Wednesday letters: Bold vision needed for Bull Street

March 5, 2014 

The Babcock Building on the S.C. Department of Mental Health campus along Bull Street is on the National Register of Historic Places.


— While observing the discussions of plans for the Bull Street property, I am repeatedly surprised not to hear an overall guiding vision for the project. Instead there seems to be a rush to develop the area and derive revenue from it.

Columbia has the enviable opportunity to create something that will define the landscape and character of the city for at least the next century. Consider New York’s Central Park, the St. Louis Gateway Arch, San Antonio’s River Walk, Washington’s central mall or even Disney World.

These are enduring, draw many people to the area, and provide recreation for the residents. They also say to the rest of the world “look at what I am and who my people are.”

This seems to be a time for bold concepts and literally monumental vision in Columbia. I believe the people of the city need to step back and decide first what they want such a project to say and do for their city and its future. I am not a city resident but I do live in the economic area that the project will benefit. While I truly enjoy minor league baseball, perhaps a ballpark is not the right idea.

Ken Armstrong


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