut Street

Heading back down to the riverfront on Lower Street, we took a detour down into one of the hollows that was never filled in by urban expansion in the Nineteenth Century.

There’s a weird little one-lane road that snakes its way through the hollow, shaded with trees.

There’s a house with a vineyard sitting on the northeast side on the slope.

As we leave Augusta, I can’t help but think that while certainly some people will be upset with the huge infusion of investment in the town, this will be a net gain for the region. I get tired of all the people who are so negative around here, almost reveling in the announcement of another failure as it confirms their hatred or prejudice of X, Y or Z. There are plenty of dead and dying towns in America that people can move to if that is the type of town they want to live in. As for me, I will welcome the revitalization of Augusta, which its original founders would have celebrated.

One Comment

  1. I have appreciated your thoughts and all the photos in your tour of Augusta. I wanted to add a thought I have had. I am generally supportive of the idea of revitalization; however I fear that the money that is to be made just lines the pockets of an overwhelmingly out of town company. True, there is the tax revenue which will support SCC projects and roads, etc. And that local people will have an influx of jobs to consider for employment. But typically local business owners benefit from income; as a result they spend money at other locally-owned businesses. The other concern is that the jobs become ‘dead end’ without the ability to move up not just into management but into eventual ownership.

    (I think a good example of that from my perspective is Hamilton MO. The Doan family moved there, ended up starting a quilt shop, and drastically revitalized the town. But that family lives there, and not all the shops there have been started by them, or some of the businesses have been transferred to local non-Doan ownership.)

    I think the other complaint I have heard about this project is more locally self-centered: the ‘we want to keep our wineries for ourselves and not have tourists crowd the roads’ complaint. There is the fact that this will bring a lot of traffic and congestion to this area. Overall, we will have to wait and see and hope that the benefits outweigh the risks or consequences, and that Augusta and surrounding communities thrive vs resent the project.

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