Monumental task?

Another one?

Hamburger Square is about to showcase another statue to the city’s founder, Major General Nathanael Greene. We already have a statue of Greene up at National Military Park off Battleground Avenue.

No disrespect intended to the American Revolutionary War hero. But still, I wonder: How come we can put up another Greene statue faster than we can resurrect a Civil Rights Museum?

Photo courtesy Rhodeson.

Update. The Civil Rights Museum Web site.

  One thought on “Monumental task?

  1. March 26, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    i walked by the crew putting up the statue yesterday and overheard a khaki talking to a khaki-ette saying, “today, there is nothing wrong with greensboro.”

    not to poo on such idealistic, ridiculous, naive optimism derived from a statue of a dead war hero from 200 years ago while there is a war going on today and a good part of greensboro is battling drug dealers and gangs, but…

  2. busterdilly
    March 26, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    “Nothing wrong?”

    The city park has a lovely view of some empty, expensive condos.
    Downtown has more vacant buildings than healthy, independently owned businesses.
    We couldn’t keep the flying anvil afloat.
    We can’t open a civil rights museum.
    Our newspaper is for sale.

    It’s getting better, yes, but …

  3. March 26, 2008 at 3:43 pm

    shhhh! don’t you know that high priced rent for empty storefronts = a thriving downtown in these neck of the woods?

  4. Jason Windsor
    March 31, 2008 at 5:58 pm

    So, I decided this deserves some serious thought, and I’ll tell you what I came up with.

    I think the fact that the Civil Rights museum has yet to open is shameful. I worked right across the street for three years and literally watched a baseball stadium and downtown park get built from scratch while the Woolworth building sat boarded up with the occasional worker going in. I think the organizers of the Museum have a lot of explaining to do regarding the millions of dollars the city has already given. I’d be willing ot bet quite a bit that the Civil Rights Museum has already gotten (and quickly misspent) vastly more money than the cost of the new statue. I think some of our leaders have some serious ‘splaining to do.

    As far as the statues are concerned, Guilford Courthouse Park, where the first statue is located, is a Federal park, and was not built with city money, as far as I can determine. The statue there is to honor Greene as a Revolutionary War hero, not the founder of Greensboro. That site is merely the location of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and its history isn’t necessarily related to the founding of Greensboro, since nearly 20 years separates the two events.

    I’m gathering that the new statue is located downtown in an effort to centralize Greensboro’s historical landmarks since few visitors would likely venture out to the Battleground park.

    So I think your question “What’s wrong with Greensboro that this is happening?” is valid, but I wonder how many people are prepared to deal with the real answer.

  5. busterdilly
    March 31, 2008 at 9:00 pm

    Jason, it’s always good to hear your thoughts.

    And I won’t bet against yours that the city has perhaps misspent the money it was given. A friend told me that folks have ripped big fat personal checks from their bank books in strong support of the museum.

    So where’d all the money, go eh?

    The ball park has been a great local addition. But the Civil Rights Museum would be a great national addition. And if Greensboro wants the national recognition it needs to attract businesses, jobs, and a vibe downtown, this could be the answer.

    Maybe it’s just that we, the community, haven’t rolled up our sleeves to help get the job done. Maybe it’s a dauntless task, trying to figure how to best use the space to honor civil rights. I get that.

    My fear is that the old Woolworth’s building is getting so far gone–from our minds and from structural integrity–that it can’t be saved.

    If that’s the case, I’d like the city just to say something about it. These days, it’s looking more like a condemned building — just another empty storefront downtown.

    I hate that.

  6. Jason Windsor
    April 1, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    My assertion is that the city didn’t misspend the money, but that those in charge of the project that received the money need to be investigated for possible financial malfeasance.

  7. busterdilly
    April 2, 2008 at 7:46 pm

    I saw this today for the first time, the Greensboro museum’s Web site.

    I’m just not sure how else to get involved. I’d love to see Triad Stage do one of its original productions on the event, from the sit-ins til now. Maybe that could sustain a buzz.

    What about a film documentary? There has to be footage somewhere that could be tied together. Trouble is, all the buzz seems to be online, not on the streets.

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