Since you asked:

"Therefore, to be possess'd with double pomp, to guard a title that was rich before, to gild refined gold, to paint the lily,
to throw a perfume on the violet, to smooth the ice, or add another hue unto the rainbow, or with taper-light
to seek the beauteous eye of heaven to garnish, is wasteful and ridiculous excess."

~William Shakespeare,
ca. 1595

Yup, that's us.

October 26, 2009

Fullerton needs your help!

I did not start blogging to get up on my soapbox, but there are times when you need to speak, and times when you need to ask for others to raise their voices as well. Some of you may live in Fullerton, many of you have visited us there. Part of what I love about my store is where it is, and the fact that our little downtown has survived when many have not. I say without exaggeration, that we are in grave danger of losing the charm of our downtown. Look below:

This is the proposed development for the "Fox Village," which would stretch from behind the old Fox Theatre to the next block, at Pomona Street. It would also encompass the area north to Ellis Street, where my friends Jeanne and Dorothy Gail live. Jeanne's little cottage (where many of you have attended their wonderful antique sales) will be cheek and jowel with a parking structure. This monstrosity will be one block away from our location in The Villa del Sol...

I, as well as many others, are horrified at the prospect of this project. It in no way relates to the history or architecture of the old downtown, and would tower two stories above the Fox Theatre. Our dream of seeing the original Fox sign on the top of the theatre lit and silhouetted against the sky when it reopens, will never materialize if this project comes to fruition.

The project also includes a seven screen theatre. Why, I can't imagine. Isn't the whole point for the Fox to be the crown jewel downtown? Is this making sense to anyone out there in bloglandia? If you really want this type of experience, you have only to drive 10 minutes north to Brea's promenade. There, you can see and experience essentially the same thing: formulaic threatre signage, meandering "paseo" walkways, and lots of retail.

I'll be the first person to say we need to achieve more balance between what has become a bloated restaurant and bar scene in this town, and the retail business that we so badly need. Am I willing to have it served up on this plate? Hardly.

This is the view from Pomona and Chapman, directly across from our beautiful old high school, also a mere two stories tall, which will also be dwarfed by this project. However, they will have that nifty looking new McDonalds just a few steps away, separated by only a lovely retail parking lot. That makes it so worth it, right?

Sadly, these drawings were presented at last week's meeting by Rob Zur Schmiede, Fullerton's own director of Redevelopment and Economic Development. He feels this is a viable step for us to take. I understand that he is looking at the economic development side of this equation, but I truly feel he's missing out on the heart of what we are about.

If you love Fullerton, and want the character of our little downtown to be preserved, this is an opportunity to speak out loud and clear. I am including Rob Zur Schmiede's email address at the bottom of this post for those who would like to voice their opinion and be heard. Thanks for listening...

Rob Zur Schmiede
Director, Redevelopment


Kelly Lish said...

Oh, I hope this does not happen also. I grew up in Whittier and went to school ant Fullerton Jr. college. My husband grew up in LaHabra and graduated from Cal State Fullerton-needless to say, we have both spent much time there, and it is one of the few places left with old charm and history and not another cookie cutter strip mall area. Oh, how sad that would be. Feel free to forward my comments on to whomever you think would be interested. I will be passing the word also.
Best of luck!
Kelly Lish

Susan said...

I agree with you completely! When they destroyed Brea for that mall they took out so many cute, historical homes including my grandparents' home, the Nazarene church where I was married and lots of historical down town buildings. It made me so sad! I was born in Fullerton in an historical old hospital that doesn't exist anymore. I hope they leave Fullerton as charming as it's always been.

Judy said...

It really makes me wonder why these redevelopment people think this is actually viable in this economy? Where is the money coming from to build this? Who is going to shop there. I am always in favor of keeping the charm and quaintness of older shopping areas. If they want to do something, they should offer to refurbish the area. Dress it up! Make it a real showplace! Plan better transportation, parking, and more shop areas that aren't a mall. Especially with a bigger shopping mall not very far away.
Sounds like "busy work" for the development firm as well as $$$. They should be working on ways to get California out of its financial woes.

Maija said...

I left an award for you on my blog Nancy!