Midland tradition worth preserving
Since I grew up on the edge of the Midland district, the story in the Sept. 15 Westside Pioneer about opposition to a new commercial use for the warehouse on the corner of Market and Broadway struck close to home. It also struck a raw nerve.
I don't live in the Midland district now. But, if home is where the heart is, the Midland district is still truly my home neighborhood. If I were to use one word to describe why the Midland district is still special to me today, that word might be “variety” or maybe “diversity.” Where else in town is there a neighborhood where I can still see horses and hear a rooster crow? Where else is there such a mix of 100-year-old houses and new? Where else is there a hundred year history of interspersed residential and commercial use? I love all that.
And, I value the attitude which this kind of “variety” usually fosters. We might call it “tolerance,” a “live and let live attitude,” or adherence to the Golden Rule. By whatever name, I believe it's the social contract that makes a varied neighborhood, or any neighborhood, a true viable community.
The city has finally realized the value of interspersed commercial and residential uses and has put great effort into establishing new “mixed use” and traditional neighborhood” zoning. Gold Hill Mesa adjacent to the Midland district will be a “traditional neighborhood” with residential and commercial uses. Why not preserve the existing tradition in the Midland district?