Rebecca McClear’s idea to remove the Matthews Building in favor of a riverside park is very appealing. If you believe the Matthews Building is worth saving, you haven’t been in the building. It served many for many years; I even had an office there for a nano-second; our good friend Dr. Clifford had offices there as well as other friends and acquaintances, but the developer has not improved the property as planned in 2014. He did not open in 2015 as expected.
So, five years later we are expected to believe that the work will get done shortly…for real this time. Even using our tax dollars the developer is unable to profitably renovate this building.
I owned a real piece of history myself, a shiny green Ford Pinto. My family and I created a lot of history, a lot of memories in that car. Can you imagine what that Pinto would be worth today? Probably $10 if the tires were good. If I had a Corvette from 40 years ago, that might be worth preserving, but a Pinto?
The next time you see the Matthews Building, ask yourself, what great artistic or architectural value does it exude (and hodgepodge doesn’t count)? Is it a 1960s Corvette or a 1970s Pinto?
Comparing the Matthews Building to Fenton’s riverside park is akin to trading your 1973 Pinto in for a luxury 2050 Cadillac AI hovercraft. Give Fenton’s park a look before advocating to save this Pinto. History is needed, but the future is where your children live.
George McBride, Owosso