Dollar General would diminish Historic District, nationally recognized cobblestone buildings
When people embark on a vacation to New England, their destination is not a Dollar General store. Rather, the road trip is to quaint, charming, historic towns and villages with well-preserved architecture of the 19th century.
In travelling the Ridge Road (Route 104) from Greece to Lewiston, the best-looking, best-preserved and most historic hamlet is Childs, at the intersection of routes 104 and 98.
Since 1960 the Cobblestone Society, through its not-for-profit efforts, has made every attempt to preserve historic architecture. The society has not only saved original buildings in the community, but also moved in structures that would have otherwise been destroyed.
Likewise, Tillman’s Village Inn has maintained its historic character. More recently, Ray Burke has established Fairhaven Treasures. It utilizes an historic dwelling, this upgrading its aesthetic appeal. It’s also obvious that home owners in this community take pride in their property. This is progress!
In 1993, the United States Department of Interior designated the Cobblestone Church, the Cobblestone Ward House and the Cobblestone Schoolhouse as a National Historic Landmark.
The aforementioned properties are all located in a commercial/historic district. Certain “powers that be” feel the code is too stringent and inhibits business. In my opinion, a box store, no matter how it is disguised, is not the right fit.
If Dollar General is allowed to build in this district it will only allow for other similar corporations to also come in and take up residence. This creeping sprawl is consequently going to lead to a strip mall across the road from a National Historic Landmark.
This is not progress, but rather an intrusion. As a former Cobblestone Museum director and retired Orleans County historian, I certainly hate to see real progress and preservation, sometimes through government grants, diminished by a huge corporation that doesn’t understand the quaint, charming and historic value of this district.