Today’s edition of the BH-FP brings news of changes — in a truly plural sense — coming yet again to the Bolivar square.

The nature of those changes is a mixed bag of arrivals, departures and relocations. 

Undoubtedly, interpretation will also yield mixed results. Where some readers see progress in the news of businesses coming, others may interpret departures in a gloomier light.

But we believe there may be one more way to see it — as opportunity.

In today’s article, Bolivar Downtown Business Association’s Susan Sparks raises a point. Reflecting on the nature of some of the changes that have come to Bolivar’s square, a local “resurgence,” she says, is underway in returning historical buildings back to “their former glory.”

That effort, in many recent cases, comes at the hands of a new generation working to bring businesses and new life to the square — all while preserving a connection to days gone by.

And, as a community, we should take heart in that.

While the wheel of time must turn and progress ought happen, we should celebrate when our history can be preserved — and alternatively mourn when it is not. 

Our local historical architecture, much like the items that fill our historical collections and museum exhibits — not to mention the yellowed pages of our past newspaper issues — is a tangible connection to our past. 

Old structures serve as brick-and-mortar reminders of our history, our culture and complexity. Within their lath and plaster walls, our history was lived. Their facades, cornerstones and crevices harken back to our past, beckoning us to reflect and learn. 

Those edifices — in a real, physical way — remind us of the foundations of our communal identity. Our growth, our milestones, our triumphs. 

But also our shortcomings, our missteps, our failures.

And while remembering the former should be a source of collective pride, reminders of the latter are perhaps the greater gift granted us by walls, that in so many ways, really do talk. 

 

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