UPDATED: OP-ED: Resident Calls for Celebrating Watertown’s History, Avoid Becoming “Anywhere, USA”

(The author has responded to some of the comments from the original Op-Ed posted on Feb. 8, 2023, see them after the letter:)

First, I want to thank the watertownmanews and the Historical Society of Watertown and Joyce Kelly, in particular, for this Saturday’s trip into Watertown’s past. It seems sometimes that the City of Watertown is engaged in such a head spinning rush to blandness and “anytown-ness” that in the words of Joni Mitchell, “We won’t know what we’ve got till it’s gone.”

In June 2022, Clyde Younger and I presented a proposal that would require a study of old buildings on Main Street, and one in particular (104-106 Main), to see if a local historic district was appropriate. The City Council, without much discussion, unanimously voted down our proposal for a study, one councillor even remarking that there are no old buildings on Main Street. Having been turned down for a historic study of one of the oldest and most historic cities and on one of the oldest and most historic streets in North America, I decided that I would do a study myself.