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'Most historic city' neglects its treasures

Date published: 7/15/2013

'Most historic city' neglects its treasures

Without attempting to comment on floating bonds for baseball stadiums ["Residents rally, rant over stadium"] or building multi-story luxury condos in downtown Fredericksburg ["Decision on condos downtown delayed," both July 10], it is clear that "America's Most Historic City" has become a study in historic neglect.

When buildings like The Chimneys and Rising Sun Tavern (among others) exhibit rotting porches, disintegrating banisters and siding, missing and damaged shutters, and blistering and peeling paint, it makes one wonder if the neglect is willful.

Even the most banal suburban subdivisions are covered by covenants and restrictions that would nail a homeowner to the high cross for such affronts and blight to a typical neighborhood.

The city's alleged watchdog preservation organizations are hibernating in their caves. The city of Fredericksburg is either remiss in enforcement or for not having any effective ordinances on the books to protect that which belongs to the entire nation and the ages. The condition of many downtown buildings is a disgrace.

The city wants to reap the honors of being the steward of these historic places, yet it is acting as though it would rather they rot into the ground so the property upon which these historic places stand could be developed into something a bit more contemporary, high rise, and profitable.

Bob Sargeant